Let’s start with an interesting fact. Seventy-five to eighty percent of your immune system is produced in your gut! Your gut health and immunity are inextricably linked. You cannot segregate the two. If you have poor gut health, take a guess at how healthy your immune system is going to be?
Essentially, our gut is home to a vast number of microbes collectively known as the gut microbiota. The health of your gut microbiota impacts all systems of your body, including the immune system. The immune system is made up of a group of cells and molecules that protect us from disease. They do this by monitoring the body and responding to any foreign substances they perceive as threats.
The immune system and the gut microbiota have developed a mutually beneficial relationship. Regulating one another and co-operating to support each other. The interactions start the moment our body encounters microbes – just before birth. As we grow, microbiota shapes the development of our immune system. And the immune system forms the composition of the microbiota. Both operate together to keep us healthy and protect us against unwanted microbes.
This mutual relationship is maintained throughout our entire life – as long as we have good gut health.
How Beneficial Gut Bacteria Protects You
Teaches your immune system how to behave
We are born with a naive immune system. We are first protected by the antibodies from our mother. But it is the beneficial bacteria we are introduced to by our mother that teaches our immune system how to behave from the moment we are born. A trip down the birth canal and our first few breastfeeds kick off bacterial colonization in our gut. It is these microbes that are the earliest influences on our immune system. And this education is essential for our future health.
The beneficial bacteria mature our immune system and stimulate it to cultivate more diverse cells. If the immune system doesn’t have the opportunity to develop and grow in this way, our future health is compromised. Children who have had suboptimal beneficial bacteria exposure show a higher risk for many diseases later in life.
It strengthens the physical defences of the gut wall.
The body is protected from potential pathogens by a layer of cells and chemical barriers lining the gastrointestinal tract that make it hostile for invading bacteria to survive. Good gut flora (microbiome) activates the immune function in the lining of the gut. The beneficial gut bacteria stick to the intestinal wall and help seal the gaps between intestinal cells. This action makes it impossible to pass through the gut wall. They are effectively protecting the lymphatic and circulatory system from an invasion of harmful bacteria (also known as leaky gut). Beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus create short-chain fatty acids that lower the pH of the gut space. This lower pH makes it difficult for harmful bacteria or microbes such as E.coli to survive.
Competes with pathogens for space and food
All bacteria need food and space to thrive. As a bacterial strain grows, it takes up physical space. This action limits the growth of other strains. Some strains of bacteria can also create biofilms that strengthen the physical defences of any complementary strains. This improves nutrient availability and oxygen levels while keeping other less desirable strains out.
Inflammation is the bodies natural response to a threat. It’s necessary to prevent infection and fight illness. But not all inflammation is necessary or useful. Some harmful bacteria thrive and feed off an inflammatory state, which is produced by the immune system as a response to the actions of the harmful bacteria. So, they drive inflammation by damaging the gut lining to perpetuate more damage. However, beneficial bacteria make butyrate. This compound is a short-chain fatty acid produced from dietary fibres (prebiotics) that the human body cannot digest. Gut Performance is an excellent prebiotic. Butyrate not only bolsters the gut lining barrier, but adequate levels are needed to play a role in regulating the immune system – signalling when to increase and decrease inflammation activities.
Produces antimicrobial substances
Beneficial gut bacteria produce antimicrobial substances. These can fight several different types of bacterial and viral infections in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.
Improving Gut Immune Function
There are many ways to enhance your gut health to boost your immune system:
Prebiotics are a type of fibre that fuels the growth of healthy bacteria. It helps digestion and promotes the absorption of nutrients essential for immune health and reduces compounds known to cause inflammation. Gut Performance™ is packed with this type of fibre. What is unique to Gut Performance™ is the extraction process of this fibre from the sugarcane stem. The process maintains the integrity of the cell fibre and bioavailability of the micronutrients found in the stem while extracting the sugar.
Eat a diverse range of foods
This isn’t about eating a diverse range of takeaway. We are talking about legumes, beans, fruit, and vegetables. These foods have the type of fibre your gut microbiome loves to digest. A diverse range of foods makes for a diverse range of healthy bacteria, which is an indicator of good gut health. Having good gut health with diverse microbiota allows your gut to bounce back from unhealthy fluctuations in diet and withstand outside attacks.
Consume fermented foods
Fermented foods are choices such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. They all contain a healthy bacterium called Lactobacillus. This type of bacteria can reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria in the gut (Alvaro, et al., 2007).
Eat a diet rich in polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds found in green tea, red wine, dark chocolate, olive oil, whole grains, and Gut Performance™. They are broken down by the microbiome to promote healthy bacterial growth and prevent cell damage (Cardona, et al., 2013). It is well established and understood that gut bacteria play a significant role in overall health and immunity. Establishing and maintaining good gut health is something that everyone can work towards.
We are at a critical time to ensure we have optimal gut health, so we can boost our collective immunity.
Take Gut Performance once a day in conjunction with exercise, a diverse and nutritious diet, and stress reduction techniques. It may put you one step closer to giving your immune system the chance to be an incredible disease-fighting machine. Let us know via our Gut Performance ™ Instagram page and #gutperformance how you prepare your daily Gut Performance™ dose. We love to hear from everyone about how Gut Performance™ has taken your gut health to the next level.
- Alvaro, E., Andrieux, C., Rochet, V., Rigottier-Gois, L., Lepercq, P., Sutren, M., . . . Dore, J. (2007). Composition and metabolism of the intestinal microbiota in consumers and non-consumers of yogurt. British Journal of Nutrition, 97(1), 126-33. Retrieved 2020
- Cardona, F., Andres-Lacueva, C., Tulipani, S., Tinahones, F. J., & Queipo-Ortuno, M. I. (2013). Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 24(8), 1415-22. Retrieved 2020
DISCLAIMER: the information is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used to relied on for any diagnostic, treatment or medical purpose. All health issues should be discussed with your GP and/or another qualified medical professional.