Poor gut health can suppress immunity in several ways, such as:
- Reducing the diversity and number of beneficial bacteria that help fight off infections and regulate inflammation123.
- Increasing the permeability of the intestinal barrier, which allows toxins and pathogens to enter the bloodstream and trigger immune responses124.
- Altering the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that modulate the immune system123.
- Impairing the function of immune cells, such as natural killer cells, T cells, and B cells, which are essential for eliminating foreign invaders123.
- Disrupting the communication between the gut and the brain, which can affect the production of neurotransmitters and hormones that influence the immune system12.
To improve your gut health and boost your immunity, you can try some of the following strategies:
- Take probiotics and eat fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, to increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut14.
- Eat prebiotic fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, to feed the good bacteria and help them produce short-chain fatty acids that protect the gut lining14.
- Eat less sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can feed harmful bacteria and cause inflammation2.
- Reduce stress, which can affect your gut microbiota and impair your immune system34.
- Exercise regularly, which can enhance your blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and modulate your gut microbiome34.