My Immune System “Lives” In My Digestive System?
Would you believe that approximately 80% of diseases originate in the digestive system? Research indicates digestive health as one of the top ways to prevent disease and live well. Not only is the GI tract responsible for nutrient absorption and waste elimination, but it is also our first line of immune defense! Today we’re going to discuss the GOOD bacteria that protect us from disease and keep us healthy everyday.
Probiotics, the Army in the Digestive System
You’ve all heard of beneficial bacteria, sometimes referred to as healthy intestinal flora. These healthy bacteria, probiotics, are the infantry soldiers of your digestive army. Their job is to maintain order and keep harmful bacteria and other invaders from permeating the digestive lining. Without them, invaders can easily take over and wreak intestinal havoc.
If our healthy levels of bacteria have been diminished, invaders are now allowed to freely pass through the digestive walls and reduce our protective mucosal lining. This often creates GI disturbance, weakened immunity and a pre-disposition to other diseases. If beneficial bacteria are allowed to thrive, the digestive lining will remain protected from invaders and prevent unwanted illness.
How Important Is This Really?
In one word, essential. Without healthy, good bacteria thriving throughout the digestive system, our body loses the ability to develop the specialized immune cells that help us ward off both acute and chronic pathogenic influences.
Probiotics are safe and essential for both children and adults; especially those who could use a little dietary clean-up. If you ask me what aspects of health probiotics help maintain, my answer is everything! Here’s a list of benefits you’ll be happy to read.
- reduce the harmful affects of food allergies such as gluten and dairy.
- improve infant and childhood immunity helping to prevent earaches, intestinal flu, seasonal flu, GERD and overall digestive issues.
- reduce the length of the common cold.
- help to prevent other auto-immune disease progression.
- prevent GERD, stomach upset, assist with Chron’s, colitis, diverticulitis, ph imbalance, intestinal herniation, gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- improve bad breath!
- regulate bowel patterns.
… and the list goes on. You can ask me about more here.
What Should I Do?
A multi-strain probiotic supplement of pharmaceutical grade is generally the best option. Beneficial microbiology lives in each section of our intestines, protecting and enhancing the differing target tissues all along the route. Most people are familiar with acidophilus. Acidophilous is only one of the many strains necessary to maintain this delicate and necessary balance. Over the counter brands from reputable re-sellers can be good, but they often only contain probiotics that will populate the lower regions of the large intestine. At your next visit, ask us about which one is right for you and your children.
Two of my favorite over the counter, bio-available (highest absorption), multi-strain choices are:
- Natural Factors: Dr. Michael Murray’s Ultimate Probiotic 12/12 Formula.
- Udo’s: Adult Multi-Strain Blend.
Headlining photo courtesy of Puuikibeach.