Probiotics and the Immune System
Let’s talk about probiotics and the immune system. Can supplementing with these tiny organisms help you stay healthy?
School is in session, and the dark cold days of winter are arriving. Unfortunately, this also means cold and flu seasons have begun. Respiratory illnesses are currently surging throughout the United States as hospitals report high rates of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), especially among children.
The time to build your immune system is now! Currently, it is common knowledge that eating healthy foods, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol are all ways to help you stay healthy.
But did you know that taking care of your gut health with probiotics may also give your immune system a boost?
The Immune System in Your Gut
70-80% of your immune system resides in your gut. Your digestive system contains the largest cluster of immune cells in your entire body! We know the bacteria that cover our bodies inside and out work together with our immune system. And this is especially true in your gut!
Naturally, your microbiome contains both beneficial and opportunistic bacteria. However, keeping the balance between the two in favor of beneficial bacteria is critical for gut health and thus your immune health. A microbiome that is diverse and full of beneficial bacteria makes it more difficult for pathogenic bacteria to colonize your gut.
A Disrupted Microbiome Can Impact Your Immunity
Beneficial bacteria in your gut interact with your immune system by keeping immune cell activity in check. On the other hand, opportunistic bacteria in your gut can interact with your immune system negatively, especially when there is an overgrowth of these “bad” bugs.
Studies show that an altered gut microbiome can predispose an individual to abnormal inflammatory markers and can increase susceptibility to certain diseases and health issues.
Your gut microbiome can become disrupted by many different factors. Eating ultra-processed foods and large amounts of sugar as well as frequent alcohol consumption can disrupt your gut microbiome leading to chronic cellular inflammation. Furthermore, frequent use of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs also impacts the gut microbiome. Fortunately, there is a way to help combat potential gut imbalances that can lead to improper immune system function. This is where supplementing with a quality probiotic comes into play!
How Probiotics Can Help Your Immune System
Probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host, according to the World Health Organization. Even more, probiotics serve the purpose of balancing the gut microbiome, improving digestion, and synthesizing vitamins to support overall health in the body. But is there any research showing how probiotics can help the immune system?
Currently, there are over 26,000 research articles on the use of probiotics.
Prevalent research categories for probiotics include, but are not limited to, the protection against gastroenteritis, reduced inflammation, and boosting immunity. Studies show that probiotics can help balance gut flora, which helps produce protective substances that can turn on the immune system for fighting off bad bugs.
In October 2020, a systematic review gathered the most recent research on probiotics and the immune system focusing on respiratory illness. Ultimately, authors found supplementing with probiotics to be associated with a lower rate and duration of mild respiratory tract infections (RTI) in children and adults.
It is important to note that more research is needed to determine if probiotics can work the same for everyone when it comes to fighting and preventing illnesses. Every human being has a different microbiome than the next. You should always consult your healthcare provider when trying a new supplement, especially if you have any serious health conditions.
Support Your Immune System with Flourish Probiotics!
When looking for a probiotic supplement to help your immune system, quality is imperative! Each bottle of Flourish contains a wide range of living bacteria. It is delivered fresh in its natural liquid form and never freeze-dried into capsules. This hearty liquid retains all the nutrients, beneficial metabolites, short-chain fatty acids, bioactive peptides, amino acids, enzymes, and minerals. All of these traits help Flourish probiotics safely make their way through the stomach to your colon so they can get to work!
The content in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Written by Kelsy Armstrong, Entegro Health