It’s hard to feel safe when you hear about threats to your health every day on the news. You’re bombarded with scary statistics and overloaded with quickly changing information – so it’s hard to know what to believe.
What you do know for sure: You can’t control what other people are doing. Viruses can attack more than once. You’re afraid to wait for herd immunity, whenever that may come. And you want to be able to keep yourself healthy no matter what.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is to listen to doctors, not Twitter or TikTok. Doctors will tell you that your best defense against anything that’s going around is a capable, adaptable immune system.
And here’s a thoroughly studied, long-established scientific fact that you can rely on: Your gut bacteria manage and guide your immune system. And your gut needs the right probiotic bacteria to deliver your most effective immune strategy.
What Is Herd Immunity Anyway?
When enough people become immune to a virus, the risk of person-to-person spread for that infection decreases drastically. That’s called herd immunity. It can protect most of the community, including people who are not immune to that particular virus.
Achieving herd immunity varies for different viruses.1 For highly contagious diseases, a higher percentage of the population – usually 85% to 95% – has to become immune to stop the spread. With less infectious viruses, herd immunity can be reached with a smaller percentage.
There are two main paths to herd immunity: infection and immunization.2 Infection works by people getting sick and fighting off the virus, then developing antibodies to keep them from getting re-infected. Immunization can deliver protection to more people more quickly, providing antibodies to prevent initial infections or minimize symptoms.
Unfortunately, herd immunity doesn’t work perfectly for a virus that changes constantly.
So you need to supply your immune system with the support it needs to keep up with ever-changing threats.
Virus Variants Outmaneuver Your Immune System
Viruses change constantly, creating new variants to improve their survival. Some variants come and go with hardly any notice. Others become part of a new normal. And all of them are trying to trick and dodge your immune system so they can survive.
That’s why you’ve had dozens of colds throughout your life. And that’s why the CDC changes flu shot targets every year. Because viruses change just enough to keep immune systems, immunizations, and treatments playing constant catch-up.
Some virus variants spread more easily, getting more people sick faster. Other changes affect the type and severity of symptoms. Whatever kind of change a virus variant brings, your immune system has to figure out how to respond as quickly as possible.
How Your Immune System Learns to Deal with Variants
A healthy, robust immune system can figure out how to deal with virus variants… it may just take a little time. As soon as your system detects a threat (called an antigen) it creates an attack plan. That plan starts with your immune system’s front-line players – antibodies. These special proteins are designed to lock on to antigens and then identify, tag, and neutralize them.3
But when your existing antibodies come up against an unfamiliar antigen, they have to create a new plan on the fly. Even if they can’t identify the specific antigen, they can still tag it as a threat. When your immune system sees that tag, it sends out a team of macrophages, special cells that gobble up anything your antibodies have tagged. Then all of the immune cells involved collect information about the unknown antigen so they know what to do next time they spot it.
For all of that to work the way it’s supposed to, you need a healthy and adaptable immune system. And that depends entirely on the bacteria in your gut.
Probiotic Bacteria Teach Your Immune System to Adapt and Conquer
Your gut houses more than 70% of your immune system.4 So it makes sense that your immune system relies on your gut microbiome – the trillions of bacteria in your gut – to function at its best.
In a healthy gut microbiome, a wide variety of beneficial probiotic bacteria greatly outnumber pathogens. And those probiotic bacteria contribute to your overall well-being in dozens of ways. That includes directing and training your immune system to make the best choices when it’s facing a potential threat.5
From the time you’re born, beneficial gut bacteria begin teaching your immune system critical skills such as:
- How to tell the difference between friendly cells and enemies (antigens)6
- When to increase antibody production to meet a threat7
- How to respond in the right balance, and not overreact or under-react8
- How to recognize enemies its seen before9
- Which tools to draw on when enemies change10
- How to defeat infectious bacteria and viruses11
Without the right guidance from beneficial gut bacteria, your immune system can get confused and overwhelmed. That makes it harder for you to avoid getting sick… or to recover quickly when you do get sick.
Luckily, there’s a simple way to make sure your gut microbiome sends the right information to your immune system. Enlist immune-supportive probiotics for your total defense team.12
The Right Probiotics Deliver Proactive Immune Support
Along with training your immune system, probiotic bacteria also directly influence how it responds to keep you safe and healthy. Probiotics take an active role in helping your body defeat infections in several important ways.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Probiotic bacteria interact directly with your immune system to increase antibody production and activate key infection fighters, such as T-cells and B-cells.13,14 They support a balanced inflammatory response, which is crucial for defeating viral infections.15 Probiotics communicate these strategies by producing short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) for stronger immune signaling.16
And probiotics also use their own defensive tactics to help you resist and defeat infectious microbes.17 They help to stop viruses from making copies of themselves18 and deactivate their ability to invade your healthy cells.19 Probiotic bacteria accomplish this by producing virus-halting compounds to help your immune system win.20,21
Plus, if an infection does manage to take hold, the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome help manage symptom severity and duration.22
But not all probiotics deliver these immune-supportive effects. Clinically studied probiotic strains that are known to provide immune benefits include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus23
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus24,25
- Bifidobacterium lactis26
- Streptococcus thermophiles27
- Bifidobacterium longum28
- Lactobacillus salivarius29
- Lactobacillus casei30
- Lactococcus lactis31
To reap all possible benefits for your continued health and wellness, you’ll want to make sure you’re delivering only proven support to your immune system. That means checking labels so you can get the right probiotic assistance.
