The Difference in the Mucus Organization Between the Small and Large Intestine and Its Protection of Selected Natural Substances. A Review

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The mucus layer of the intestinal tract plays an important role of forming the front line of innate host defense. Recent studies have suggested that the involvement of feeding natural additives on protection/prevention/promotion of mucus production in the intestinal environment is beneficial. The goblet cells continually produce mucins for the retention of the mucus barrier under physiological conditions, but different factors (e. g. microorganisms, microbial toxins, viruses, cytokines, and enzymes) can have profound effects on the integrity of the intestinal epithelium covered by a protective mucus. The intestinal mucus forms enterocytes covered by transmembrane mucins and goblet cells produce by the secreted gel-forming mucins (MUC2). The mucus is organized in a single unattached mucus layer in the small intestine and in two mucus layers (inner, outer) in the colon. The main part of the review evaluates the effects of natural additives/substances supplementation to stimulate increased expression of MUC2 mucin in the intestine of animals.

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