Inflammation and intestinal function: Where does it start and what does it mean?

Kelly A. Tappenden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Various key elements of intestinal function, such as digestion, absorption, and barrier function, are impaired during inflammation. Although intestinal damage associated with inflammation originating within the intestine is well-known, inflammation in distant organs can impair intestinal function, despite normal histological appearance of the impacted intestinal mucosa. Widespread clinical dogma indicating that intestinal dysfunction drives inflammation should be reconsidered based on data indicating that, in many situations, inflammation precedes intestinal damage and appears to be the injurious factor. Finally, various nutrients have been shown to protect and/or repair the intestinal mucosa from the effects of inflammation; therefore, strategies for optimizing the nutrients provided during inflammatory states should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-650
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Digestion
  • Entrocyte
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal barrier function
  • Mucosa
  • Nutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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