The Gut Microbiome Series: The Immune System

Our Immune System

 Our immune system and microbiome are interconnected, this is mostly because 70-80% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract. They work together by creating defense against infections or pathogens outside of the body as well as cultivating new healthy bacteria to remain strong. An unhealthy gut microbiome can lead to an unhealthy and weak immune system and increase the development of autoimmunity.


The 411 on your immune system

Your immune cells protect the body through fighting bacteria and work to destroy any intruders. If “visitors” try to infiltrate your body, the immune system works together to fight off and defeat them. Our body works hard to protect itself against injury, disease, viruses and infection through different levels of defense. Skin and mucous membranes act as the first line of defense, as they are barriers which prevent entry of potential pathogenic bacteria, viruses and infections.


We can support both our immune system and microbiome by making small changes in our lifestyle and diet.

Food allergies

Identify if there are any hidden food allergies that are causing inflammation and your immune system to be on the attack. Common allergens include: eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, soy, and wheat. Work with your medical team to determine if food allergies are present.

Vitamins

While we aim to get all of our vitamins and minerals from our food, sometimes we need an extra boost through supplementation. Vitamin D and vitamin C are two vitamins which have been shown to boost the immune system and help fight off any infection or viruses.

Probiotics

The use of probiotics goes beyond supporting our gut; in fact studies show probiotics maintain a healthy homeostasis within the immune system. Probiotics can include oral supplementation, dairy products such as yogurt and milk or fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut mixed in recipes,  if tolerated.

Sleep

Getting a good night's rest is vital to a healthy immune system and microbiome. Sleep is the body's time to recover and repair, aim for eight hours of sleep every night.

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