Believe it or not, 70% of your immune system resides in the gut as lymphoid tissue. This specialised lymph tissue houses your immune cells (leucocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes) whose job is to identify invading microbes and destroy them. It also secretes essential antibodies to help you fight off infection.
The large intestine hosts a community of around 100 trillion microbes. The main function of our microflora is to help us digest food (by fermenting carbohydrates), extracting the nutrients for our body to use. These beneficial microorganisms help our immune system work efficiently as they protect us against pathogens.
Any imbalance in your gastrointestinal system or with your gut microflora could lead to immune system issues, including inflammation and autoimmune conditions. You may also become more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
Seven steps to optimal digestive health:
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