What is the gut?

It’s ‘Au-gut’ this month on the Perstorp Animal Nutrition social media channels. That means we’ll put extra emphasis on the gut and gut health. But let’s start off with ‘what is the gut’?

In general conversations ‘gut’ may simply refer to abdominal area. ‘Beer gut’ is a term familiar to most of us. Some more factual descriptions consider it to be the entire digestive system, including the gastrointestinal tract plus the accessory organs of digestion (the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder).

Most of the time though – especially when we use the word – ‘gut’ refers to the gastrointestinal tract. This tract basically consists of the stomach, the large and the small intestine. This is true for humans and swine at least. For poultry there are a few other organs included such as the crop and the gizzard. Cows have several stomachs making things even more complex!

So why is the gut so important? More on that later this month. In short your gut doesn’t just help get nutrients out of feed/food, it offers protection from diseases and even helps to determine which parts of DNA manifest and which parts remain dormant. There are over 40 trillion organisms in the human gut that help our bodies do the best possible job at this. It’s smart to keep them happy!

pig model