Cold and flu season, especially in recent months with the COVID-19 outbreak, really bring immunity-boosting and prevention to the forefront of people’s minds. Staying healthy and supporting a healthy immune system is your first line of defense against all pathogens, including viruses. Keeping your body in the best shape to fight off infection is of the utmost importance. But you might be surprised by how a probiotic helps fight viruses.
There are certain foods and supplements that research has suggested, if added to your daily diet, will improve your immune response. Garlic, turmeric, ginseng, green tea, and zinc are just to name some. Probiotics are another that many researchers, doctors, and users swear by. Probiotics and their benefits are a popular topic in the scientific and medical communities and they are widely used by consumers, with rave reviews, for a variety of reasons. There are trillions of bacteria and live organisms in your intestinal tract. Probiotics are beneficial strains of bacteria that help to maintain a normal balance of gut flora.
The benefit of probiotics on your gut flora has been known for years. Probiotics as a supplement and even in products like yogurt and kombucha provide well-known benefits to people who suffer from gastrointestinal issues like IBS and IBD. Lesser known but possibly quite beneficial is a probiotic’s effect on the immune system, especially for those with less than optimal immunity. This becomes particularly important during cold and flu seasons and may help in battling viruses.
Our immune systems don’t need to be low from things like age or illness to need help. An immune response can be lowered by stress, exposure to toxins and poor diet to the point where we all might benefit from adding a probiotic to our day.
The two most beneficial probiotics that can act as immune boosters are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. These probiotics may help with more than your gut microbiome. It is possible that good probiotic bacteria like these can bind themselves to an invading virus. They then act as an inhibitor to their ability to attach to our cells. Probiotics can also stimulate our immune system to respond to a virus invader with the production of antiviral agents in our bodies.
Lactobacillus may reduce inflammation associated immune responses and reduce levels of harmful bacteria in your gut. Good gut health is the first line of defense against many threats to your health, including infection from a virus.
Bifidobacterium supports a reduction in inflammation associated with infection and chronic disease. Bifidobacterium may even be able to reduce the risk and duration of respiratory infections. It also improves the biomarker indicators of healthy immune function.
A probiotic supplement containing these helpful probiotics, together with a healthy diet could help strengthen our immune system. In fact, they can support our general immunity, not just during times of virus outbreaks.