Your digestive system contains literally billions of bacteria, which fulfill a wide range of functions, from influencing our mood to controlling how you metabolize food. Research shows that the balance of these bacteria plays an integral in regulating the function of our immune system.
Gut bacteria and your immune system have a symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship – healthy gut bacteria help your immune system stay strong, and your immune system provides protection for the gut bacteria . Conversely, having poor immunity can damage your gut bacteria and cause inflammation in the gut, which further impairs your immunity.
So, if gut bacteria are so important to good immunity, what exactly do they do?
Bacteria Teach Your Immune System How to Behave
Your gut bacteria teach your immune system how to behave . And this education begins even before you are born.
New research is showing that bacteria are already present in the placenta. Infants are born with an immature immune system and are at first protected by antibodies from their mothers. Through maternal milk (particularly the first feed which contains immune-boosting colostrum), and gradual exposure to a greater variety of foods, an infant’s digestive system will be colonized by a diverse range of gut bacteria. These bacteria will train the immune system to react to genuine pathogens while tolerating all the harmless substances you encounter during your everyday life .
Studies with mice clearly demonstrate the importance of gut bacteria in protecting immunity. The animals without gut bacteria had very poor immunity. However, when the mice were given even a limited range of gut bacteria, their immune system matured and developed more diverse cells. This indicates that the immune system can effectively learn over time.
Healthy Gut Bacteria Are Vital for a Balanced Immune System
Throughout your life, you constantly encounter new things through your skin, gut, nose, and lungs, via your food and environment. Your immune system needs to be strong enough to handle all these different things, without overreacting or triggering an inflammatory response. This balance between reaction and tolerance is vital to maintaining good health. Developing a diverse balance of gut bacteria early in life is key to developing a balanced and healthy immune response.
Harmful Gut Bacteria Can Lead to Disease
Most gut bacteria are beneficial however some have been linked to disease. For example, having certain gut bacteria may cause disease within the gut such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Bacteria are highly adaptable and will adjust to the environment they live in. This explains why antibiotic resistance occurs. It’s also why when good bacteria are lost due to antibiotics or diet, opportunistic bacteria will move in and take their place.
How Do You Improve Your Gut Health and Boost Your Immune Function?
Clearly, healthy gut bacteria are vital to building strong immunity. So, if you want to rebalance your gut bacteria and your immunity, how do you actually go about it?
One of the most common recommendations is to repopulate the gut with good bacteria by taking probiotic supplements (essentially good bacteria) and eating more cultured or fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha. While there is certainly no harm in this, the trouble is that the probiotics are often destroyed by our stomach acid before they can reach the gut.
A more effective means of boosting your good bacteria and supporting your immune system is consuming prebiotics. These foods can withstand the harsh acidic environment in the stomach and actually provide nourishment for the good bacteria. They help stimulate and fuel the growth of probiotic bacteria already present in the gut. Prebiotics are special kinds of fibers found in certain fruits and vegetables, rice bran, oat bran, legumes, linseed (flaxseed), seaweed, nuts, and seeds.
A Natural Solution to a Healthy Immune System
Kiwifruit is well-recognized as a digestive superfood, containing a range of substances that promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and in turn, support a strong immune system. Xtendlife has harnessed the goodness of New Zealand's native kiwifruit in our exclusive Kiwi-Klenz product, which works in a range of ways to support digestive health and immunity:
- Rich in prebiotics to nourish your good gut bacteria.
- High in phenolics, special chemicals that help suppress unhealthy gut bacteria.
- Source of enzymes to enhance nutrient absorption and promote a healthy environment in the gut.
Taking Kiwi-Klenz regularly will help rebalance your gut bacteria, supporting a healthy immune response.
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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25163502?dopt=Abstract 
 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-gut-bacteria-essential-healthy-immune.html