Could drinking ozonated water kills some of our precious gut bacteria?
As it turns out, this is highly unlikely. Although no studies exist on the subject of ozonated water and gut bacteria, we know that the small intestine is largely devoid of bacteria in a healthy human being. But that’s where ozonated water goes when ingested. It does not reach the big intestine where the beneficial bacteria reside.
Where Does Good Bacteria Reside?
The human intestine is made of two parts: the small and the large intestine.
Contrary to what one would presume from the names, the small intestine is actually the longer one, it measures between 22 to 25 feet (670 to 760 cm), and the large intestine is the shorter part, it is only 5 to 6 feet (around 150 cm) long.
When we ingest foods or liquids they first land in the stomach and then in the small intestine. A few hours later they make it to the large intestine.
The digestion in the small intestine is mostly based on enzymes that are produced in the stomach, the pancreas, the liver, and the lining of the small intestine itself.
The small intestine contains as good as no bacteria in a healthy human being. It is mostly sterile.
The presence of bacteria in the small intestine is a medical condition called SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and is conventionally treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria which shouldn’t be there in the first place.
The reverse situation is true for the large intestine. There, digestion happens mostly thanks to fermentation. This requires a lot of bacteria.
It’s estimated that we have between 1,200 and 5,000 different bacterial strains in our large intestine, and 99% of them are anaerobic.
Why are there no good bacteria in the small intestine?
There are two main mechanisms that guarantee that the small intestine remains as poor in gut bacteria as possible in a healthy human being: hydrochloric acid which is produced in the stomach and the ileoceal valve.
The secretions of our stomach have one of the lowest pH levels of any mammals, comparable only to other carnivores like cats and dogs. It ranges between a pH of 1.5 and 3.5.
Not many bacteria can survive that.
Which is the whole point? It’s a type of protective barrier from dangerous pathogens.
The other mechanism is the ileocecal valve. It marks the entrance from the small intestine to the large intestine and makes sure that the bacteria of the large intestine stay where they are instead of traveling back into the small intestine.
A malfunctioning ileocecal valve can lead to – you guessed it: small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO.
So the bottom line is: lots of bacteria in the large intestine means you have healthy digestion.
Lots of bacteria in the small intestine, on the other hand, means trouble.
But that’s exactly where ozonated water goes after you drink it: into the small intestine.
Where, as we just learned, there are not supposed to be many bacteria.
So even if the ozone in the water ends up killing some stuff – the better! Because those buggers are not meant to be there, to begin with.
Could drinking ozonated water kill good bacteria in the large intestine?
You may ask yourself though: could the water reach the good bacteria in the large intestine and do some damage there?
Unlikely, here is why:
The small intestine is 22 to 25 feet long and holds around a gallon (3.4 L) of liquid which is made of food particles mixed with gastric juices and secretions. [3.4 L, when calculated with a radius of 1.25 cm and a length of 700cm].
The gastric juices are made by the stomach, the small intestine, the pancreas, and the liver. Every day around 2 quarts (1.2 to 1.5 L) of fluids are produced.
The ozonated water you drink would have to traverse all that before reaching the large intestine.
Keep in mind that ozone is highly reactive. So after traveling through 22 feet intestinal tissue filled with gastric juices, it’s unlikely that the water would contain any ozone anymore.
The study originated from https://thepowerofozone.com/drinking-ozonated-water-damage-gut-biome/
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