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"The Connection Between Gut Health and Immunity: Why You Should Pay Attention"

William Shotton. Founder

Today, we are bombarded with every day advertising and food labelling promoting gut health and good for immunity. Most of it is very sceptical.

But how does gut health, support immunity?

Our gut contains about 7 pounds in weight, or 100 trillion bacteria. This is called our MICROBIOME, with an estimated 1,000 -1,500 different types.

We cannot live without our microbiome. They are essential for a myriad of functions from the digestion of fibre, to the management of our wellbeing and hormone balance and the release of vitamins and minerals from our food. In addition, polyphenols from plants induce beneficial bacteria to produce a variety of metabolites, including short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that promote the secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid), which play an important role in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases by affecting the microbiome–gut–brain axis.

But how is our microbiome critical to supporting our immune system and when compromised, it can lead to the invasion of our bodies by pathogens through a leaky or permeable gut lining, the result of a poor microbiome and diet.

EVERYBODY EATS, but not everybody takes exercise, goes to yoga, takes cold baths or takes supplements and drugs. Food is the one essential thing that will drive your health.

We think of bacteria as microscopic cells that cause disease.

We clean and sanitise with obsession and yet the strongest immunity in children are those brought up on farms, have pets and play outside. 

In fact the one hundred trillion bacteria that live both in and on us have evolved over millions of years to become our essential commensal friends.

An immune cell is part of the immune system and helps the body fight infections and other diseases. Immune cells develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and become different types of white blood cells.

The good bacteria in our gut outnumber our immune cells by about 200,000 to one. They are constantly scanning our GI tract (gastro intestinal) for pathogens (viruses, pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, etc.).  Its incredible and impossible that mankind could engineer anything so remarkable.

In a recent discovery, beneficial bacillus spores taken from the gut of a fossilised honey bee, 250 million years old, immediately germinated when plated in a laboratory and knew exactly what to do when introduced to pathogens.

So how do bacteria communicate and help our immune system? 

Bacteria produce bio-films that are a lattice for their communication. Image if we had to communicate over a thousand miles without a communication device. That's about the scale of their complexity.

So here goes..

Image a 200,000 seater stadium. That's the ratio of good bacteria to one immune cell (white cells) in your body.

In that stadium, there is ONE terrorist ( we call the pathogen) with ill intent. Somewhere else in the stadium is ONE security guard (a white immune cell).

The only way, of the security guard finding the terrorist is with help. Image 199,999 people (good bacteria) all on the same mobile communication network. Their aim, to find and tell the security guard where the terrorist is located.

That's the way commensal bacteria communicate through a bio-film in your gut to locate a pathogen, surround it and wait until a white immune  cells arrive to kill off the pathogen.

Without a strong and diverse microbiome your body is at risk of disease and infection every day. This may be the result of antibiotics, a poor diet of ultra processed foods, excess alcohol and in todays population, a poor microbiome passed from a mother to baby. Many babies are already born with poor microbiomes and leaky guts due to the lifestyle of the mother.

 Apart from the need to support your gut health with probiotics, a diet rich in fibre and prebiotics is equally important to feed your microbiome with the correct foods.

Our Tibico products are not a 'silver bullet' but in combination with a high plant based diet our ferments will aid to the restoration and repair of a healthy gut.

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