The answer is yes! But how?
Let’s start with the basics...
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms found in certain foods that offer a variety of health benefits to our gut - our gastrointestinal tract.
Our gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of microbes collectively called the gut microbiome. Our bodies have over a hundred trillion good bacteria - far more than bad bacteria. Probiotics help balance our gut microbiome by adding good bacteria that can enhance or restore health.
Where Can I Find Probiotics?
Probiotics are found in foods like yoghurt, miso, kombucha, pickles, and cheese and are also often added to foods like granola bars and protein shakes. For a food to be considered a “probiotic”, there must be sufficient living bacteria that survive food processing, and these have to be the good kind that benefits human health.
Though, you can also find probiotics in supplement form. The product must say it contains “live cultures” or “active cultures” on the labels, as this is the good bacteria you seek.
The Benefits of Probiotics
Research suggests that probiotics can help with:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Irritable Bowel Disease
- Infectious diarrhoea
- Diarrhoea caused by antibiotics
- Skin conditions such as eczema
- Preventing allergies and colds
- Oral health
- Urinary and vaginal health
If you suffer from any of these conditions, are looking to prevent them, or simply maintain good health, evidence has suggested that eating a diet rich in probiotic sources, or taking probiotic supplements, can boost your immune system and help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with these conditions.
The Benefits of Probiotics for Your Immune System
Your immune system plays a vital role in keeping you healthy - it’s the defence mechanism that fights harmful substances that enter your body. It is made up of various organs, cells, and proteins. We don’t even notice the immune system when it’s working as it should, as it fights these substances behind the scenes, ensuring we are healthy.3
It works hard to kill foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi as they enter your body (avoiding illness), lessens the effects of germs that do get through (reducing the illness), and kills germs that have entered your system and are causing illness (making you better).4
A weak immune system makes us more susceptible to foreign invaders that cause illnesses such as colds, flu, infections, diarrhoea, and bugs. Our immune systems recognise invaders that it has seen before (particularly recent ones), and remember how to fight them off, hence why most people only have chickenpox once!
How is Our Gut Connected to Our Immune System?
Our gut houses around 70% of the cells that make up our immune system - meaning more than half of the cells that create antibodies for fighting off germs live in the intestinal tract (the gut)5.
Probiotics are potentially effective in alleviating symptoms associated with some digestive conditions, as populating the gut with good bacteria will promote a more balanced and diverse gut microbiome.
When we have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our gut, it can cause an inflammatory response. Our immune system then spends its time fighting this inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by a whole host of factors, such as stress, eating highly processed foods, or overuse of antibiotics.6
When the immune system is busy attacking the inflammation, it doesn’t have the same energy to fight off the foreign invaders in the body, making us more susceptible to illness.
This is why consuming a healthy, balanced diet rich in probiotic foods is often recommended to help keep our gut balanced, and our immune system functioning optimally.
The Gut Co Immune Boost: The Best Probiotic for Immunity
Wondering how you can get probiotics into your system to help your immune system function well?
Here at The Gut Co, we have developed Immune Boost, a daily supplement containing specific strains of good bacteria that can assist our immune system function.
Immune Boost can help protect against respiratory infections, reduce inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress through a formula containing vitamins, probiotics, and many other ingredients that benefit our gut and overall health.
A functioning immune system is vital to keep us fit and healthy, and probiotics are super helpful in helping the immune system function optimally.
Eating a healthy diet containing probiotics and taking dietary supplements such as The Gut Co’s Immune Boost can go a long way to ensuring your immune system is working to keep you feeling well.
Related content: Probiotics Vs Prebiotics