• alkaline phosphatase;
  • disease;
  • intestine;
  • microbiota;
  • nutrition

Important protective roles of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) – including regulation of intestinal surface pH, absorption of lipids, detoxification of free nucleotides and bacterial lipopolysaccharide, attenuation of intestinal inflammation, and possible modulation of the gut microbiota – have been reviewed recently. IAP is modulated by numerous nutritional factors. The present review highlights new findings on the properties of IAP and extends the list of its protective functions. Critical assessment of data suggests that some IAP properties are a direct result of dephosphorylation of proinflammatory moieties, while others (e.g., gut barrier protection and microbiota shaping) may be secondary to IAP-mediated downregulation of inflammation. IAP and tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase isoforms characterize the small intestine and the colon, respectively. Gastrointestinal administration of exogenous IAP ameliorates gut inflammation and favors gut tissue regeneration, whereas enteral and systemic IAP administration attenuates systemic inflammation only. Finally, the IAP gene family has a strong evolutionary link to food-driven changes in gastrointestinal tract anatomy and microbiota composition. Therefore, stimulation of IAP activity by dietary intervention is a goal for preserving gut homeostasis and health by minimizing low-grade inflammation.