The Gut and Immunity: An intimate connection

Anne Fischer Silva

March 31, 2020

The immune system is on everyone’s mind these days. All of us are hoping that ours and the immune systems of those we love are strong. But where does immunity really come from? Why the gut, of course.

Eighty percent of our immunity lives in and around the gastrointestinal tract, which means immune health is intimately connected to gut health. Several aspects of digestive function affect our immune system: 

First, can we properly break down and absorb the food we eat? If we can’t, it doesn’t matter how high the quality of our food is. If we can’t digest and absorb it, we won’t get the full benefit no matter how nutrient-dense it is. Period.  

Three digestive secretions – gastric juices in the stomach, pancreatic enzymes and bile in the small intestine – are essential to overall gastrointestinal wellness and when there is an issue with one, two, or all three of these secretions, we can’t properly digest, break down, and absorb the nutrients from our diet.  

Lack of digestive secretions leads to food particles that are not properly broken down into microscopically-sized particles, which are abrasive to the gut lining. This leads to leaky gut, otherwise known as intestinal permeability, where these inappropriately-sized large molecules of food make their way through the tight junctions of the small intestine lining. This challenges our immune system, as it must determine whether these big molecules are friend or foe. If the food is determined to be an invader, an inflammatory cascade occurs as our immune system goes to battle against what would otherwise have been an innocuous bit of lunch. 

Adding to this digestive chaos are pro-inflammatory foods like sugar and gluten, along with preservatives and chemicals in processed foods that further confuse and imbalance the gut. 

Once this cycle of inflammation and immune up-regulation gets going, inflammatory cytokines are released into general circulation and can activate inflammatory immune cells in the brain, joints, blood vessels, heart and other tissues. This downward spiral can lead to, at best, a depressed immune system, and, at worst, autoimmunity.  

It is for this reason that we always say that digestion is the body’s highest healing priority. The biggest problem of all is that there is no way to determine exactly what’s going on without objective testing. 

That’s where the tools we teach in Mastering the Art and Science of Gastrointestinal Healing can give you answers. This course is designed to help you determine exactly where the dysfunction is occurring, which foods are creating an inflammatory cascade, and teach you how to create digestive homeostasis and boost overall immunity.  

Our clients need your help more now than ever before. The deadline for signing up for this 12-week certification course is Friday, April 10th at 9pm PT / Midnight ET.  Register now!

To your health and success, 

~ Anne 

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