Immune Impacts of Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics

Source: International Probiotics Association

With health presently top of mind, many questions surround what we can do to keep healthy and support the immune system. Maintaining a healthy immune system allows the body’s defense system to fight pathogens such as viruses. At the same time, immune responses are negatively affected by ageing (Pawelec, 2018), various health conditions, obesity (Smith et al., 2009) and stress (Locke et al., 1984) (Nishihira et al., 2018).

The immune system is similar within the digestive tract, lungs and mouth/throat. Substances produced by the immune system help us defend against or respond to bacterial pathogens and viruses.

Microbiota and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Viruses such as influenza can cause severe upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) (Nishihira et al., 2018). However, studies indicate that beneficial changes to the gut microbiota can reduce complications and intensity of URTI (Gao et al., 2020), and symptom severity and duration (Vouloumanou et al., 2009).

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