Immune system health depends on gut microbes. That is why microbiome analysis can help improve immune defenses. Let’s discover the relationship between gut flora and immune system functioning and how to boost immune defenses by optimizing microbiota composition.
The importance of a healthy immune system
Virus, bacteria, fungi, parasites: there are several health threat coming from outside our body. They add to internal dangerous elements, such as cancer precursor cells. Fortunately, human organism posses a powerful weapon against such menaces: the immune system. That is why to protect your health it is mandatory to take care about your immune defenses.
Lifestyle can be a valuable tool to boost them. In fact, both diet and physical activity can improve body’s natural weapons against diseases. Maybe you have already heard about vitamin D or other nutrients effects on immune system, or maybe you already know about anti-inflammatory action of exercise. But what about your microbiome? Do you ever think about taking care of your gut flora to boost your immune defenses?
Gut flora and the immune system
The so-called “gut flora” (or “gut microbiota”) is the community of microbes living in your digestive system. They are particularly concentrated in your colon, where they participate in food digestion, but not only. In fact, gut flora carries out several other function, among which are phenomena influencing your defenses against pathogens and other health threats. First, since breastfeeding gut microbiota is fundamental for immune system development. Second, it acts as a shield against dangerous microbes that could invade your digestive tract. Finally, it participates to the production of molecules that regulate the immune response.
The alteration of gut flora (known as “dysbiosis”) is associated with several pathology characterized by inflammation. For example, an increase in Enterobacteriaceae is associated with intestinal inflammation, the increase in Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio is a feature of obesity, whereas Escherichia coli increase and Clostridia decrease are associated with type 2 diabetes. Microbiota is also associated with both the induction and the maintenance of inflammaging, the inflammation associated with older age. On the contrary, a healthy gut microbiota promotes good immune system function both in the presence of inflammatory diseases (also protecting tissues from inflammation-related damage) and in physiological conditions.
Interestingly, gut microbiota can influence immune responses in organs distant from the intestines too. For example, antibiotic-associated dysbiosis can decrease the response to influenza virus infection in the nose
How to take care about gut microbiota for an optimal immune system functioning
Lifestyle is the key to promote microbiota health. Tailored diet-based approaches allow gut flora changes in just one week, and probiotics, prebiotics, and symbiotics can enrich it with “good” bacteria.
Probiotics are live bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) that can be ingested in the form of fermented foods or dietary supplements to replenish the gut with bacteria associated with favorable properties, whereas prebiotics are substances that increase good bacteria growth or activity. Symbiotics combine probiotics and prebiotics.
You can discover if you need to opportunely change your diet or to assume prebiotics, probiotics, or symbiotics by analyzing the composition of your gut microbiota. MICROBALANCE by Bioscience Institute is your tool to do it. The test is based on the analysis of the genome of gut bacteria (the microbiome) by the most advanced DNA sequencing techniques. All you have to do is collect a sample of your stool with the MICROBALANCE kit that Bioscience will send you home. Your sequencing output will provide you with a gut microbiota profile allowing medical doctors and qualified nutritionists to identify food and lifestyle adjustments aimed at improving microbiota composition to promote the health of your immune system.
For more information please visit MICROBALANCE webpage or call us at +971 (0)4 375 7220.
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