That gastrointestinal motility can influence the gut microbiota has been known for decades and the clinical consequences of impaired motility, in terms of the bacterial population of the small intestine, amply illustrated by the syndrome of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth which so commonly accompanies diffuse intestinal motility disorders. As the importance of the microbiota to homeostasis in health and to a variety of disease states is increasingly appreciated and as the full diversity and biology of this "hidden organ" have been revealed by molecular methodologies, the true nature of the interaction between the microbiota and motility is being re-examined and the complexity of this relationship exposed. In health, as well as in disease states, this is a truly bi-directional relationship: not only can gut motor patterns influence the microbiota but changes in the microbiota can exert profound influences on gut sensori-motor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Metagenome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Clinical Neurology


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