Anyone who is health-conscious knows that consuming probiotics is great for digestive and intestinal (gut) health. But do you know that probiotics are good for your immunity too? Do you know that your intestine and immunity are interlinked, and better gut health can mean better immunity too?
You already know that probiotics i.e. friendly bacteria are linked to your gut health. Well, gut health is linked directly to how well your body is able to fight invading infectious microbes. Consuming probiotics – as foods or supplements – can help improve both, your gut health and your immunity. Let’s know more about it.
What are Probiotics
Simply speaking, probiotics are live bacteria that are good for health. Our bodies have loads of bacteria in it, known collectively as the microbiota, some of these are bad, and some are good for the body’s functioning. The ‘good’ bacteria are called probiotics. The gut or the intestine is a major place of existence for this microbiota, where these good bacteria remain alive and active despite the presence of digestive enzymes. There are multiple probiotic bacterial strains that serve as probiotics. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two key bacteria groups highly beneficial to the body.
What are Immunity and Immune System
Immunity is the body’s ability to identify, isolate, and neutralize harmful microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Immunity is also simultaneously body’s ability to identify its own cells and not attack them. Thus, immunity can also be termed as a state of balanced and healthy defense in the body.
The immune system is a widespread network inside the body that works to keep your body safe from infectious, disease-causing microbes. This system is made up of organs, cells, and processes responsible for the body’s immune function. The thymus gland, lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen are four key organs under it. The thymus gland produces T cells, lymph nodes produce lymphocytes, and bone marrow produces leukocytes or white blood cells; all vital for fighting pathogens that can cause diseases. The spleen helps immunity by filtering blood for eliminating pathogenic microbes and dead cells.
Probiotics’ Connection with Immunity
As we have already discussed, our bodies get the power to fight infections due to the immune function. Probiotics help boost the immune function involved in this fight. This is so because the intestine or the gut plays a key role in an immune response. The intestinal walls have lymph nodes in them. Remember, lymph nodes play a key role in immune function by secreting lymphocytes, a key immune cell type. So, healthy intestines mean healthier immune response too.
“70-80% of your immune cells live in the gut.”
Since probiotics play a key role in gut health maintenance; they become a key factor in healthy immune function as well.
On one hand, probiotics help check harmful gut bacteria by outnumbering the bad ones. On the other, probiotics also regulate the functions of systemic and mucosal immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells in the intestine. These ‘good’ bacteria secrete protective substances that help promote the production of antibodies (proteins made by the body to counter infectious microorganisms) in the body. In addition, probiotic bacteria can influence the activity of our own immune cells, regulating inflammation, barrier function, and cell-to-cell signaling. Regular probiotic consumption can help reduce the risks of diarrhoea and other infections. It can also help reduce and limit respiratory ailments among smokers and the elderly.
An adequate amount of probiotic bacteria in the gut is also linked to lower cancer risk as the immune system is able to detect cancerous cells early and stop them from multiplying.
How to Get Adequate Probiotics for Your Wellness
While our intestine naturally has probiotics or ‘good’ bacteria in its natural state, these immunity friendly microbes can get depleted due to poor diet and pollution. This can then lead to weaker immunity and higher infection risks.
Goes without saying, you need an adequate amount of probiotics in your gut.
One way to ensure this is to consume foods rich in probiotic bacteria. The other is to consume a probiotic supplement. You can also do both simultaneously (after consulting your healthcare provider, of course).
Probiotics from Daily Diet
Most fermented foods have probiotics in them. Add varied foods like curd, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, cheeses with an active culture, idli, dosa, uttapam, homemade pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kombucha, kanji, natto, miso, and tempeh, etc. into your diet to get probiotic benefits.
The second thing to remember here is to give the probiotics in your gut a good amount of dietary fiber to help them thrive. We recommend eating a diet rich in natural plant fibers including vegetables, salads, whole grains, flour with bran, nuts, and seeds, etc to help the probiotics in your gut thrive and flourish.
If your diet is inadequate in probiotics, or if despite taking a healthy diet, your healthcare provider recommends a probiotic supplement, choose one with multiple ‘good’ bacteria strains. Buy only from a reputed company with a verifiable track record and good customer reviews.
We recommend WOW Life Science Probiotic Capsules.
WOW Life Science Probiotics Capsules
WOW Probiotic Capsules contain an optimized blend of 14 ‘good bacteria’ strains with 20 billion CFUs – including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains – to help improve digestion, immunity, and overall wellness. These 20 billion CFUs of 14 health-friendly probiotics provide health benefits that your regular day-to-day food may lack. With WOW Probiotic Capsules, you get the healing goodness of probiotics morning and evening.
Each bottle of WOW Life Science Probiotic Capsules has 60 capsules and at a dosage of 2 capsules a day, it is sufficient for one month’s consumption.
Bottomline on Probiotics and Immunity
Probiotics are ‘friendly’ bacteria that your gut needs for healthy functioning. As the immune response and gut health are intimately connected, probiotics have a positive effect on one’s immunity. Ensuring adequate probiotics through diet or supplements may help give a boost to your immune system.