Published online Nov 14, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i42.15650
Revised: April 29, 2014
Accepted: May 26, 2014
Published online: November 14, 2014
Core tip: Intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) is important for intestinal health. IAP’s role in the intestine encompasses both protection from systemic infections and chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. There is a complex interplay occurring between IAP, diet, microbiota and the intestinal epithelium which has accelerated research on IAP as a potential therapeutic against these inflictions. The purpose of this review is to highlight the essential characteristics of IAP in maintaining homeostasis in the intestines while addressing the complex interplay between IAP, diet, microbiota and the intestinal epithelium.