You’ve probably heard probiotics can help improve digestive health, but did you know they also play a major role in immune function? This may seem odd. After all, when you think of immune health, you probably think of colds, flu, or even hayfever, all of which seem far removed from digestion.

To understand how digestion affects immune function, think of the immune system as fighting a war on two fronts. The first front, where the body devotes most of its efforts, is fought in the gut against pathogens in food and drink. The second front exists in the bloodstream against things we inhale. The more troops needed in the gut means less available for airborne pathogens like the common cold.

Enter probiotics. As the gatekeeper to nearly everything that enters the bloodstream, the gut is tasked with allowing vital nutrients to enter while working to remove pathogenic bacteria, like ecoli and salmonella, and toxins. Probiotics provide enormous benefit first, by working to crowd out bad bacteria and second, by forming a physical barrier of protection called a biofilm. Without this, bacteria and toxins are able to leak through the intestinal wall further taxing the body.

By getting probiotics regularly through fermented foods, like tempeh and sauerkraut, or supplements, you're providing the body with the necessary troops to succeed on the first front thereby ensuring a much more effective immune response against airborne challenges like the common cold.

Few supplements provide greater overall nutritional support than probiotics. At Vital Choice, we carry a wide variety of some of the best options available including our own Vital Choice 20-Billion Probiotic that uses clinically studied acid-resistant and shelf stable strains. To browse our selection, click here or please stop in the discuss which one is right for you.

To learn more, check out episode 341 of Steve Lankford's HealthQuest Podcast Nutrition for Supporting Immune Function.

Related: Immune Support Basics

Mike Ventresca is the owner of Vital Choice Health Store located at 9243 Sprague Road in North Royalton’s Timber Ridge Plaza. The phone number is 440-885-9505 or www.VChoice.com. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.