By Dr. Mercola
Most people, including many physicians, do not realize that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to achieve optimal health.
The root of many health problems is related to an imbalance of intestinal bacteria, and this foundation of good health is laid even while in utero.
Without a well-functioning gastrointestinal (GI) tract, a newborn baby will be more vulnerable to pathogens, allergens, and a number of immune-related diseases, so getting an infant’s gut up and running efficiently is crucial. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant would be wise to address their own gut health as early as possible to give their child the best start possible in this regard.
That said, it’s never too late to address your or your child’s gut, and most people would likely benefit from doing so.
The bacteria located in your GI tract play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.
Friendly bacteria even train your immune system to distinguish between pathogens and non-harmful antigens, and to respond appropriately. This important function prevents your immune system from overreacting to non-harmful antigens, which is the genesis of allergies.
But probiotics perform such a wide variety of functions, they’re really critical regardless of what ails you. And because adding probiotics to your diet is so easy, by way of cultured foods and/or supplements, it’s a step I highly encourage you to take.
How To Reduce Your Child’s Risk of Allergies
Babies gets their first “inoculation” of gut flora from mother’s birth canal during childbirth. If the flora is abnormal, the baby’s flora will also be abnormal; whatever organisms live in the mother’s vagina end up coating the baby’s body and lining his or her intestinal tract.
According to a recent analysis of previous clinical