A few weeks ago, we released a blog post discussing the beneficial effects of antioxidants on the immune system. Since many of us often need immune boosters during winter months, today we are recommending something else to try… Probiotics!
Probiotics can protect against infections. They produce antimicrobial agents and block the binding of pathogens and toxins to epithelial cells (these line the surfaces of your body, such as the skin, blood vessels, and organs). Some of the good bacteria will aggregate around pathogens to block them from being able to attach to the epithelial cells, some will coat the surface of the epithelial cells to form a barrier, and others will block the signalling pathways of pathogens. It might help to liken this to the process of building a wall to block foreign invaders. In order to keep out invaders, you will need to make sure the integrity of the wall is sound. Sometimes, your armed men (in this case, the probiotics) might need to attack with their weapons or prevent the invaders from sending messages between each other.
This is only the beginning when it comes to how probiotics can keep illness at bay this winter. Evidence has shown that some probiotics are able to encourage the production of natural antibodies and may also promote immune cells.
There are also probiotics that form lactic acid, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis – two of the most popular probiotics on the market. For this reason, these types of probiotics are known as lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid provides an inhospitable, acidic environment for bad microbes to inhibit their growth which in turn increases your immunity and protects you against various illnesses. Lactic acid bacteria have also been shown to stimulate immune responses and assist in maintaining gut wall integrity.
Get your hands on some L. acidophilus and B. lactis this winter with QG Probiotic Chewables!