Immune health and probiotics: what’s the fuss?
Despite widespread acknowledgement that probiotics can support the health and function of the digestive system, far less is known about the role they play in maintaining our immune system health.
To fully understand the process, it’s first worth noting the intricate relationship between our immune and digestive systems.
Incredibly, up to 70 per cent of our body’s immune cells, including plasma cells, are found in the digestive tract, and form an important component of our immune system. Plasma cells, also known as B-cells, secrete molecules into the gut which help defend against pathogens. Interactions between plasma/B-cells and the naturally occurring gut bacteria help to diversify the repertoire of these cells and the protective molecules they secrete. The gut bacteria also provide beneficial nutrients and support the body's immune response in other ways too.
Probiotics specifically, however, can also support healthy immune system function. They’re believed to interact with a variety of immune cells in a similar way to how the natural gut bacteria do.
Probiotics are also understood to support immune health by contributing to colonisation resistance, a mechanism where non-pathogenic microbes occupy the space in the gut that could be colonised by pathogens.
At a time when we’re all being reminded to practise good hygiene and healthy lifestyles, it’s worth noting some of the many ways to support our immune health. Firstly, and importantly in the current climate:
- Remember to wash your hands regularly.
- Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact and touching with others.
And some additional basic tips to keep in mind:
- Consider a nutrient-rich diet packed with fibre (to feed your microbiome) and nourishing vitamins and minerals.
- Cram in lots of fresh fruit and vegetables: Increase your intake of healthy greens, like broccoli and spinach, and citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, which contain high levels of vitamin C to help the body’s immune system function properly.
- Get outside, even if only to your garden or balcony: The sun’s rays promote vitamin D production, so head outside and maintain a consistent exercise routine. Exercise, of course, is also linked to a healthy immune system, though perhaps stay active in your own space or in smaller groups if you can.
- Get a good night’s sleep, which can further assist immune health.
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, Life-Space Broad Spectrum Probiotic is a premium, multi-strain probiotic formula specifically formulated to support general health and wellbeing and healthy immune system function. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the link between our immune and digestive systems, it also supports digestive system health and the intestinal microbiome.
So, whether you decide to eat better or workout more, do what you can to look after your health and your immune system will inevitably thank you.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet.