Updated: Feb 12, 2020
if you read my last 2 articles under gut health you now know exactly what happens from the time you consume food until you poop it out.
One of the reasons why we are not all bedridden by infection is because of our gut defense system. The body has 2 main lines of defense, the intestinal wall, which acts as a physical barrier to foreign invaders and the immune system.
The body has 2 main lines of defense, the intestinal wall, which acts as a physical barrier to foreign invaders and the immune system.
The wall of our intestine is made up of a barrier of cells that are effectively secured by tight junctions. The intestinal wall serves a dual purpose, it allows nutrients in and keeps pathogens out, which are the bad guys.
However these junctions can become weak, or loose allowing unwanted bad guys to sneak accross the wall.
You might have heard of leaky gut! Well this is how a leaky gut happens.
However the body is pretty clever and even if this happens our immune system is primed and ready to hit hard, triggering a cascade of events within and outside our gut to shut down any nasty bad guys.
The immune system is very complex, it involves a high level of network cells, tissues and organs that work as team to fight off the bad guys. The 70% of immune tissue that lies within our gut has a very important job, because our digestive tract is the most popular gateway in the body.
It's a pretty hard job, a 24 hour patrol team, sifting through millions of foreign cells each day.
So what happens when things go wrong? The team is good but sometimes they get overwhelmed and s**t hits the fan, the immune tolerance is compromised and this is where conditions such as allergies and autoimmune diseases arise.
You might have heard when people are going through chemo the body is a lot more vulnerable to the invasion of the bad guys, which can lead to severe infections, this is one of the situations where the team just can't deal with it 100%.
The gut microbiota as mentioned in yesterday's post also has a major role to play in our defense system, this is because the microbes train our immune system from birth.
For example as kids if we are not exposed to some dirt or we are to focused on being over clean and not touching anything, this means we are exposed to fewer microbes, this leads to a poor diversity and the immune system capacity reduces, which could explain why some many suffer with allergies and autoimmune conditions.
On the next one we will look at microbes a little deeper.