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Probiotics and Fermented Foods for a Healthy Immune System

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

Three recent studies highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy gut to avoid disease and optimize your health. The first, published in the journal Celli, shows that "host-specific microbiota appears to be critical for a healthy immune system."

According to Medical News Today:

  "Human microbe-colonized mice have gut immune systems that look essentially identical to germ-free mice," said Dennis Kasper of Harvard Medical School. "Even though they have the same number and diversity of bacteria, their immune systems don't develop properly.

 ... The results might have implications for understanding the health consequences of our shifting diets, our excessive use of antibiotics, and our modern-day obsession with showers and antibacterial household cleansers, the researchers say.

  "Because the intestinal microbiota can regulate immune responses outside the gut, the absence of the 'right' gut microbes may conceivably shift the balance toward disease in individuals genetically predisposed to autoimmune diseases," they write, noting that our relationship with our gut microbiome today may be threatened by a combination of heavily processed foods, frequent treatment with antibiotics, and advances in hygiene.

 ... Although modern medicine and technology may offer alternative ways to fight disease, Kasper says, "the current prevalence of autoimmune diseases - such as asthma, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease - may be, at least in part, the consequence of the increasing vulnerability of the coevolved human-microbe relationship."


For those of you who have been reading this newsletter for any length of time, this is not at all surprising. I've written extensively on how the bacteria in your gut influence your overall health-physical, mental, and emotional. What this research does tell us though, is how important it is to have the correct types of microbes in your gut. Not just any microbe will do... 


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