Do Probiotics Support Your Immunity?<p>You Bet!

Do Probiotics Support Your Immunity?

You Bet!

Do mosquitoes love you?  If they do, you can blame the millions of microbial cells living on your skin.  As much as we would like to say it’s just because you’re sweet, science is learning that it has more to do with the bacteria living on your skin than with what you taste like or your charming disposition. 

How, may you ask? 

Well, the skin, just like the rest of your body, has millions of microbial cells living on it…EEEEWWWW. But wait, before you get grossed out, you want them, trust us.  We are going to get a little “sci-fi” on you but…

Did you know that you are more microbial cells than actual cells?

In fact, you have around 30 trillion cells in your body,
but you are host to more than 38 trillion microbial cells.

And when it comes to attracting mosquitos, what science has found is that everyone has a different combination of microbial cells that live on our skin.  They break down carbohydrates, fatty acids, and peptides on the skin into volatiles (smells) that mosquitoes can differentiate. And some volatiles are more attractive to them than others!

Far from being something we should eradicate from our bodies, this cohabitating microbiome allow us to digest food, breathe air, and fight off infection and disease. They were here long before us and will undoubtedly remain long after we’re gone. And after living together for eons, we are finally getting to know one another better. 

So, What This has to do with Probiotics and Immunity?

Just like your skin, your entire body plays host to millions of microbial cells. And just like what happens ON your skin, it happens IN your body.  What and how many "good" and "bad" microbes you have living in your body can absolutely impact your ability to fight off illness.

Let’s go a little deeper with this and look at what happens when we get sick. 

A very simple explanation is that getting sick is the result of what is called a cytokine storm. This is a severe immune reaction in which the body releases too many cytokines into the blood too quickly. This can occur when our bodies get out of balance, the good bacteria lose ground, and the pathogens take over. This creates an imbalance of more “bad” bacteria than good.  It is only when our “good” bacteria are back on top, that the pathogens go away or are kept under control. 

An easy analogy is when a hurricane hits. Before the hurricane, things were going well, crime was managed, and everyone was going about their lives. 

However, as the alarms sound and people are evacuated, the normal begins to shift. Most people leave for higher ground, opening the door for things to go crazy. Looters and their friends show up and take over, creating havoc and even more destruction.  It’s not until civilization comes back (the good bacteria) that the destruction is stopped or is at least controlled. Then the rebuilding can begin, and life can start returning to a healthy balance.

ROLE OF MICROBIOME AND IMMUNITY  A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP

When we are healthy, we have an incredibly diverse microbiome in our bodies. Things are in balance, and no “bad” bacteria are taking over. 

However, the diversity in our microbiome decreases when we become sick, critically ill, or after a round of antibiotics.  When this happens, the microbes on the skin, mouth, gut, and basically all of our body's microbiome, become very similar.  This opens up opportunities for the “bad” bacteria to take over.  When we are out of balance, this can lead to a...

“Crash” syndromewhere one main dominant microbe takes over,
and it is most often a pathogen.

The good news is that science has found that those with a more diverse microbiome have an increased ability to come back from illness and fend off the pathogens that are taking over. 

  • A study published in Nature—an international journal of science—showed that when prebiotics and probiotics were given to infants in rural India, the results showed a decreased death rate and increased brain function. Basically, probiotics reduce the opportunity for respiratory infections and reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia by 50% with Lactobacillus! (NIH study)

  • Over 80 clinical studies have been shown to show positive effects with Lactobacillus...basically, showing that probiotics can help with lung and cardiovascular disease (pneumonia).

  • Strong “Treg cells” or (t-cells) help boost the immune system, and clinical studies have shown that Lactobacillus increases the strength of these “Treg” cells.

How Do I Support My 38 Trillion Microbial Cells?

Now that you understand how the 38 trillion microbial cells impact your health and immunity, let’s look at what you can do to support the “good” bacteria and ultimately support your immunity and overall health.

The first question you want to ask is: Is there anything I can do to improve the things that may be impacting the balance in my microbiome, such as reducing sugar consumption or increasing the fiber I consume?  This is a great place to start.

The second thing to work on is how you can “Resod the Lawn” when it is depleted.

