Are Probiotics Safe for Your Immune System?

In certain cases good bacteria (either from supplements or the food we consume) can pose a threat to the host.

I received an email from Noreen asking me whether I can do a podcast on probiotic foods that further act as a threat to an immune system that is already compromised. Is pasteurized yogurt favorable for immunity? How about Kombucha? Homemade sauces, pickles, hot sauces etc.

Before I respond to the questions of Noreen, let’s talk about how the immune system is affected by probiotic bacteria. Amongst one of the most important jobs of the immune system is to protect us from detrimental bacteria. The probiotics contribute to this function of strengthening immunity in a number of ways by putting to use their beneficial microorganisms.

How probiotics help immune system
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Image: health-zone.org

The gut is populated by healthy and useful microorganisms that can help eliminate destructive bacteria, making it harder for them to flourish. Additionally, probiotic microorganisms can impact the activity of our own immune cells, regulating infection, cell-to-cell signaling and barrier function.

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY BUILD A HEALTHY MICROBIOME?

One approach to encourage healthy intestinal microscopic organisms is to eat a greater amount of the foods these bugs like to eat—in particular, fiber. Plant fibers must be increased in the diet by consumption of legumes, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains. It’s the same as filling a bird feeder with the kind of nourishment that will captivate the attention of the songbird you want to attract. If you wish for them to come, you must feed them.

If you wish to captivate a lot of songbirds, bacteria then you must feed them with variety of nourishments. The source of fiber must not be the same such as a supplement of fiber. Variegated kind of foods must be consumed to fill the fiber intake by taking in lots of legumes, grains, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

If you wish to nurture a healthy gut then substitute means such as consuming foods which have beneficial bacteria must be taken. These include diets such as kefir, kim-chi, cultured dairy products, yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables; tempeh, miso, fermented soy products, natto and kombucha, which is a kind of fermented tea.

Frankly so far there is no objective way to determine how many of these healthy bacteria actually survive their trip in the tract of the digestive system and set up a permanent place in the gut. Even if they are just passing by they appear to be the best guests to host as they leave the place better than what they found it to be like.

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