As we move into the time of year where we are more impacted by colds and flus, it’s a great time to turn our attention to what we can do to support our immune systems. Did you know about 70-80% of your immune-producing cells live in the microbiome in your intestinal tract? If there is an imbalance in the flora of the microbiome it may have a negative impact on your immune system. Maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria can be supportive for healthy immune function.
One helpful way to balance and boost our good bacteria and hence our immune system, is to get prebiotics in our diet and supplement regularly with a good quality probiotic.
Prebiotics are like the food or fuel for the good bacteria that keep them healthy and populating. Consuming foods like quinoa, onions, sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes), asparagus, leeks, dandelion greens, jicama, chicory root, garlic, and under ripe (greenish) bananas are great sources of prebiotics to add to your diet.
Many studies have shown (1) that consuming prebiotic foods can result in significant changes in the composition of the gut microbiome that can help improve immunity. Prebiotics and probiotics work together to help boost immunity by also improving nutrient absorption and lowering the pH in the gut to block the growth of potential pathogens and harmful bacteria.
Choosing and getting a good high quality probiotic is important. One of our favourite brands that is often recommended by Naturopaths and Holistic nutritionists is Genestra. Genestra is backed by 15-20 years of clinical research showing the positive impact probiotics have on immune health and more. Some research examples:
The Genestra HMF Multistrain may enhance aspects of cellular immunity.
Each shelf-stable capsule provides a variety of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains to support a favourable gut microflora in both the small and large intestines.(2) HN019, a probiotic strain included in this formula, was shown in a placebo-controlled trial to promote a healthy gut flora.(3) It significantly increased Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli counts, while reducing the population of Enterobacteria (a genus that includes many pathogenic bacteria).(3) Similarly, Genestra’s HMF probiotic consortium, Lactobacillus acidophilus (CUL-60 and CUL-21), Bifidobacterium bifidum (CUL-20) and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (CUL-34), contained in HMF® Multi Strain has been demonstrated in clinical trials to support intestinal comfort and promote a healthy microflora balance in the gastrointestinal tract.(4-6)
The Genestra HMF Women’s Daily is a probiotic combination that helps colonize both the large and small intestines to support gastrointestinal health.
The Genestra HMF Intensive 500 is one of their most concentrated probiotic formulas, providing 500 billion CFU daily from a combination of five human-sourced, research-driven strains. Included in this blend are three strains of Lactobacilli and two strains of Bifidobacteria to promote colonization in both the small and large intestines. (7) These proprietary strains were selected based on their high quality, viability, strong epithelial adherence and naturally high tolerance to stomach acid.(8) HMF probiotics have been evaluated for their effectiveness in clinical trials over the past 15 years and are some of the most studied probiotic cultures in the world.(9-11) Research has reported that strains present in HMF Intensive 500 contribute to a favourable gut flora, supplement the normal intestinal microbiota following antibiotic therapy.
So, eating a variety of prebiotic foods in your daily diet together with taking a good quality probiotic, like any of Genestra’s HMF varieties, can be a supportive strategy for maintaining, balancing, and improving gut health and immune function.
To help you implement this strategy, we are offering 10% off all Genestra HMF probiotics, now through November 19th, 2023. In clinic and online. This includes the HMF Intensive 500 as the additive to your session. NO Limits – can use multiple times. Use code: FALL10
- Govender M, Choonara YE, Kumar P, du Toit LC, van Vuuren S, Pillay V. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2014 Feb;15(1):29-43.
- Ahmed M, Prasad J, Gill H, Stevenson L, Gopal P. Impact of consumption of different levels of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 on the intestinal microflora of elderly human subjects. J Nutr Health Aging. 2007 Jan-Feb;11(1):26-31.
- Williams EA, Stimpson J, Wang D, Plummer S, Garaiova I, Barker ME, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Jan;29(1):97-103.
- Madden JA, Plummer SF, Tang J, Garaiova I, Plummer NT, Herbison M, et al. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 Jun;5(6):1091-7.
- Plummer SF, Garaiova I, Sarvotham T, Cottrell SL, Le Scouiller S, Weaver MA, et al. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005 Jul;26(1):69-74.
- Govender, M, Choonara, YE, Kumar, P, du Toit, LC, van Vuuren, S, Pillay, V. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2014; 15(1): 29-43.
- Seroyal. Data on file.
- Madden, JA, Plummer, SF, Tang, J, Garaiova, I, Plummer, NT, Herbison, M, Hunter, JO, Shimada, T, Cheng, L, Shirakawa, T. Int Immunopharmacol. 2005; 5(6): 1091-1097.
- Plummer, SF, Garaiova, I, Sarvotham, T, Cottrell, SL, Le Scouiller, S, Weaver, MA, Tang, J, Dee, P, Hunter, J. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2005; 26(1): 69-74.
- Williams, EA, Stimpson, J, Wang, D, Plummer, S, Garaiova, I, Barker, ME, Corfe, BM. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009; 29(1): 97-103.