For things such as age, antibiotics, or illness, there is not too much you can do except work to feed the “good” bacteria. Take a look at the food options in the section below. Try to include or increase consumption of foods that help maintain a good diversity, that will help increase your ability to fight off infections.

Overall, you want to do regular maintenance that will support your trillions of microbial cells that live in a symbiotic relationship with you.  To help you on your health journey here are some key terms you want to pay attention to:

PROBIOTICS
These are the “Good” bacteria or microorganisms living in your gut that help keep you healthy and well. They can consist of:
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi (including yeasts)
  • Viruses
  • Protozoa
Everyone’s microbiome is unique. No two people have the same microbial cells—even twins are different. Eat foods such as non-cultured yogurt (kiefer), pickles, Kombucha, sauerkraut, and some cheeses.
PREBIOTICS
This is food for those microbial cells living in your body.  Mom always said you need fiber, well so do your micro roommates that live in your digestive tract. It is important that you focus your diet on getting enough of the foods that promote a mix of healthy gut bacteria that help improve your overall health.
Foods with healthy amounts of fiber, such as beans, whole grains, and certain vegetables, break down in your body to create substances that help probiotics to grow and thrive within your gut.
POSTBIOTICS
When you hear this term, think of fermentation.  Fermentation is the result of yeast eating carbohydrates.  Postbiotics are the result or outcome of the probiotics doing their thing in your gut. To get fancy, these are the result of the metabolite matter from the living or non-living prebiotics and probiotics. 
Healthy postbiotics include nutrients such as vitamins B and K, amino acids, and substances called antimicrobial peptides that help to slow down the growth of harmful bacteria. Other postbiotic substances called short-chain fatty acids help healthy bacteria flourish. Fermented foods, such as kefir, tempeh, and kimchi can help increase the amount of valuable postbiotics. 
SYNBIOTIC
Think of Synbiotics as your bacterial fighting duo (prebiotics and probiotics) working hard to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria in your system.  So, keeping up your prebiotics and postbiotics is critical to keep illness at bay. Synbiotics boil down to the fact that prebiotics help the probiotics survive in your intestines, This, in turn, helps balance your gut bacteria, which is connected to your gut health and, ultimately, your immune system.

HOW ABOUT TAKING A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT?

Typical store-bought probiotics in capsule, tablet, or powder form do not guarantee any active cultures of probiotics, and in order for probiotics to be effective, they must be alive and be able to survive the harsh acidity of the digestive system.

Dr. Tennant’s® Probiotic Formula

Now that you are an expert in probiotics, let’s dive into Dr. Tennant’s formula and share with you why it works so well.

  • Tennant’s® Probiotic formula provides a biological synergy with “good bacteria” (probiotics), and “food for the probiotics” (prebiotics).

  • Wide range of clinically-studied probiotics for their effective health benefits.

  • Assortment of prebiotic fibers to help with fiber diversity.

  • Distinct delivery systemCapsugel® DRcaps®—which deliver time-release capsules into the digestive tract (helps avoid stomach acid).

One of the issues with taking probiotics is a significant about do not make it through the harsh environment of the stomach to reach the intestines.  Dr. Tennant’s® Probiotic Formula’s time-release, acid-resistant capsule technology, protects the probiotics from early exposure to oxygen, moisture, or stomach acid. This allows each capsule’s delivery system to target the gastrointestinal tract and deliver the highest quality ingredients directly where they need to be without compromise.     

One Last Thing—Are Probiotics Safe?

There have been over 622 clinical studies showing that there were not any adverse effects from the use of probiotics. The microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body. Thus, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered as safe (GRAS).

There are certain situations when you may need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. People who have:

  • A weakened immune system (those going through chemotherapy for example).
  • A critical illness.
  • Recently had surgery.

If you have concerns, always talk to your healthcare practitioner before starting any new supplements.

 Want to Learn More? Check out our Educational Videos:

How to Support Your Microbiome and Immunity

Understanding Prebiotics, Probiotics and Digestive Health

Understanding Lugol's Iodine


Featured Products in This Article:

Dr. Tennant’s® Probiotic Formula

Provides your body with a biological synergy with “good bacteria” (probiotics), “food for the probiotics” (prebiotics), and a protective, delayed-release delivery technology to maximize probiotic effectiveness and support a healthier GI system.

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