The autumn-winter season is a time of weakening immunity and recurrent infections. What do probiotics have to do with runny nose? It turns out that a lot … Probiotics are often associated with antibiotic therapy. They help maintain intestinal microbial balance. However, probiotic microorganisms have a much broader spectrum of activity. By colonization in the gut, they adjust all digestive tract and reduce the risk of colonization and growth of pathogenic bacteria. Probiotic bacteria also affect the anatomical and physical barriers of the digestive tract, have a stimulating effect on the immune system and allow the body to maintain psychophysical balance.
How to strengthen the body’s immunity?
The body’s immunity is the insusceptibility to external adverse factors by defense reactions to eliminate the potential threat. Immunity is an individual and diverse feature of each organism. Keeping a hygienic lifestyle determines greater immunity. A balanced diet, regular physical activity, adequate length and quality of sleep, coping with stress, as well as rest are very important in maintaining proper functions. Proper immunity can be obtained by:
Physical activity. Physical activity is useful not only for maintaining right body weight, physical condition and well-being, but also allows you to act on increasing immunity. Regular physical activity is very important, however, effort should be moderate. Prolonged, excessive physical effort is conducive to the production of cortisol (stress hormone), which interferes with the functioning of the immune system, so it is very important to plan activity wisely.
Diet. A properly balanced diet (number and quality of meals, hours of eating meals) is a base factor of good physical condition. Consuming proper proportions of all nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals) is very important for the body. Nutrient proportions are different depending on sex, age, weight, lifestyle, health, but it’s important to keep that proper proportions.
Probiotics. Supplementation of balanced diets with probiotics is a very important factor in maintaining the proper body functions. Probiotics products support the work of gut microflora affecting immediately the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system through regular consumption of probiotics is one of elements of the health prevention.
Sleeping. The length and quality of sleep (silence, darkness and room temperature) is very important for the regeneration function not only of the muscular, nervous or skeletal systems, but above all for supporting the work of the immune system. During sleep the number of lymphocytes increases, that determine the proper functioning of the immune system. An overtired / sleepy body is more susceptible to infection.
Stress. The immune system is associated with the nervous system. Frequent exposure to stressful situations and life under constant stress are factors that weaken the body’s immune system. Living in constant tension promotes recurrent infections and body disorders. It is very important to maintain a balance between stressful situations and the time spent relaxing and resting.
Water. Water as a carrier of nutrients contains many important functions for the human body, among others allows metabolism, regulate blood pressure and body temperature, and also provides adequate hydration of the human body. Regular and frequent drinking of water is very important not only in summer, but also in winter. Dry air in the room and poorly hydrated organism promote drying of mucous membranes and skin. The mucosa, which is the basic protective barrier of the body when dried, promotes emerging infections.
The digestive system and the body’s immunity
The main function of the digestive system is digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as providing protection to the body. The digestive system impacts on immune and nervous systems. The microflora of the human digestive system is commensal microbes inhabiting the digestive tract. These microorganisms interact with the mucous membranes lining the gastrointestinal tract and actively defend the body against pathogens from outside (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites).
The body of a healthy person has a complex protective system (innate immunity) that fights potentially harmful / infectious substances that enter the food system. Lymphatic tissue associated with meal mucosa (GALT system) is an integral element of the immune system. The GALT system accounts for more than 75% of the lymph cells of the entire immune system, which are responsible for capturing antigens and preventing them from passing through the mucous membranes into the body.
The microflora of the human digestive system is involved in maintaining the body’s protection against antigens and pathogens. In order for this protection to be ensured, an adequate level of microorganisms in the digestive tract must be maintained. Gastrointestinal tract colonization by appropriate species of microbes is possible due to supplementing the daily diet with probiotics. Probiotic microorganisms affect antigen presenting cells. The immunomodulatory effect of probiotics is specific depending on the strain used. Individual strains of probiotic microorganisms have different immunomodulatory properties and can strongly stimulate the immune response. Properties that stimulate innate immunity depend on the biological conditions of specific probiotic strains, that’s why it is very important to choose the right probiotic product.
Probiotics significantly stimulate and support the proper functioning of the GALT system by affecting the cellular and humoral immune response of the gastrointestinal mucosa. Modulation of the immune response in the digestive system and the associated GALT system plays a very important role in the body’s protective process. The proper functioning of the immune system makes impossible to overcome by pathogens the intestinal barrier and the penetration. Whole living cells of probiotic microorganisms or components that make up their cell wall, as well as some metabolites secreted during the metabolism of probiotics can be factors stimulating the human immune system.
Summarizing, there are many important factors determining strong immune system: a hygienic lifestyle based on a balanced diet supported by effective probiotic therapy, regular but moderate physical effort, proper quality and length of sleep, maintaining a balance between stressful situations and time designated for relaxation and rest. Comprehensive care for immunity throughout the year can minimize the risk of recurrent infections in the autumn and winter.
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