You do a lot of great things to support your immune health, from eating a balanced diet to getting enough sleep to making your home a happy, healthy environment. However, did you know that taking a daily probiotic is another super-simple way to help your immune system function at its best?*
The immune system is incredibly complex and relies on many different areas of the body for balance, including your digestive system. Surprising, right? However, the two share an important connection; studies have shown that 70% of the immune system lies in relation to the digestive tract.1 This means that probiotics can do more than support digestive health, and the science behind your digestive and immune systems helps show the linkage between probiotics and immune health.
A different perspective on your digestive system
For starters, let's talk a bit about how your digestive system is set up within your body and how it works. The lumen, or inside of the digestive tract, is technically outside of the body. The digestive tract starts with an entrance on one end of the body from which a tube extends to an eventual exit from the body. The nutrients from the food you put into your digestive tract are absorbed or transported across the wall of the digestive tract at various locations between the entrance and exit.
Chances are you’ve never thought about your digestive system quite like that before. However, when you think about the digestive system in that context, it becomes easier to understand the need for the immune system to closely monitor the digestive tract.
The GALT in your gut
The immune tissue that is incorporated into your digestive tract is called the Gastric Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). GALT contains a variety of immune cells, one of the most important being a Peyer's Patch.
The best way to describe a Peyer's Patch is through its similarity to a lymph node. B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell critical to immune response, are the primary cell types contained in Peyer's Patches. That makes these Peyer's Patches very important when it comes to immune response. These immune responses are initiated in the digestive tract and circulated throughout the body.2
The fact that the GALT exists makes supporting the health of the digestive tract critical. The health of your GALT is inextricably linked to the overall health of the digestive tract. This close contact is the precise reason that certain probiotic strains can exert positive influence over immune function throughout the body.3
This important link between the two systems is a great example of why taking a daily probiotic is a simple, proactive way to support your digestive and immune health every day.* Ready to start your routine? Learn more about probiotics and how they work in your body or find a FortifyTM probiotic that's right for you!
- Vighi G Et al. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. 2008;153(Suppl 1):3-6. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.
- Nagler-Anderson C. Nat Rev Immunol 1:59-67, 2001.
- Cross, ML. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 34 (2002) 245-253.