Importance of Gut Health to Immunity

Importance of Gut Health to Immunity

Gut-health is absolutely crucial for an individual’s health and well-being. In fact, nothing distraughts our experiences, daily routines as much as a malfunctioning digestive system. There is even a popular saying that goes as follows- I have a “Gut feeling” this is going to happen, before any important event like a job interview or while taking difficult decisions, this results in getting butterflies in our stomach and we may have to take a sudden trip to the washroom. 

Many researches have found a strong link between other organ systems and gut health, and this relation is bringing forth huge possible factors in a wide variety of diseases. We are just starting to discover this relation, but it has already been proven how gut health impacts the immune system and we are going to mention exactly how in this blog. 

1. Gut Bacteria plays a crucial role in educating our immune system

 

In earlier times, it was presumed that the gestational (prenatal) environment is free from bacteria, but over the years it has been found that bacteria is already present in the placenta. 

Did you know- We are born with an immune system that does not perform at its best and are protected from the antibodies from our mother?

Which is why it is absolutely necessary that the immune system learns how to protect the body from harmful outside invaders once the mother’s antibodies are no longer available (which is when a baby comes into the world). Gut health protects the baby’s immune system. 

 

2. Balanced Gut health = Balanced Immune System 

 

Gut bacteria influences the balance of our immune system in a big way. This is because with unbalanced bacterial flora residing in the gut, pathogens easily take the opportunity to turn the immune system into an inflammatory state. This inflammation can then affect other parts of the body leading to health issues like obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

3. Bad gut bacteria affects organs:

  • Brain: Many researches have shown that individuals that suffer from inflammatory digestive issues are ones that also suffer from depression. This is because a bad gut can alter the chemistry of the brain and sends signals to it, known as cytokines. A good example of this is stress. Stress changes the way gut microbes carry themselves and send these signals to the brain, which is how one behaves can be affected leading to depression. 
  • Liver: Did you know that 70% of the blood that flows to the liver is from the gut?  Gut bacteria is a huge source of fat components and of antigen circulation. The dysfunctioning of this can lead to fatty liver disease. 
  • Lungs: Good gut bacteria can keep inflammation at bay. Without it, one has a higher chance of developing lung problems like asthma, COPD, pneumonia and more aggressive disease such as cancer. 
  • Kidneys: Toxic elements in the kidney can give rise to bad gut bacteria and increase the amount of toxins released. Leading to chronic forms of kidney diseases.

Conclusion:

Therefore, the importance of gut health cannot be underestimated when it comes to maintaining a healthy immunity. The most  essential task of the immune system is to maintain a balance between tolerance and reaction. With the existence of so many bacteria, fungi and microorganisms , a healthy gut flora teaches the immune system that not everything an individual does is bad such as consuming (eating) certain things, travelling new places with changed climates and helps the body build up immunity against infections, assisting it in differentiating between when to react and when to protect.