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Prebiotics and Your Immune Defenses – #4 of 5

Antioxidants Competitive Exclusion Innate Immune Leaky Gut Ligans

Immune System – 
Your gut is more than just a processing system for food and dietary waste. It’s the primary location in your body for the daily prevention of, resistance to, and recovery from illness. From avoiding colds and flu, to preventing serious long-term diseases, your GI tract plays a key role. And your 3 built-in immune systems provide the protection: the physical, innate and adaptive.

Physical System
Pathogenic invaders usually enter your system through your mouth. Your physical system includes the mucous layers on the walls of your digestive system. They keep pathogens from coming into contact with the epithelial cells of your intestines and from entering your bloodstream. Keeping your gut healthy promotes your physical barrier protection.

Innate System
Your GI tract has your body’s largest reserves of "gut-associated lymphoid tissue", or GALT. It's the storage area for your body's immune cells including B and T lymphocytes. These are part of your innate immune system. They defend against and attack pathogenic bacteria and toxins. By keeping the lymphoid tissue in your gut healthy, your reserves of pathogen-fighting immune cells can be ready to defend your health.

Adaptive System
Your adaptive immune system has a memory. That’s why vaccines work. Once exposed to a specific pathogen, your adaptive system remembers it, through gene regulated responses that affect the B and T lymphocytes in your GALT. These changes are passed down to the offspring of those cells, allowing you to generate stronger responses each time the pathogen is encountered again.

Bacteria Are Competitive
Most of the microbes in you – up to 99% – are "probiotic", doing good things and protecting you. But about 1% may be harmful or “pathogenic”, and can cause trouble if their numbers grow. Nourishing your probiotics with prebiotic fibers is key in keeping a healthy gut. When probiotics flourish, they increase in numbers and do two important things. They out-compete pathogenic bacteria for attachment sites in your gut, and they also help maintain a pH level that is harmful to pathogenic bacteria. This is called "competitive exclusion" and is one way that your numbers of bad bacteria are kept low by your good bacteria.

Leaky Gut
Normally, your intestinal walls are semi-permeable, allowing important ions and nutrients to pass through and into your bloodstream. That’s good. But pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and toxins can alter the “tight junctions” of your intestinal epithelial cells, allowing pathogens and toxins to enter the blood stream on the other side of the gut wall. That’s bad. Leaky gut may contribute to many of the 80+ known autoimmune diseases. Keeping your gut performing well, may help to avoid these.

Antioxidants and Lignans
Free radicals are molecules created when food is broken down in your digestive system. They’re a source of potential damage or death to your healthy cells, and are indicated in a number of serious diseases. Antioxidants can counteract the missing electrons of free radicals to keep them from doing harm. Flax provides a good source of antioxidants from its lignan, and can help defend against free radicals.

Immune Disorders
An overactive or dysfunctioning immune system can lead to a surprising number of illnesses, ranging from simply troubling to life threatening. These include autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiency and hypersensitivity. While the causative factors are complex, maintaining a robust microbiota in your gut can give you an advantage.

Take ProBiotein daily. Eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Exercise.

* The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease.

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