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A healthy gut microbiome gives a powerful immunity
A properly functioning immune system keeps you healthy and prevents infections and diseases. Our immunity is a wonderful system that recognises bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, danger and then eliminates them. The cause of many diseases and complaints can be found in a failing and not properly functioning immune system. This is mainly caused by wrong food, medicine and an unhealthy lifestyle. So read on to find out how a healthy gut microbiome gives you powerful immunity.
The immune system in brief
The immune system plays an important role in the communication between the barriers of the intestinal lining and the immune cells of both the adaptive system and the innate system. The intestinal mucosa is the first barrier of the immune system.
The immune system has the following three systems:
- Primarily counteracts the penetration of bacteria, viruses and fungi. The skin, the mucous membranes of the airways and intestines, as well as all bodily orifices such as the mouth, play a major role in this. About 80% of the immune system's defence takes place in the mucous membranes, which is why a healthy mucous membrane barrier is of great importance.
- This system is present as soon as you are born, and its function is determined by your DNA. It focuses on general defence and on all pathogens present in the body. It consists mainly of white blood cells, but has no memory.
- Is the acquired system that we develop over the course of our lives. It makes antibodies by coming into contact with different pathogens. Therefore, too much hygiene for a child is not always advisable. Let your children play in the mud or sand! This is particularly good for building up a good adaptive immune system. A good adaptive immune system targets specific pathogens and therefore has a memory. Through experienced infections, the immunity is trained against the same pathogen and will immediately have the right defence.
Stress and the immune system
The immune system is activated by the sympathetic nervous system during acute stress. This is so that it is prepared for possible injuries and infections that may occur during a (physical) fight or flight situation. Acute stress mainly activates the innate immune system, which is responsible for the acute phase inflammatory response. So the consequence of constant stress is that the immune system is constantly on. Research has shown that children who grew up with a lot of stress in their lives, "Early Life Stress", later develop diseases and complaints that are related to an overloaded, derailed immune system and an unhealthy gut microbiome. Stress reduction is therefore an important part of improving the immune system.
The intestines and the microbiome are of great importance
The intestines and a good intestinal microbiome are of great importance for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Seventy per cent of immune function is determined by good intestinal bacteria, mucous membranes and the lymphatic system of the intestines. The intestinal microbiome thus provides protection against pathogens by creating an environment in which the pathogen does not feel comfortable. It lowers the pH in the gut, making it more difficult for pathogens to survive. This lowered pH, on the other hand, has the advantage that magnesium, calcium and zinc are better absorbed. The body is a wonderful thing! An optimal intestinal microbiome forms a "layer" in the intestines that prevents the entry of pathogens (disease-causing agents) into the blood. In addition, the microbiome helps with the proper digestion of food so that proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins/minerals and trace elements are properly absorbed. Carbohydrates that you eat will be converted into fatty acids by the carbohydrate bacteria (the saccharolytic bacterial flora) in the colon. This conversion has a pH lowering effect. Proteins that you eat are converted by the proteolytic active bacteria in the intestine. These produce ammonia and other metabolic products, which have an alkaline effect (a pH increasing effect). Eating all food groups is therefore very important. This keeps the body in balance. The intestinal microbiome also produces lactase, an enzyme that helps digest milk products. The gut microbiome also produces the all-important DPP-IV enzyme, which breaks down the exorphins in food. The pancreatic enzymes help digest our food, mainly in the small intestine.
