Relationship between the gut, probiotics and the immune system
It’s little known that there is actually a close relationship between the gut microbiome and the immune system. We’re going to explain what that relationship is– but first, you might be wondering ‘what exactly is the microbiome?’
The microbiome is what we call the ecosystem of microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on your body. It plays an important role in supporting your overall health, and it develops and changes with you throughout your life.
Almost 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, which means that a whole lot of the work your body does to keep out foreign bacteria and viruses takes place in your digestive system.
The gut lining acts as a barrier, allowing essential nutrients to pass through, we also have special immune cells called ‘dendritic cells’ in the immune system outside of the gut. These dendritic cells identify and present bacteria to T helper cells. T helper cells then determine a correct course of action by emitting cytokines.
What all of this essentially means is that communication between the immune system and the gut plays an important role in immune system function.
So, we’ve established there’s a relationship between the immune system and the gut, but where do the microbiome and probiotics come into play? Beneficial bacteria such as those in probiotics maintain and support functioning of the immune system in quite a few ways:
- Some beneficial bacteria take up space in the gut that would otherwise be occupied by other foreign bacteria
- Probiotics can support the intestinal microbiome by maintaining the beneficial bacteria
If you’re wondering how you can help support beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome, the first port of call is to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh food and fibre and get plenty of exercise.
For some additional support, you might like to consider a probiotic. Life Space Immune Support Probiotic for adults is specifically formulated to support a healthy immune system.
It contains several strains of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04, which can help reduce the occurrence of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections and Lactobacillus plantarum ‘HEAL9’ and Lactobacillus paracasei ‘8700:2’, which, when taken together, can help to reduce symptoms of the common cold in healthy adults. Also included is Zinc and Vitamin C to help maintain healthy functioning of the immune system.
At the end of the day, if you’re ever unsure how to support your immune system, remember that immune health starts within.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
 (Dongarrà et al., 2013; Vighi, Marcucci, Sensi, Di Cara, & Frati, 2008)
 (Turner et al., 2017; West et al., 2014).
 (Berggren, Lazou Ahren, Larsson, & Onning, 2011; Busch, Gruenwald, & Dudek, 2013)