Can Probiotics Enhance Immunity? 

In today’s crazy world we are all concerned with building our immunity. Did you know that over 70% of your immune cells are located in your gut?

It makes sense if you think about it. Your gut is the main control center for your immune system, partly because it’s one of your first lines of defense against pathogens, toxins and other invaders.

But there’s another major link between your immune function and your digestive system: Your microbiome—the complex inner ecosystem made up of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes in your GI tract (and elsewhere in your body).

Healthy microbes in your gut produce vital signals and nutrients that optimize your immune activity, as well as other key areas of health. They also protect the territory so to speak, by preventing harmful microbes from setting up residence.  In addition, they regulate inflammation and strengthen your gut wall to prevent toxins and invaders from entering your bloodstream.

Symbiosis vs Dysbiosis 

When good microbes in your gut outnumber the bad, you’re in a healthy state called symbiosis. Your digestion and immunity are vital and robust—forming a solid foundation for long-term wellness.

Conversely, if bad microbes outnumber the good ones, it’s called gut dysbiosis—and emerging data suggests it can have serious impacts on immune and overall health. Gut dysbiosis is directly linked to chronic health conditions, starting in the GI tract. It drives out-of-control inflammation, creates holes in the GI wall leading to “leaky gut”, and increases the risks of infections—including deadly viruses. When left unchecked, gut dysbiosis may spur autoimmune disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, cancer, and more.

As researchers continue to deepen our understanding of microbiome health and its relationship to the rest of the body, one thing is increasingly clear: The importance of maintaining a balance of beneficial microbes in the gut. And according to the data, there are targeted ways to positively influence your inner ecosystem—starting with diet.

Feeding your Friendly Flora to support Immunity

Diet is key for microbiome health. An organic, unprocessed and fiber-rich diet will support your microbiome with prebiotic nourishment for good bacteria and fiber to maintain a healthy environment. Avoiding pesticides, especially glyphosate, is essential for microbiome health, because these toxins can wipe out a healthy microbiome. At the same time, processed foods like refined sugars and carbs are shown to feed harmful bacteria.

Research shows that the presence of specific probiotic strains in the GI tract can provide broad-spectrum benefits for immune function, digestion and other areas of health.

For example:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis enhances nutrient absorption and defends against harmful bacteria. B. lactis converts carbs into lactic acid, B vitamins, and other nutrients. It also promotes optimal pH for healthy microbes to thrive, and improves intestinal function.2
  • Bifidobacterium longum maintains a healthy GI environment and strengthens the gut wall. It converts carbs into lactic acid, and creates fuel from prebiotic fiber. B. longum also protects against harmful microbes.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus produces vitamin K and other nutrients. It also promotes healthy immune function, reduces diarrhea and helps fight cold and flu, among other benefits.4
  • Lactobacillus casei supports gut wall integrity, helps fight colon cancer, and supports a healthy metabolism.

With this data, it seems that the benefits of a concentrated multi-strain probiotic formula could be significant. However, published clinical research shows that for many people—up to 40% of users—regular pill-based probiotic formulas don’t actually work to colonize the GI tract. For these people, the probiotic supplements are simply expelled by the body’s elimination systems, without bringing any benefits.

In my practice, I was also seeing regular probiotics fail in many of my patients seeking relief for long-standing gut dysbiosis issues.

However, a new probiotic formulation method changed this, bringing unparalleled digestive relief and long-term benefits for a majority of my patients, including those who had been failed by traditional probiotics. This fermented liquid formula includes organic digestive herbs, 8 strains of live probiotics, and clinically researched Modified Citrus Pectin—a powerful prebiotic nutrient. Because it’s a liquid formula, it coats the entire digestive system to provide rapid relief from digestive discomfort, while rebalancing your terrain for greater immunity and vitality.

Your personal microbiome is your unique signature, and researchers are just beginning to understand how to use this information to create personalized diagnostic and therapeutic treatment protocols.

What we do know is that health starts in the gut. And effective microbiome care is emerging as one of the most important ways to restore not just your GI health, but also your immunity and overall vitality as one vast, interconnected ecosystem.

Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc is a licensed acupuncturist, physician, and homeopath, has an MS in traditional Chinese medicine, and has done graduate studies in herbology. Dr. Eliaz has been a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980s, with a focus on cancer, immune health, detoxification and mind-body medicine.Visit him online at dreliaz.org.

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