How your gut protects you.
Lymph tissue in the gut is composed of specialized clusters of cells, or Peyer's patches, as well as individual cells within the gut tissue and appendix. These cells secrete antibodies, such as immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is our first line of immune defense in the gut as well as in the mouth, nose, and throat.
What is it, exactly, that this mass of cells is protecting you against? The gut is heavily populated with bacteria and not all of them friendly. The gut antibodies, along with friendly bacteria, such as the probiotics, keep these unfriendly bacteria from overpopulating and invading your bloodstream. To get a sense of the size of this task, realize that one teaspoon of fluid in the small intestine can easily contain millions of bacteria, and the same amount of fluid in the colon holds a trillion or more.
Additionally, each of us sends down the food tube an estimated 25 to 30 tons of food plus liquids over the course of a lifetime, all of which has to be monitored for bacteria, viruses, and other types of antigens, toxins, and food allergens. A breakdown in this process can result in immune weakness. It can also cause hyperimmune responses resulting in food allergy, inflammation, or autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks the body. Contributing to any of these is a condition called leaky gut syndrome.
(Excerpted with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. The Healthy Gut Workbook, Copyright [c] 2010, by Victor S. Sierpina, M.D.)
By Victor S. Sierpina, M.D.
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|Author:||Sierpina, Victor S.|
|Publication:||Nutrition Health Review|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2010|
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