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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Taddiken

How Probiotics Support Immune Health

More science to show your microbiome affects your immune system!

Your gut, skin, nose, and airways are home to trillions of tiny bacteria and other microbes—some of which might help your immune system fight off unwanted infections.

It’s called your microbiome.

We’ve known the microbiome interacts with the immune system for a long time, but when the pandemic hit New York City, some researchers at Rockefeller University asked this question:

“Can the human microbiome produce metabolites (small molecules) that inhibit the growth of this new virus?”

They thought it was a long shot and the answer might be no…but they were happily surprised!

Turns out they found three major metabolites produced by bacteria in the human microbiome that blocked growth of the novel virus by more than 90%. When they tested those metabolites on other RNA viruses, they found some effect against other viruses as well.

What’s even crazier is that each of these three metabolites has a synthetic medication that is chemically similar to it. The researchers don’t know for sure whether that was by chance or design.

So, what can we learn from this and take action on?

1️⃣This is a great reminder that your microbiome harbors beneficial bacteria that interact with your immune system to support your defenses.

2️⃣Even though we can’t specifically supplement the metabolites discovered in this study, we can make choices with our food and lifestyle to support a healthy microbiome.

3️⃣The study of the microbiome and immunity is ongoing. More details will unfold, and we may never fully understand the synergy nature has created between us and the teeny tiny microbes that live in and on us.

In the meantime, we think it’s worth taking simple steps to support microbiome health. You might consider things like eating less sugar, consuming more fruits and vegetables, including fermented foods, or taking probiotic supplements. All of these choices depend on your current level of gut and immune health.

We love to help our patients with personalized and individual plans to support the health of their microbiome AND immune system. Please check out our website for details on how to become a patient!

Link to study referenced above.

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