A Perfectly Balanced Probiotic Supplement Keeps You Ahead of the Herd
Taking a proactive approach can help your immune system keep you healthy and safe. That means offering plenty of the right support for an adaptable, balanced immune response.
When your immune system functions at such a high level, you won’t have to rely on herd immunity to feel safe. You’ll be confident that your immune system will do its best to keep you healthy.
You can protect yourself with the right blend of immune-informing probiotics, especially when they’re combined with targeted prebiotics and restorative herbs that amplify their support.32
A perfectly balanced probiotic supplement will provide the ideal support your immune system needs. That includes well-studied probiotic strains such as:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Streptococcus thermophiles
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactococcus lactis
An ideal probiotic formula will also contain special prebiotic fiber, derived from citrus peel, such as pectic oligosaccharide (POS), to nourish the probiotic bacteria in your gut microbiome so they provide the highest level of support for your immune system. The best probiotic supplements will also contain health-promoting and digestive-friendly herbs such as ginger, fennel, and chamomile.
For your best defense and probiotic support, ecoProbiotic is physician formulated with 8 clinically studied probiotic strains, 19 organically grown digestive herbs, and prebiotic nutrients that give you the nourishment you need for essential support to protect your gut against unhealthy pathogens, microbes, toxins, and other inflammatory impacts.
One of the most important things we can do for ourselves is to nourish our bodies with the right ingredients that give us what we need to feel our best and protect our health. That starts with your gut. With probiotic support you can promote your health long-term, and defend against threats, regardless of the season.
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- John TJ, Samuel R. Herd immunity and herd effect: new insights and definitions. Eur J Epidemiol. 2000;16(7):601-6.
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- Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Manobendro Sarker, Dan Wan, "Immunomodulatory Effects of Probiotics on Cytokine Profiles", BioMed Research International, vol. 2018, Article ID 8063647, 10 pages, 2018.
- Hardy H, Harris J, Lyon E, Beal J, Foey AD. Probiotics, prebiotics and immunomodulation of gut mucosal defences: homeostasis and immunopathology. Nutrients. 2013;5(6):1869-1912.
- Yan F, Polk DB. Probiotics and immune health. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2011;27(6):496-501. doi:10.1097/MOG.0b013e32834baa4d
- Liu Y, Alookaran JJ, Rhoads JM. Probiotics in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disorders. Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1537. Published 2018 Oct 18. doi:10.3390/nu10101537
- Zheng, D., Liwinski, T. & Elinav, E. Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease. Cell Res 30, 492–506 (2020).
- Mirashrafi S, Moravejolahkami AR, Balouch Zehi Z, et al. The efficacy of probiotics on virus titres and antibody production in virus diseases: A systematic review on recent evidence for COVID-19 treatment. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2021;46:1-8. doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.10.016
- Lopez-Santamarina A, Lamas A, Del Carmen Mondragón A, et al. Probiotic Effects against Virus Infections: New Weapons for an Old War. Foods. 2021;10(1):130. Published 2021 Jan 9. doi:10.3390/foods10010130
- Heidari Z, et al. Probiotics/Prebiotics in Viral Respiratory Infections: Implication for Emerging Pathogens. Recent Pat Biotechnol. 2021 Oct 4;15(2):112-136.
- Maldonado Galdeano C, Cazorla SI, Lemme Dumit JM, Vélez E, Perdigón G. Beneficial Effects of Probiotic Consumption on the Immune System. Ann Nutr Metab. 2019;74(2):115-124.
- Sundararaman A, Ray M, Ravindra PV, Halami PM. Role of probiotics to combat viral infections with emphasis on COVID-19. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020;104(19):8089-8104. doi:10.1007/s00253-020-10832-4
- Shahbazi R, Yasavoli-Sharahi H, Alsadi N, Ismail N, Matar C. Probiotics in Treatment of Viral Respiratory Infections and Neuroinflammatory Disorders. Molecules. 2020 Oct 22;25(21):4891.
- Gonçalves P, Araújo JR, Di Santo JP. A Cross-Talk Between Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids and the Host Mucosal Immune System Regulates Intestinal Homeostasis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 Feb 15;24(3):558-572. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izx029. PMID: 29462379.
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