The mucus layer inside your colon is a strong defense against gut bacteria that can do your colon harm. Inflammation, ulcerative colitis, and overall health of the colon depends largely on that mucus barrier but now scientists have determined the gut microbiota also play a key roll.
Two groups of pathogen free mice were studied and noted to have not only maternally passed bacteria specific to the colony but the overall composition of the gut mucus was different as well. One colony had mucus penetrable to bacteria while the other colony did not, protecting the mice from the bacteria and ultimately diseases of the colon. The study also included a colony of mice from the wild whose gut mucus showed the properties similar to the non-permeable mucus.