Many people are affected by health challenges related to poor immunity and inflammation. Diet can play a large role in worsening or improving these issues, because of interactions between the gut microbiota and immune system.

Microbes produce a large number of metabolic products and other compounds that can directly interact with your physiology. The immune system monitors the metabolic state of the gut microbiome and relays that information to other tissues in the body to adjust their physiological processes.

The set of compounds produced by the gut microbiome depends on its composition and diversity. Microbial imbalances in the gut (referred to as dysbiosis) can affect the production of the molecular signals that underlie the communication between the gut microbiome and your physiological pathways and have a significant impact on those processes. Metabolic changes in the microbiome can even lead to the production of toxic products.

Dysbiosis can be caused by numerous environmental factors, including as the use of antibiotics and psychological and physical stress. However, diet stands out as one of the most impactful factors.

Dysbiosis can lead to disruption of the epithelial barrier, increasing your susceptibility to infections. Dysbiosis may also promote inadequate immune reactions to the gut microbiome, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. The consequences of dysbiosis can manifest throughout the body by influencing tissue-specific immunity and triggering dysfunctions in other organs. These abnormal interactions may lead to allergies and may even compromise immunological self-tolerance, leading to autoimmune disorders.

A healthy interaction between your immune system and the gut microbiome is crucial for the maintenance of your body’s homeostasis (balance) and health. Imbalances in the gut microbiome may dysregulate immune responses and lead to the development of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune dysfunctions. This is why it is important to take good care of our gut. And this starts with what you choose to eat.