As you read this, approximately 38 trillion microbes are working around the clock within your gut – foraging for food, jostling with each other for survival and reproducing. This is your microbiome, the vibrant ecosystem of bacteria, yeasts and fungi that work synergistically to boost your immune health.
The importance of gut health and its relationship to immune function cannot be overstated. 70% of the immune system is located in the gut. What is more fascinating is the impact of modern life on this abundant ecosystem. Factors like stress, illness, antibiotics and processed foods can reduce the amount of ‘good microbes’, and allow ‘bad’ microbes to prosper. The imbalance that follows can not only interrupt your digestive function, creating uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, constipation or abdominal pain, but also reduce your capacity to fight pathogens. This in turn can lead to recurring colds, flus and infections. However, help is at hand…
Call in the probiotics!
If you are struggling with immune issues, probiotics can help restore immune balance. Specific strains enhance the immune system during times of recurrent infection by stimulating the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) i.e. the immune system in your gut.
Read on to find out how you can choose the best probiotic for boosting immune function.
The right dog for the job
Expecting just any probiotic formulation to address a specific health concern is like expecting a stray dog to herd sheep. Although the stray is a dog, not knowing its breed or skills makes putting it in charge a risky move.
Probiotics are the same. When you’ve got a specific health outcome in mind, using any general probiotic is less likely to lead to the results you’re looking for. This is because different probiotic strains have specific strengths or actions in the body.
Therefore, it’s important to choose strains that can produce the effect you want, just as you’d specifically choose a Border Collie, and not a random stray, to herd your sheep. This way you can ensure you are getting the best immune boosting outcomes.
Arm yourself against infections
Catching every infection going around? Sick of having to take sick leave? Evidence-based probiotic strains can help to pump up the immune system and reduce work/school absence.
Specifically, Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL9, Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) are three unique probiotic strains with immune stimulating properties.
These three probiotic strains are indicated for:
- Immune insufficiency;
- Chronic recurrent infections;
- Post viral immune depletion;
- Those that work in ‘high risk’ settings such as childcare, hospitals and aged care;
- Or just people who can’t afford to let infections slow them down!
Making the right choice to boost immunity
Arming the immune system to ward off infections is on everyone’s mind, particularly as we are in the midst of winter. For best results, talk to me about the right strain at the right dose for your needs to boost immunity this cold and flu season.