Probiotics can enhance your immune system!
The intestine is considered a key target organ to improve the quality of life in senescence, which can be modulated with a healthy lifestyle with a customized diet including probiotics. Probiotics are demonstrating immunomodulating properties that can alleviate the proinflammatory status of the elderly. “The preservation of gut barrier integrity and an increased ability to fight infections are the main reported immune benefits of probiotics” (Landete et al., 2017). In addition, the intake of a diet rich in phytoestrogens along with the presence of selected probiotic bacteria may lead to the production of equol, enterolignans, and urolithins, which are considered protective against chronic diseases related to aging.
Commensal bacteria can modulate the host inflammatory response, mainly by targeting NF- 𝜅B. According to Landete et.al, an aged-type microbiota shows low microbial biodiversity, enriched in pathobionts and facultative anaerobes and depleted of Firmicutes, which is linked with an increase of proinflammatory signals. Improving the profile of the gut microbiota through lifestyle and nutritional modifications may exert beneficial immunological effects. They can preserve the gut barrier integrity and function and regulate expression of tight junctions. “Probiotic treatments can ameliorate some of these processes modulating cytokine production, improving distribution and function of NK cells, macrophages, granulocytes, and T cells in the circulation, and enhancing mucosal and systemic antibody responses” (Landete et al., 2017). The presence of some beneficial microorganisms can also help the production of bioactive metabolites as equol, enterolignans, and urolithins. A diet rich in isoflavones, lignins from flaxseeds, or eggagitannisn from cherries/pomegranates would thus work synergistically with probiotics to activate these bioactive metabolites.
Below is a chart that summarizes some probiotics and how they influence immunity
Here is a screenshot of some important resources for probiotics and prebiotics (food for probiotics).