Gut Bacteria and Immunity

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right! 

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us! 

As science works out the details of the huge influence exerted by our gut bacteria on health and disease it is becoming more clear that without our gut bacteria, frankly, we wouldn’t make it. Not for very long, at least. Our inhabitants have more influence on our health than has been previously appreciated. One of the most important functions of the gut bacteria, or gut flora, or gut microbiota—there are many names for the bugs that live in your gut, and I use them all interchangeably—is to educate the immune system.

That’s right—the bacteria in your gut are taking your immune system to school. The gut microbes essentially prime the immune system through communication that teaches the immune system how to properly respond to invaders (and how to properly not respond to passersby like food). Read this blog by Dr. Smith on immune balance for more information on how the immune system functions.

A recent study published in the journal Immunity is reported to be “the first time anyone has shown that changes in the natural intestinal flora resulting from antibiotics, hygiene, or lifestyle can have substantial consequences for the entire immune system,” according to lead researcher Andreas Diefenbach. In an animal model the researchers tested immune response to viral infections not located in the digestive tract. The group with normal intestinal flora exhibited a normal immune response compared to the group lacking gut bacteria, which experienced decreased immune response that led to a more severe illness.

This week, if you aren’t convinced that your gut is the foundation of total-body health, I urge you to learn more. Search my blog for more information on the health benefits of a healthy gut (and the negative health effects of an unhealthy gut). Learn how to balance your gut to heal your body.

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