Did you know that you’re the host to tens of trillions of microorganisms living in your gut, including at least 1,000 different species. That’s a total of 4.5 pounds of pure microbiota (formerly known as gut flora)! In fact, we are more microorganism than we are human, because our gut flora outnumbers our human cells 10:1, and their genes number 150 fold greater than our human genes. These semi-discrete communities of microbes populate the GI tract (intestines), with the largest population residing in the large intestine.
The importance of the microbiome in the gut is paramount to a person’s health and staving off disease through its far-reaching effects via systemic crosstalk and regulatory actions on the immune system. Some of the important functional roles it plays in our body include:
Did you know that a significant part of your immune system lies in your gut?
Amazingly true, some researchers have placed it at somewhere between 60 – 80%. These high concentrations of immune cells are located along the intestinal tract (mainly the colon), in fact, you could consider this as one of the major battle fronts where the immune system is constantly trying to keep your body healthy.
The intestinal immune system encounters the greatest number of antigens (any substance that can evoke an immune response) compared to any other part of the body. These antigens come in the form of resident and non-resident bacteria, bacteria from diet and pathogens that find their way into the body.
In order for the immune system to work properly, it’s crucial to keep the gut healthy, which means having a healthy diet and a balanced microbiome. As mentioned above, one of the functions of the microbiome is to regulate the immune system. It does this by:
What can you do to restore the balance?
Most Westerners have poor gut health and compromised immune systems due to their diet and lifestyle. If there isn’t enough beneficial bacteria in the gut to perform the necessary functions to maintain the immune system, disease can take hold. This is why, in addition to changing one's diet and lifestyle, it’s important to take a high quality probiotic .
"I have always been a huge proponent of probiotic use for my patients, not only for their therapeutic use to restore balance in various diseased states, including autoimmune disease, but also as a maintenance regime after a patient’s health has been restored to a balanced state."
Below are a couple of well researched and reputable probiotic formulas from
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Thanks in advance and stay healthy!