Breaking down the barriers : The effects of aging, gut microbiota and bile acids on intestinal health

van der Lugt, Benthe


It is widely acknowledged that the intestine plays an essential role in the maintenance of overall health. The intestinal barrier is responsible to carry out this highly important, but complex task. The intestinal barrier include the mucus layer, the intestinal epithelial cell layer and the immune cell ‘layer’. In a healthy condition, the trillions of micro-organisms that are present in the intestinal tract have a beneficial relationship with the host. However, in case these highly regulated processes are impaired, the risk of (intestinal) diseases increases. As the prevalence of intestinal disorders is increasing worldwide, there is a high urgency to increase the scientific knowledge in the field of intestinal health. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of relevant aspects that are known to be involved in intestinal health: the aging process, gut microbiota, and bile acids. To investigate this, we used relevant in vivo and in vitro models