There is another wave of covid going around at the moment so I thought it would be a good time to re-investigate what you can do to make sure you are in optimal health to recover quickly, should you contract any kind of viral or bacterial infection.
This is not to make any point about vaccines (note we have always stated that we are pro-vaccination, in fact, Darcy jokes he is one of the most vaccinated people in the country), rather it is to make a point about the importance of strengthening your innate immunity - whatever your vaccination state.
In doing this, I would also like to point you towards a couple of other blogs we have written in relation to how your immune system works – covering the three phases of your immune response:
- Physical defence.
- Innate immunity.
- Adaptive immunity (read more here) and at a more granular level (read more here).
Critical for your innate immunity is your general health, as we age and if we also suffer from chronic disease like metabolic syndrome or diabetes, we are more likely to have a sub-optimal immune system.
A way to think of your immune system is that it starts off like a detective – scanning the body and environment for potential invaders and when it detects such an invader, sending signals to swing into defensive action. Both this detective system and the defence signals and action can be reduced or unbalanced in someone who is immunocompromised.
This is such a big topic and can be overwhelming with all the information out there, so I thought I would try to boil it down to 2 key pillars where you can make the most impact (a bit of management speak there 😊):
- Oral health
Your mouth is your first line of defence (masks obviously add an extra layer of physical protection). Poor oral health can contribute to a poor immune response. In another of our blogs, we explain what goes on in your mouth in terms of the microbe community (read more here) and we also discuss how you can counter any microbial imbalance (dysbiosis).
Colonisation of your mouth with good oral probiotics (like the Blis K12 and BlisM18 found in our Zestt lozenges) has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the infection rates of some bacteria and viruses by increasing the levels of a key immune response molecule, interferon gamma (you can read more here) – and for studies on specific viral and bacteria infections read more here and here). We have more science we can show you, so please email us if you would like more information.
- Gut health
Similarly, a diet high in highly processed foods and low in prebiotic fibres (found in fruit and vegetables) reduces the biodiversity of the gut microbiome which can reduce (read more here).
Very simply, this diagram describes the gut “Biodiversity Hypothesis” (from here).
We also recommend paying attention to other lifestyle factors which affect your health and immunity, these include sleep, reduced stress, exercise and social connection.
If I could sum up all of this, weirdly, I would say, it’s the microbes that can help beat the microbes!
A healthy oral and gut microbiome can play a huge part in a high functioning innate immune system, allowing us to fight unwanted invaders and/or recover more quickly.
If you would like to discuss any of this further, please contact Darcy or Anna (who you can contact at 027 599 2255 or 027 4861418 respectively) or via email@example.com.