Diet is of fundamental importance in the healthy functioning of alimentary epithelium, or during the disease process. Specifically, the incidence of 'non-hereditary' gastrointestinal disease varies widely throughout the world, partly because of different cultural and dietary habits. The aim of this review is to outline the mechanisms that modulate normal mucosal development and growth in the small and large intestine. In addition a brief mention will be made of morphological changes in certain pathological conditions.
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