Wondering about your immune system? Listen to your gut! by Goodhealth

Wondering about your immune system? Listen to your gut!

September 1, 2023

Winter is just around the corner and although our immune system is at work throughout the whole year, it is during the wintertime where we are particularly at risk of those nasty ills and chills.

Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut?

That means that around 80% of our immune cells reside in the lining of our intestinal tract. Only when your gut is functioning well will your immune system be at its optimum.

Specific parts of our digestive tract are made up of trillions of different micro-organisms that create a dynamic ecosystem helping to keep us happy and healthy. We rely on the quality of our gut microbes to support our immune function and our overall health. Outnumbering our own cells 10-1, our gut microbes help facilitate digestion of the food we eat, the absorption of nutrients, and supports our gut immune function. The quality and quantity of bacteria within our body is highly important. It can either encourage or prevent the development of many health conditions.

Is your gut microbiome helping or harming you?

If you suffer from frequent illness, immune or digestive issues, or just feel out of balance, your gut microbiota, which is mostly bacterial, is likely to be responsible. Made up of both “good” and “bad” bacteria, fungi, and other microbes, the ideal ratio is thought to be 85% good to 15% bad; however, we don’t really know for sure as healthy hunter gatherer populations are lacking some of our supposedly “good” bacteria and have other species thought to be “bad”. In any case, our modern diet and lifestyle seems to have thrown our microbiome out of balance. The right balance (for you) of gut microbes is the key to good health and a strong immune system.

What is a probiotic?

Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts that are designed to support the number of “good” microbes in the digestive tract. Probiotics are often labelled “good” or ‘friendly”, as they support the balance of our gut flora.

What is a prebiotic?

Prebiotics are non-living, natural substances (which can be found in plant fibre or animal collagen) that feed our gut microbes and can increase the effectiveness of any probiotics that we ingest. Providing food for probiotics and other good bacteria to feed on and multiply, prebiotics ensure probiotics have the proper sustenance to support gut flora balance.

How do they work?

Probiotics and prebiotics work beneficially together. Think of your gut like your garden at home. If you plant a seed but it doesn’t have sunlight, and you don’t bother to water it and feed it with a nutrient-rich soil; it will not flourish. It is the same with your gut; it is not enough to just provide the seeds (probiotics). With the right food (prebiotics), the good bacteria in the gut will flourish, in turn strengthening and protecting your immune system.

Why do you need prebiotics and probiotics?

Not only do prebiotics and probiotics directly influence gut and immune health, they also support digestive function and energy levels. Lifestyle, diet, environment, and disease can contribute to imbalances in the microbiome. For example, a high sugar diet may cause an imbalance; food poisoning or a course of antibiotics can lead to imbalances, which are very tough to shift; an infection can cause good bacteria to move to the area in need and away from your gut.

It is crucial to have the right balance of microbes in your gut, so that your immune system can fight off challenges quickly before symptoms occur. Supporting our gut health should be the first port of call when addressing your body’s immune system this winter.

Take a look at Goodhealth Immuno-Biotic with PRE + PRO Biotics.