Prebiotics for Immune Health
Today we wanted to share with you an important piece of information regarding your immune health, and just how important prebiotics and good gut health are to supporting your immune health.
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is actually found within your gut? That's right, 70%!
Now we know that having a strong immune system is a pivotal piece in fighting off disease, and we know that much of our immune system is housed within our gut, it makes sense that we must focus on nourishing our gut and supporting our gut health in order to support our immune health (as we have been told many times before - "all diseases begin in the gut")!
Prebiotics and probiotics play an important part in this gut:immune health equation, and we know that when you nourish your gut with prebiotics that are proven to be beneficial and lead to the growth of the good gut bacteria, we ultimately set of a series of positive health pathways within the body.
This exert from a related article by Jennifer Gu, Ph.D. clearly outlines the connection:
“It is important for consumers to understand that having good gut flora is an important part of a healthy digestive ecosystem, but one must feed the good gut microbes with prebiotics such as PreticX® in order to receive the maximum health benefit,” Gu adds. “Advancing scientific research continues to demonstrate that balanced gut microbiota is essential for digestive function, and that an unhealthy balance in the gut is a precursor to digestive issues and immune dysfunction.”
Prebiotics such as PreticX (a specific type of XOS - xylo-ogosaccharide- that has many studies to support its benefits) have been shown to bring about these kinds of benefits and can be found inside the Daily Uplifter;
In addition, nourishing the gut with prebiotics, that are fermented and lead to the production of short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, have been shown to support immune health via a number of pathways, most notably, in that short chain fatty acids act as signalling vehicles between the gut and the immune system - how cool!
Below is a visual to try and explain how the consumption of prebiotics (shown here as fiber, but as we know, prebiotics can come in more forms than just fiber), together with the microbiota produce SCFA's that then play a pivotal role in signalling many different pathways responsible for protecting us from pathogens, and the resulting illnesses they may lead to.
For those of you really into science, here's a deep dive from the journal article to explain the above diagram (for everyone else, jump down to continue this post!)
"The SCFAs are bacterial fermentation products found in high concentrations in the intestine. These metabolites act as a link between the microbiota and the immune system. IECs uptake SCFAs through passive (mainly, the non-ionized form) and active mechanisms. Once inside the cells, they are partially used as a source of energy (1). In addition, these SCFAs increase the expression of antimicrobial peptides secreted to the external surface by epithelial cells (2) and modulate their production of immune mediators including IL-18, a key cytokine for the repair and maintenance of epithelial integrity, and others cytokines and chemokines (3). SCFAs can also regulate the differentiation, recruitment and activation of immune cells: including neutrophil (4), DCs (5), macrophages (6) and T lymphocytes (7). In this context, SCFAs interact with neutrophils and modulate their recruitment, effector function and survival at the tissues (4). In general, these bacterial metabolites present anti-inflammatory effects including reduction of some pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-12 production by macrophages and DCs, and change their capacity to capture antigens and stimulate T cells. In addition, the SCFAs also modulate the proliferation and differentiation of T lymphocytes through direct effects on these cells (for example, inducing the generation of Tregs) (7)."
When it comes to producing butyrate and short chain fatty acids, not all fibers, and not even all prebiotics, are created equally. As an example, resistant starch prebiotics, which you know we here at Uplift Food love, are known to be particularly effective at leading to the production of beneficial butyrate!
These cookies also contain a probiotic strain that in the levels incorporated into the serve of cookies has also been shown to have immune health benefits - double win!
As you can see, there is no better time than now to be focusing on what you can be doing to support your gut health, and ultimately reap the benefits for your immune health too!
To check out the Daily Uplifter that incorporates XOS prebiotics, amongst others such as Jerusalem artichoke soluble fiber and green banana resistant starch, head over here now.
Or if you are not a powder person, and would prefer a ready to go cookie that has shown to have immune health benefits, head over here now.
As you can see, there is a clear link between your gut health and your immune health, and nourishing yourself with gut healthy prebiotics and probiotics is one step in the equation to putting your best foot forward and looking after yourself!
What are you waiting for - your next delicious prebiotic packed snack or breakfast can be just around the corner!
In good gut health,