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A happy stomach is a happy immune system.

A happy stomach is a happy immune system.

As temperatures being to drop across the country, many Americans may already be thinking about the inevitable onslaught of illness that takes place during the fall and winter months. In addition to plying yourself with vitamin C – from a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, perhaps – there is another avenue to explore when it comes to fortifying your immune system.

According to a recent press release from Oregon State University, the "good bacteria" in your digestive tract also plays an essential role in your body's natural defenses, and it's high time that these microbes get the attention they deserve. Far from just breaking down food and facilitating the absorption of nutrients, the enzymes at work in your gut also support your immune system.

"Our intestines contain more immune cells than the entire rest of our body," explains study author Dr. Natalia Shulzhenko. "This is little appreciated by people who think its only role is digestion."

Shulzhenko notes that the microbes in the gut actually stimulate and interact with the body's immune system, and that obstructions in this line of communication can lead to health concerns. Lifestyle factors like diet and various medications can contribute to this interference, she explains. However, now that scientists have a better understanding of this relationship, further research efforts may shed light on new and more effective treatment options.

In the meantime, consider bolstering your digestive system by incorporating probiotics and other compounds that are beneficial for gut health. Click here to read more information about our digestive support supplements.