An Integrative MD Explains The Gut Health-Immunity Connection
According to integrative medicine doctor and mbg Collective member Amy Shah, M.D., “The gut and the immune system are completely intertwined. [As much as] 70% of our immune system is there,” she tells mbg.
That’s right: Over half our immune system calls the digestive tract home, making maintaining gastrointestinal health a critical part of supporting immune function.
Here’s how it works: “There’s tissue in our gut called the GALT tissue, where all the immune cells reside,” Shah explains. The bacteria in the GALT tissue (also known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue) are the “good” gut bacteria that help communicate to our immune system whether new things are foreign or welcome. In order for that process to occur optimally, our gut needs to be healthy. The GALT tissue also houses the plasma cells that help produce antibodies to bolster your body’s natural defenses.