The gut and immune system work together to support a healthy body
One of the most effective ways to support our immune system is by making sure our digestive tract is functioning well and contains a healthy microbiome. The relationship between our gut (microbiome) and immunity, is otherwise known as the microbiota-immune axis, or in layman’s terms, gut immunity.
Our gastrointestinal tract is made up of over 10,000 species and trillions of microbial cells. These play a dominant role in our ability to keep a strong and healthy immunity. The gut microbiome is actually one of the first lines of defence when exposed to potential threat. Other first lines of defence are our saliva, stomach acid, tears, mucous and skin.
Most human microbiota resides in the gut, and it has the job of regulating 70 – 80% of the body’s immune system. Clinical research on gut microbiome is significant and has shown that the gut influences both the strength and development of the immune system. When everything is running smoothly, the gut sends signals to help develop a healthy immune function response. In exchange, the immune system helps to populate the gut with healthy microbiome.
Our gut immunity also has a connection to our respiratory health
Even though our digestive system seems a world away from respiratory health, research is finding growing connections between the two systems. It seems that messages are sent further afield to the digestive system via enzymes called lysozymes. These enzymes break up our good bacteria in the gut and the fragments are sent out through the body. They signal that our respiratory system may be under attack and our body responds by mobilising all immune defence in the lung and respiratory system.
The relationship between the gut and immune system is complex and actually quite incredible. And it’s quite clear that maintaining a balanced ratio of good bacteria gives your immune system and gut a chance to protect your body and is crucial to the health of our immune and respiratory systems.
Scientific research consistently points towards a range of factors that change the gut microbiota, such as our diet, stress levels, lifestyle, health conditions and medications. Food allergens like dairy and gluten can also play a part, as they can disturb the delicate intestinal lining of the gut, dramatically altering the microbiota and making it more vulnerable to new harmful invaders.
How can the whole family look after gut immunity?
If you want to take action to increase healthy gut microbiome for you and the family, you can start by making some simple changes to the household meals.
Prebiotics are food for healthy microbiome in your gut and increase the biodiversity. You can find them in foods like garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, banana, apple, barley and oats.
Reduce packaged foods containing sugar where possible, as well as fatty meat (especially preserved meats), and any other fatty or fast foods. Fresh veges and fruit are usually the best option for building balanced microflora in the gut. Not to mention all the additional beneficial nutrients, which our body survives off.
You could also include some daily probiotic foods such as yoghurt and sauerkraut as they can support the strength and health of the cells of the gut lining. Luckily, the same way bad guys can overpopulate the gut, good guys can too.
Whether for adults or children, taking Phloe on a daily basis can make a huge impact on gut immunity. We’ve got some yummy chewables for kids and for the grown-ups, Phloe Biotics not only contains the beneficial fibre, enzymes and prebiotics from the kiwifruit, it also contains specific probiotics to help boost the population of healthy flora.