What Happens In Gut Immunity?

If you’re anything like me, you learn quite visually. I like it when I see a video of something because it tends to stay in my head better somehow.

Today, I watched this fascinating, albeit very technical, video by Nature, which shows the immune process that goes on in our gut mucosal system – the one that controls our barriers and the one we are trying to heal. In the video, they refer to IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disorders like Crohn’s and Colitis) specifically, but the same goes for any gut mucosal inflammation; it’s just that those have names. Here’s the video:

Immunology In The Gut

The video shows the incredibly complex way that antigens from bacteria, yeasts, food etc are dealt with and how inflammation rages when the system breaks down or is overwhelmed.

The gut mucosa is the largest and most dynamic immunological environment of the body. It’s often the first point of exposure and the gut immune system therefore needs to be ready to respond to pathogens but at the same time it is constantly exposed to innocuous environmental, food and ‘friendly’ bacteria, which need to be tolerated. A wayward immune response to harmless antigens is the underlying cause of food allergies and IBD.

Oral Tolerance

From about 4 minutes in, you can see specifically about the barrier and oral tolerance. Where they talk about bacteria being controlled and the inflammatory reactions, just think: food, because it’s the same process pretty much that happens when we ingest an allergen. The problem is that, here the bacteria is dealt with, but just imagine this process continuing because of the constant (hidden?) ingestion of an allergenic/sensitive food… the process doesn’t end until we remove the ingestion and do something to repair and calm the mucosa.

Interestingly, the anti-inflammatories in your Barrier Plan protocol are specifically designed to down-regulate the production of the various inflammatory mediators talked about in this video: in other words, to help calm the inflammatory process down. Here’s a bit from the makers of Kapparest, for example:

The inflammatory cascade is triggered by environmental stimuli such as injury, food or environmental allergens, viral infections, exposure to toxins and emotional stress, or poor diet. This leads to the activation of something called NF-KappaB, a protein complex that acts as an intracellular “amplifier” to promote the production of direct mediators of inflammation. These include such compounds as cytokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, nitric oxide and free radicals. If NF-KappaB is left unchecked, it can lead to pain, inflammation and even insulin resistance, and cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders.

They actually go on to recommend taking essential fatty acids in the right amounts too (again as recommended in the BP) since the combination provides a proven:

synergistic action in downregulating pro-inflammatory mediators that impact systemic inflammation

Told you it was complex, but sometimes I like you to see how it all fits together and is based on solid knowledge and research; I promise I’m not making it all up!

Enjoy, er, I think 😉


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