The intestines are the largest immune organ in our body. In fact, 70% to 80% of immune cells reside in the gut, they are known as Gut-associated Lymphoid Tissues (GALT). There are 4 types of immune cells:
i. Macrophage provides a first line of defense in protecting the host from infection. It engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes and cancer cells.
ii. Natural killer cell (NK cell) provides protection against viral and bacterial infections and they help to detect and limit the development of cancer.
iii. T cell (T lymphocyte) recognizes and remembers invading bacteria and viruse.
iv. B cell (B lymphocyte) is able to make antibodies, which circulate and bind to antigens.
Keeping the intestines healthy with a high level of good bacteria is vital to support optimal functions of immune cells. Good bacteria residing in the gut are constantly interfacing with the immune cells and essentially prime the immune system for contact with incoming germs and viruses.