• drnataliesenst_ND

Prebiotics & Probiotics: for immune health

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Did you know that your immune health is deeply connected to your gut health? You can do so much with diet to support a healthy immune system! Probiotic and prebiotic foods can be used to support immune function and reduce inflammation!

Fresh red onions - prebiotic fibre for butyrate-producing bacteria

GOAL: PRODUCE MORE BUTYRATE TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION


For an immune-supporting diet, consume these daily:

  • prebiotic foods - consuming fibre is the best way to feed your healthy bacteria and naturally produce butyrate: start with vegetables!, then fruit in moderation, and add fibre powders if needed - including licorice root (powder/tea) and non-irritating fibres like partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) or acacia. If tolerated, include garlic & onion along with lots of leafy greens/brassicas daily. Brassicas (see the broccoli family listed below*) and garlic/onions also contain a compound called sulforaphane that activates Nrf2 which supports immune function at a cellular level similar to butyrate.

  • butyrate in fats - consuming short-chain fatty acids in moderation provides some additional butyrate - try: coconut flakes, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, but use these in moderation and fill up on vegetable fibres first!

  • probiotic foods - naturally fermented foods provide a source of healthy bacteria: found in like kimchi and sauerkraut, kombucha, or dairy/non-dairy yogurts and kefirs (plain). If you're not tolerating these foods well, start with smaller doses and work up. These foods may not provide the best butyrate-producing bacteria, so don't rely on probiotics alone.

  • If you're having trouble adding pre- and probiotic foods, let me know. We may need to do some additional gut work before you can tolerate these and support your immune system!

OTHER IMMUNE SUPPORT:

  • Change of season soup: has herbs like astragalus that boosts white blood cells and supports immune health (read more / buy in clinic)

  • Vitamin D - optimal levels are important for mood and immune health Are you supplementing? Are you absorbing enough? (see my blog!)


*Brassica family of foods include: broccoli (& broccoli sprouts), cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, Bok choy (and other Asian greens), mustard greens, rapini, arugula, kale, collard greens, watercress, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, daikon radish, horseradish



References:

Comparative In silico Analysis of Butyrate Production Pathways in Gut Commensals and Pathogens (2016) https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.01945


Lipoteichoic acids on Lactobacillus plantarum cell surfaces correlate with induction of interleukin‐12p40 production (2010) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1348-0421.2009.00189.x


Sulforaphane and Other Nutrigenomic Nrf2 Activators (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7857186