Did you know the intestinal endocrine system uses more than 20 identified hormones, and the gut immune system contains 70 to 80% of the body’s immune cells.
In recent years the enormous importance of the gastrointestinal tract in modulating the immune system has been increasingly recognized. Not only does more than 70% of the human immune system reside in the gut, but the intestinal immune system produces more antibodies than the rest of the body put together. As a result, gastrointestinal secretions are as rich as breast milk in health-supporting and disease-preventing factors.
A poorly functioning immune system is at the root of many chronic degenerative diseases. Too little response makes us vulnerable to the infections that claim the lives of so many older adults. But inappropriate over-activation can produce chronic inflammation that contributes to the litany of age-related disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and the metabolic syndrome.
Probiotics can restore and rebalance your gut microbiome, strengthening its ability to interact with your immune system in many ways. These friendly bacteria stimulate healthy immune surveillance, boosting populations of cells that seek out and destroy infecting organisms and cancers. They up-regulate inflammatory cytokines during the acute stage of an infection, cancer, or other threat to your body’s integrity, but they also contribute to suppression of the inflammatory response as the threat fades.
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