milk products and blueberrys on the table, gray background

Do Probiotics Boost Your Immune System?

Fixing a health issue, or simply trying to feel better, almost always has the exact same solution: eating better. Yes, getting more sleep and eliminating stress will also help, but nothing can make as large of an effect to your health as making improvements in what goes in your mouth. What makes your daily diet so important is your health has everything to do with what is happening in your digestive tract.

Gut Health

If you would like to repair your health, you must repair your gut. In this post I wish to spend some time on a few aspects of what your gut does with that bite of food. It largely depends upon the gut”flora,” the balance between the good bacteria that you need and the bad bacteria that can reek havoc on your body if it becomes outstanding. In my next post I’ll discuss ways to control what’s happening inside you and ensure you have enough of the good men and as little of the poor as you can.

Typically we do not give our digestive systems much attention unless something is going wrong, such as that hot Indian food from last night not sitting quite perfect. But stop for a minute to consider what our courage do for us. It takes anything we put in our mouths and pulls nutrients from it and turns them into the fuel to run the most complex assortment of thing ever found on Earth. It may even use that food to produce vitamins which weren’t there to start with. It’s crazy once you realize what it is up to all day.

It gets crazier

Your gut is home to over 80% of your immune system. Consider It. Foreign invaders have no easier access to get inside you than through your pie hole. The immune system needs to be sensible and perceptive enough to allow the great things go by and know when to go on strike. It primarily gets its traces from the information which you tell it through the food you consume. Send your body the incorrect information (poor diet) often and long enough and you just confuse the poor thing.

A confused immune system will go on the attack too frequently. Tissues like your intestinal lining get irritated and inflamed (the body’s strategy in fighting disease ). With an improper flora balance, food flows through the lining without becoming fully digested (a condition called’leaky gut’), things which shouldn’t enter your blood flow do, and you have the entire body’s immune system fired up.

An irritated immune system and the way your gut is managing your meals may manifest in headaches, allergies, eczema, or other less severe problems which are just annoying. If you are one of those unlucky ones, it may turn against you and destroy things it should not (joints, nerves, skin, etc., etc.), and you can now officially be diagnosed having an autoimmune disease. But in just about all cases the root cause is seen in issues within the gut – inflammation brought on by an unhealthy gut flora balance. In addition to the food we eat, our gut also needs to deal the rest of our living.

¿Lo sabías?

Stress, environmental chemicals, and drugs all have the capacity to throw off our digestive tract. All these variables can kill off the good bacteria in our gut and create an environment in which the unfriendly bacteria and yeast can thrive. With that kind of workload, our intestines can only take so much abuse. Try it on your vehicle. It can handle bad oil and gas for a moment, but after some time there will be some buildups and breakdowns that require repair.

Same thing with your digestion. It’s an unbelievable system that could do wonders dealing with what we consume. But for many people, if it is on nonstop active duty, eventually issues come up that force us to the physician. Often we can not figure out why things are going wrong because there’s no obvious cause and effect, a day on the calendar which you could point to and say, “Ah, I broke my own body right there.” It’s a matter of your own body just doing the best it could for as long as it might, but the years of overwork eventually made it shout and beg for mercy.

Es bueno saberlo

Typically we tackle it by taking a pill for those symptoms which have shown up, we irritate the machine much more, more symptoms come, more pills prescribed, and from this stage we have got the body so confused that it does not know what to do. It requires a timeout and a reset. The frustrating part for me is I don’t have any idea if my body could ever break like that. I could be one of these lucky individuals who get to eat anything they want for 90 decades, still jump out of planes at their 85th birthday, have a mind that is sharper than ever, than die peacefully in their sleep with a grin on their face.

Considering that the other more likely scenarios which have a life of doctor’s visits, drugs, dementia, erectile dysfunction and so forth, and with no means of knowing how my body will react in the future, I’m prepared to make a few alterations now. By that I mean eating well as the standard, exercising, letting treats every now and again (life has gotta be fun, right?) , hoping to live well until I die at 90, or get hit by a bus somewhere in between. I’ll be ticked if I go early like this – until my body had an opportunity to break – and I might have been eating any crap I needed to the entire time! Here comes the amazing news: because we have the capability to break it, we’ve got the capacity to put it back together.

¿Qué hacer?

Give your body the fuel it needs, eliminate the toxins already in there, and you can literally push the reset button on your health and take control of how you are feeling. This should make you feel quite good. It’s empowering to know you could take charge of your health to a huge degree simply by the choices you make. And this applies to both preventing breakdowns, which is exactly what I’m attempting to do, and repairing damage already done, such as Kelli’s doing with her rheumatoid arthritis.

In her case of having RA appear at 6 years old, we could look at early years of nonstop antibiotics, a genetic predisposition (her mother and several aunts and uncles have RA), acute personal injury within the family (stress) at the age, then snap, the immune system went haywire. She did not have much of a chance in that situation, but it has been thrilling for her to understand that she can keep it in check by simply making the choice to change how she eats. However, since Kelli’s immune system “armor” now has this chink in it, even though it can be patched, it is unlikely it’ll ever be as good as new. She’ll always need to be careful to maintain the arthritis in check, where I can enjoy a few more liberties (is there anything better than a natural, grass-fed hamburger?) .


And the reason is because I drew the lucky genetic straw that said my immune system was strong enough to cope with the Mountain Dew, Red Vines, and Hamburger Helper I threw at it. If you find a specific pattern of disease in your family, that is a clue you might be less lucky. It does not mean you must develop the exact problems by any means, but it does mean you might want to be a bit more vigilant. You have an important ability to ascertain how you are going to feel and how completely you are going to live out your days. Your gut is the basis of a healthy body and it surely warrants giving it some love. We always begin with diet for a reason. No amount of supplements or drugs will have lasting effects if things aren’t right from the gut/immune system connection. You must repair your gut to repair your health.