How Can Probiotics Help Your Immune System?

The GI system and immune function work hand-in-hand to keep our bodies safe and healthy. They actually account for 60% of the body’s total immune cells. Because these two can get pretty complicated, any agent that helps the GI system’s role in immunity is helpful.

One of those especially helpful agents is what are called “probiotics.” Probiotics have beneficial effects on our body’s health that go far beyond just basic nutrition. However, these probiotics must be ingested in adequate amounts, they must be alive, and they must be able to colonize in the gut. When working properly, probiotics contribute largely to a healthy balance between good and bad gut organisms.

Probiotics are in the spotlight right now and as usually happens, claims range from “miracle cure” to “stay away.” Because of these discrepancies, always investigate before you buy.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Quality is crucially important. Probiotics are regulated as foods, not drugs, which means they don’t require proof of potency, and there is no testing of ingredients.
  • They must be live and able to colonize in the gut.
  • FDA approval is not required.
  • They are costly.

Before making a purchase, talk with your healthcare provider and/or pharmacist for guidance on best steps to take and what the best product may be for you.

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