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As the temperature drops and everyone from your colleagues to your cat starts sneezing around you, you’ll probably be on the lookout for anything that can help boost your immune system to fight off germs and bacteria.

One effective way of doing this may be by strengthening your gut, new research finds.

The study, published in the Nature Immunology journal by a group of researchers from Universitätsmedizin Berlin, reveals that there is a critical mechanism which controls immune reactions against microorganisms in the intestine. The results of the international study may contribute to the development of new therapies for chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

The immune system protects against the spread of pathogenic germs in the intestine and allows for the colonisation of beneficial microorganisms. At the same time, microbiota, which make up the microorganisms in the intestine, have an influence on the quality of the immune reaction.

Another international research group led by Prof. Dr Alexander Scheffold of Kiel University (CAU) found that there is another critical mechanism which establishes the balance between immune system and microbiota. “We have identified a molecule, c-Maf, which is critical for the development and function of specific regulatory T cells in the gut,” explains Prof. Scheffold, University of Melbourne and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne.

C-Maf helps the immune system avoid attacking the microbiota, which means if it goes missing, the gut’s immune system overreacts and alters the composition of the microbiota.

The results show that the immune system and the microbiota both contribute to a happy, balanced gut, with future research looking into the possibility that improving intestinal health could strengthen one’s immune system.

Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they keep the gut healthy. They balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working the way it should. Several important mechanisms underlying the antagonistic effects of probiotics on various microorganisms include the following: modification of the gut microbiota, competitive adherence to the mucosa and epithelium, strengthening of the gut epithelial barrier and modulation of the immune system to convey an advantage to the host. (1)

 

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Releaf Probiotic 12-Strain and Releaf Probiotic Melt 12-strain contain a combination of 12 probiotic strains, which may assist in improving or normalising the microbial balance in the human intestines and thereby the functioning of the digestive tract/gut.

Results of evidence-based analysis from human studies and animal models suggest that probiotics have the potential for clinical effectiveness on intestinal diseases, including infectious diarrhoea, antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, atopic diseases and irritable bowel syndrome.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov1/pubmed/23037511

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