The microbiome plays a major role in hormonal balance
The microbiome plays a major role in hormonal balance. They break down and recycle virtually all hormones and neurotransmitters. Our microbiome produces the same neurotransmitters as our brain, only many times more. For example, the vast majority of serotonin is produced in our microbiome. If this neurotransmitter decreases, we can become depressed. The relationship between your psyche, hormones and the health of your gut is therefore quickly established. A healthy microbiome also reduces the risk of Diabetes I and II and eliminates harmful substances in our diet. Another task is to bind excess cholesterol. When the microbiome is in balance, it protects us from a leaky gut and prevents allergic and/or intolerant reactions to food. It also produces short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid, lactic acid and acetic acid, which are necessary for the proper functioning of the barriers. Another important role is that the intestinal microbiome ensures that neither too much nor too little energy is absorbed from food. Overweight and underweight are often related to your gut microbiome. There are many more functions that the intestinal microbiome has, too many to cover in this article. All this shows how important a well-built microbiome is for our health. The intestinal microbiome is a fantastic self-maintaining system, which balances itself perfectly every time. Of course, only when we eat healthy enough to keep this intestinal microbiome healthy.
The intestinal microbiome is often not optimal
The constant stress, and "Early Life Stress", changes the pH in the gut. Substances such as chlorine, alcohol, fluoride, but also excessive intake of sugars, fat, and animal proteins disrupt the intestinal flora. Medicines such as corticosteroids, prednisone, the contraceptive pill, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs), antacids, laxatives, narcotics and antidepressants, among others, have a negative influence on a healthy intestinal flora. The biggest enemy, however, is antibiotics, which even destroy the entire intestinal flora. A disturbed intestinal flora ultimately causes many diseases. The first indications of a not intact intestinal flora are allergies, food intolerances, intestinal problems, eczema, hay fever and skin problems. When these complaints occur, a "leaky gut" may have developed.
What exactly is a leaky gut?
The food you eat is digested by the microbiome and absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall as a nutrient. Normally, the intestinal wall has a mucous membrane made up of intestinal cells glued together by "tight junctions". If these tight junctions are intact, no undesirable substance passes through the intestinal wall into the blood. They determine which nutrients can be absorbed through the intestinal wall and which cannot. For all the above reasons, the intestinal wall gets damaged, and small holes appear in the tight junctions. As a result, undesirable, poorly digested food particles, bacteria and fungi, as well as waste products that are normally not absorbed into the blood, can enter the bloodstream. These undesirable substances always activate the immune system. The "leaky gut" is much more common than we think. Badly digested nutrients are mainly gluten and casein. These, together with all the other toxins and pathogens that enter the blood, can disrupt the hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. So what we eat has a big effect on how we as humans function through our brains. If there is a continuous functioning of the immune system because of all the undesirable substances, but also because of stress, Low Grade Inflammation (LGI) eventually occurs. When this happens over a longer period of time, autoimmune diseases can develop in severe cases.
A leaky gut causes many physical complaints
Other complaints associated with a leaky gut are depression, hives, poor memory, decreased concentration, fatigue, exhaustion, mood swings and general malaise. But anxiety, hormonal complaints, muscle and joint pains, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also occur with a leaky gut. Because of the chronic functioning of the immune system, through constant wrong eating and stress, we also deplete our energy systems. This causes the hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, to become unbalanced, because adrenaline "turns on" the immune system (i.e. provides energy) and cortisol "turns off" the immune system. The balance of glucose levels in the blood also becomes unbalanced, Glucagon together with adrenaline send a signal to the liver to release glycogen. Glycogen is converted by these two hormones into glucose, which is essential for energy and cell growth. When responding to infections, the immune system becomes active, for which large amounts of glucose are the fuel. If immune cells do not get enough glucose, they weaken. The constant demand for glucose, due to the chronic action of immunity, can exhaust our adrenal glands (shortages of adrenaline and cortisol). There is also an impulse to eat quick sugars and carbohydrates in order to supplement the glucose deficit. This is an impulse that is very difficult to resist.
