How is the gut related to the immune system? The immune system-gut-connection is a complex topic, one that researchers are constantly still learning about.
We know that billions of beneficial bacteria are present within all of us, forming what’s called our “microbiomes.” The microbiome is an internal ecosystem that benefits us in many ways, including by helping us to absorb nutrients, keeping us healthy overall, regulating our appetite and body weight, and much more.
This “community of microbes” living inside each and every one of us is mostly located inside our digestive systems (or guts).
Just how much of the immune system is located in the gut? It’s now believed that the gut houses between 70 percent and 80 percent of all immune cells.
The Immune System And Gut Connection
Amazingly, it’s estimated that within the body there are more microorganisms than there are human cells, mostly concentrated within the GI tract.
It’s now believed that overall gut health can contribute to overall health. This is why maintaining the integrity of the gut as well as overall gut health are crucial aspects of health.
The presence of bacteria, specifically the “good guys” kind called probiotics, plays a role between the gut microbiota and immune system.
What are probiotics? They are microorganisms introduced into the body for their beneficial qualities. They help to balance the ratio of “bad guy” bacteria and “good guy” bacteria.
How does gut bacteria support a healthy immune system exactly?
- Probiotic supplements and foods contain “good guy” bacteria that populate your gut and support its health.
- Certain gut bacteria can impact how your body extracts nutrients from your diet, including vital minerals and nutrients like zinc, iron and vitamin B12.
- Generally speaking, some microbes influence gene expression, either positively or negatively.
- And because there are pathways between the central nervous system and microbiome that send signals back and forth to one another, your gut flora can affect how you produce neurotransmitters, which impacts your energy, outlook and sleep.
How to Support Gut Health Naturally
To support a healthy gut and a healthy immune system, it’s important to eat a nourishing diet.
The foods you eat, the types and amounts of bacteria you’re exposed to on a daily basis, along with your stress levels, sleep, exercise and genetics all play a role in establishing your gut microbiome. Low nutrient availability and more can all take a toll on your gut and immune system health.
Below are key supplements to boost gut health and your immune system:
Ortho Biotic is a unique probiotic formula designed to
deliver active organisms shown to promote healthy gut
microflora, protect intestinal integrity and boost immune
function. Included in this formula is Saccharomyces
boulardii, an extensively researched microorganism shown
to help restore microflora balance by enhancing commensal
organism function. Each Ortho Biotic capsule provides seven
proven probiotic strains chosen for their ability to withstand
the harsh gastrointestinal (GI) environment and adhere to
the intestinal tract to deliver superior results.
IgG Protect Powder is a highly concentrated (40%)
immunoglobulin G (IgG) formula that provides essential
nutrition for improved immune health. The immunoglobulin
and growth factors in colostrum extract can promote passive
immunity, or the transfer of immunity from one organism to
another. IgG Protect Powder’s pure and high-concentration
formula provides improved immune modulation and
strengthens the gut-immune barrier. Consistency in potency
and purity of colostrum extracts is a primary concern for
clinicians; advanced filtration and purification techniques
make IgG Protect a superior clinical tool. IgG Protect Powder
provides 2,000 mg of IgG and 4 g of protein per serving.
SBI Protect is the only purified, dairy-free source of
immunoglobulin G (IgG) available as a dietary supplement.
Serum-derived bovine immunoglobulins (SBI) provide the
highest IgG concentration available for GI and immune
challenges where allergens are a significant concern. Pure IgG
helps to maintain a healthy intestinal immune system by binding
a broad range of microbes and toxins within the gut lumen. SBI
Protect provides 1,200 mg IgG in a one-scoop serving.
NK-Stim is a targeted formula specifically designed to support
the body’s immune response by boosting natural killer (NK)
cell activity. NK-Stim includes a synergistic combination of
larch arabinogalactan, oleuropein (the active ingredient found
in olive leaf extract), acemannan (the immune-stimulating
constituent of aloe vera concentrate) and chelated zinc. NK-
Stim’s unique preparation supports immune function, boosts
NK cell activity, promotes healthy microflora in the gut, and
helps maintain bacterial balance throughout the body. NK-
Stim is the ideal preparation for those with immune challenges
and gastrointestinal-related concerns.
Mitocore is a scientifically formulated blend of nutrients
specifically designed to boost cellular and mitochondrial
energy production, maximize antioxidant capacity, support
detoxification, and strengthen immune response. Based on
peer-reviewed, double-blind research, Mitocore provides
a unique blend of acetyl L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and
N-acetyl cysteine. All have shown to produce a dramatic
increase in immune function and energy output. Mitocore
also includes key micronutrients and phytonutrients,
including green tea, broccoli seed extract and resveratrol,
to protect the mitochondria and continually renew the cycle
of energy production.