70% 1 of Your Immune System is in Your Gut
Your immune system is scattered throughout your body and incorporates your bone marrow, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes. Interestingly, these immune tissues only make up 30% of your immune system; the remaining 70% 1 is actually located in your gut! The gut associated lymphoid tissue (or GALT) is your digestive tract’s immune system. It is made up of tissues that house and train your immune cells to understand what, when and how to fight against invaders. Babies are born with their GALT intact, however its protective actions are only triggered when beneficial bacteria colonise their gut. Beneficial bacteria stimulate the GALT into action to give you immune protection from the day you were born. It is important to keep the bacteria in your gut in a healthy balance - a healthy gut promotes an active, healthy immune system.
Probiotics for Immune Health
Did you realise that probiotics can help keep you well in winter? Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that not only aid digestion in the gut – they can also boost immunity. Using probiotics can help to train your immune system to respond appropriately to potentially harmful invaders, such as bad bacteria and viruses. Your immune system uses the good bugs in your gut to help recognise whether it needs to mount an attack on an invader. Different strains of probiotics have different actions in the body, and certain strains have a more targeted action on your immune system than others. The specific strains, Lactobacillus plantarum (HEAL 9) and Lactobacillus paracasei (8700:2) have recently been shown to boost immunity by reducing the frequency and duration of colds in adults. If you want to stay healthy this winter, probiotics can give you right balance of friendly bacteria to keep your immune system firing.
Clinically Trialled Strains for Immune Health
In 2010, prior to Inner Health Immune Booster for Adults being released, the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum (HEAL 9) and Lactobacillus paracasei (8700:2) was tested in a 12 week clinical trial 2 on 272 male and female subjects. Results at the end of the 12 weeks showed that the strains in Inner Health Immune Booster for Adults may be effective at defending against the common cold and reducing the chance of catching another cold during winter. Inner Health Immune Booster for Adults may also help reduce the severity of your symptoms. Taking just 1 capsule a day for 12 weeks will help to boost immune system function, so you can fight off winter colds more easily; this means less days in bed and more time to play!
Immune Boosting Tips
Have a dramatic impact on your immune health by opting for healthier foods and making positive lifestyle changes:
To stay well, eat more:
- Fresh fruits rich in vitamin C such as kiwi fruit and oranges.
- Fresh vegetables, garlic and onions.
- Whole grains including quinoa and brown rice to provide fibre, giving your friendly bacteria something to eat!
Limit foods which can lower the function of your immune system:
- Sugary and refined foods such as cakes, biscuits and heavily processed fast foods.
- Alcohol disrupts the balance of your gut flora, so it is best to avoid if you get sick often.
Stress is your immune system’s worst enemy! If you feel like you’re coming down with a cold, treat yourself to some rest and relaxation time.
- Vighi G, et al. Allergy and the gastrointestinal system, 2008 Clin Exp Immunol. Sep;150 suppl 1:3-6
- Berggren A, Ahre’n IL, Larsson N and Onning G. Randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study using new probiotic lactobacilli for strengthening the body immune defence against viral infections. Eur J Nutr, 2010, Aug.