That's why we eat too many fast carbohydrates and sugars
This is how we end up in a vicious circle, in which we will eat a lot of fast carbohydrates and sugars. This is because there is a chronically working immune system, which then has to take action against all those wrong foods. Also, the pancreas, which constantly has to produce insulin and glucagon to keep the glucose in the body balanced, gets out of balance. When there is too much glucose in the blood, the hormone insulin regulates this by allowing glucose to be absorbed into the cell. However, when there is a constant release of insulin, the cells become insensitive to insulin. This makes it more difficult for the cells to take up the glucose. The only way left to store excess glucose is to put it away in fat cells. When our cells become insensitive to insulin, we become insulin resistant, which is a precursor to diabetes. Once there is underlying insulin resistance, we can hardly lose weight. Obesity is also caused by Low Grade Inflammation through a poorly functioning gut microbiome. To stay healthy and not develop any permanent physical problems, good nutrition, avoidance of stressful substances and stress are therefore essential.
Good nutrition is essential for the intestines
To improve the immune system, it is important to have a good diet. Substances such as saponin (found in soybeans, peas, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes) cause the intestinal wall to loosen the glue in the “Tight junctions”. This saponification makes the intestinal wall more permeable, so at the end we lose the "Tight junctions". It is crucial not to eat refined carbohydrates such as pasta, flour, white rice and table sugar. Think also of biscuits, cake, pizza and all other delicacies. Other substances that damage the intestinal wall are gluten and lectins such as legumes and potatoes, but also flaxseed. Pesticides, E-numbers, additives and allergens should be avoided as much as possible. So always prepare your own food. Eat enough fibre and a varied diet! If it is not a financial problem, choose organic food, especially vegetables, fruit and meat. Types of meat such as organic chicken, turkey and wild-caught fish are the least acidic.
Minerals and supplements that heal the intestinal wall
In addition to dietary modification, a number of nano minerals/supplements can be used to heal the intestinal wall and improve the intestinal microbiome. Nano silver is an excellent product for supporting immunity, as it kills over 650 different pathogens, bacteria, fungi and parasites. It is also a most versatile natural antibiotic and a powerful anti-inflammatory in bacterial and viral infections. It also breaks down the pathogenic biofilm, which can be found in dental plaque and the excess mucus layer in the intestines. The application of nano silver is even more extensive, see https://www.nanomineralen.nl/nano-zilver/. Nano zinc can give excellent results for intestinal and immune disorders such as PDS, Leaky Gut and Crohn's Disease. It also strengthens immunity in infections, inflammations and autoimmune disorders, see https://www.nanomineralen.nl/nano-zink-koper/. Nano platinum can be used to rebalance the neurotransmitters and hormones. Also for reduced resistance, chronic fatigue, mood swings and physical or mental stress, see https://www.nanomineralen.nl/nano-platina/.
L-glutamine supports building and recovery
L-glutamine supports building and repairment of the intestinal epithelium. It also promotes the growth of good bacteria and the synthesis of the intestinal lining. To improve the intestinal flora, it is best to take a good probiotic, possibly supplemented with a prebiotic. The first step is to repair the intestinal wall and then improve the intestinal microbiome. But L-glutamine, collagen and zinc-methionine are also extremely important to repair the intestinal wall. This is because zinc plays a role in stabilising the cell membrane and is good for wound healing. Salvestrols and omega-3s make a positive contribution to improving the first-line immune system. They therefore also help to repair the intestinal wall. Papain and bromelain are proteolytic enzymes and have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immune-enhancing effects. They help to correct the leaky gut. For good intestinal peristalsis, it is important to exercise enough and to replenish lost fluids after exercise.
To prevent diseases and complaints, but also to arm ourselves against Covid-19, a well functioning immune system is of great importance. Perhaps this article has made you aware of how we overburden and even exhaust our immunity through poor nutrition and stress. A healthy gut microbiome helps the immunity to keep the body healthy. It does this by relieving the immunity and forming a good barrier between pathogens, waste products and toxins, among others. Healthy nutrition and reducing stress through meditation and yoga are very beneficial. This prevents a chronic prolonged functioning of the immunity (LGI), sparing us many complaints and diseases. So we can live a long and healthy life.