Probiotics and Immune Health in Adults
With the recent pandemic and other viral infections, it makes sense to learn more about strengthening the immune health. When we talk about immune health, we know that it’s important at any age. But it is especially important for older adults because as one age, the immune health often declines too.
The immune health of older adults doesn’t work well as they did in their younger days. It starts to weaken and becomes less efficient when responding to infections. We call this gradual deterioration of the immune system immunosenescence. It’s brought by natural age advancement and age-related oxidative stress.
The Aging gut
Aging has a significant effect on the gut microbiota. The gut composition and gut immune response become impaired. The diversity of gut microbiota also declines with a lower number of good bacteria and higher bad bacteria. All these are tied to decreased effectiveness of digestion and gut immune function. The alteration in the gut microbiota because of aging leads to illnesses commonly found in the aging group. So, how can you keep your immune health working at its finest? Start with your gut- take probiotics.
Ways to boost the immune health in adults
The good news is that a healthy lifestyle, healthy living strategies, consuming probiotics foods, and taking probiotic supplements can improve immune health to better prevent and fight diseases. Below are some ways to strengthen your immune health.
- Eat a well-balanced meal: A well-balanced meal is vital to a strong immune system. As you age, your eating habits and nutritional needs also change for a variety of reasons. Because of poor nutrition, your immune health weakens and this could affect your heart health. Your muscles and bones also become weak, and you are more prone to infections and illnesses.
A well-balanced diet includes varieties of fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and a variety of protein foods.
- Quit smoking and minimize your alcohol intake. Smoking can hurt your immune health, so does too much alcohol intake. This makes you more vulnerable to infections, including the recent coronavirus that causes the pandemic. Smoking and too much alcohol consumption also increases your risk for many health issues including diabetes, heart problems, osteoporosis, and respiratory problems.
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting enough sleep is important, no matter what age group you belong to. Not enough sleep prevents your immune system to function properly against infection and inflammation. Besides, lack of sleep is often linked to conditions like diabetes, obesity, depression, and heart diseases.
- Manage your stress. Stress can take a toll on your body, especially your immune system. When you are stressed, your immune systems weaken. You become more susceptible to infections. Your stress hormone also increases, and this suppresses the effectiveness of your immune system.
Take probiotics. Probiotics have been found to play a vital role in boosting your immune health, relieving stress, improving cognitive function, and a lot more. Probiotics are microorganisms that provide health benefits. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are among the most studied genus among elderly populations. Probiotics can help:
- Restore the gut microbiota among the aged group
- Control inflammatory processes
- Control oxidative stress
- Prevent several age-related diseases