Numerous studies have been performed to evaluate the effects of probiotics on host immune response, and it has been shown that probiotics can help boost the immune system and assist the body in fighting against infections.
About 70-80% of our immune system resides within the gut, and our guts (intestines) are lined with trillions of bacteria. This bacteria is mostly good and essential for your digestion. With our western diet being so poor most people often have poor bacteria in their guts, called “gut flora.”
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
Probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Therefore, probiotics are mostly bacteria, although there is a type of yeast that can function as a probiotic. Fermented food is a great source for obtaining probiotics, some of which are kimchi, yogurt, tempeh,… Different probiotics seem to have different effects, thus it is best to know what probiotics are good for your health condition. Many probiotic supplements combine different species together in the same supplement. These are known as broad-spectrum probiotics, or multi-probiotics.
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces are three extensively studied and commonly used probiotics in humans and animals.
HOW DO PROBIOTICS HELP BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Probiotics help reinforce the barrier function of the intestinal lining, lowering the chance of bacteria in the intestines entering into the blood stream, which may decrease infections and immune related reactions, thus supporting the health of the immune system.
Probiotics boosts immune functions by keeping the gut healthy. It can also modulate the immune system by enhancing the body’s innate immunity, which in turn helps alleviate excessive inflammation in the gut, thereby boosting immune function.
Probiotics also act as a barrier against microbial infection. When the immune system is improved, there is less chance of having infections such as urinary tract infections and yeast infections. A study shows that consumption of probiotics consistently for 12 weeks could reduce the risk of acquiring common cold infections in healthy individuals.
SHOULD YOU TAKE FUCOIDAN WITH PROBIOTICS ?
Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide contained in brown algae, has a variety of immunomodulatory effects, including antitumor and antiviral effects. Probiotics also share similar functions, in which they help enhance immune health through regulating the immune cells and boosting the barrier function of the intestinal lining.
Taking Fucoidan can even enhance a variety of beneficial effects of LAB (lactic acid bacteria) on immune functions. Therefore, it’s safe to say that Fucoidan is not only safe to take with other probiotic supplements, it also helps boost the effects of some probiotics when taken together.