84 Burnett St Bundaberg

How Your Gut Health Influences Your Immune System

gut health bundaberg

Have you ever heard that your gut can affect your immunity? It might seem strange, but it’s true! There are several important ways that your gut health can affect your immune system – including your risk of infection as well as risk of autoimmunity. 

Let’s examine some of these links and how they affect your immunity. 

Home of the immune system 

The first link is the most significant – a large percentage of your immune system actually resides in your gut. Around 70% of the immune system is what is known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue or GALT which is in the gut. A large percentage of your immune cells also reside in the GALT. 

As the home of the two systems overlaps, you can see how the state of your gut could have an impact on your immunity. 

The first line of defence 

The next link is that your gut is a major part of what’s known as the first line of defence. Your immune system has multiple layers of defence to keep you safe from illness and foreign substances. The first of these is made up of physical and chemical barriers including your skin, mucus in the airways and beneficial bacteria throughout the body. 

A massive part of this first line of defence? Various parts of your gut. This includes the microbes residing throughout your digestive tract, stomach acid, and the GALT we mentioned earlier. 

If your gut health is impaired, some of your biggest lines of defence are down. This leaves you vulnerable to illness. 

Nutrient absorption 

Another critical role of the gut is the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food. There are several nutrients the immune system needs to work optimally, including: 

  • Zinc 
  • Vitamin A 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin D 
  • Vitamin E 

If you are low in digestive enzymes or if your digestion is impaired, you may not absorb as much from your food as needed. As a result, nutrient deficiencies can arise. And without those nutrients to power the immune system, you are at a higher risk of falling sick. 


When it comes to both gut and immunity, inflammation is important to consider. You may know that in small amounts, inflammation is actually a good thing. It’s a protective mechanism that is initiated by the immune system to protect against potential dangers. 

But when inflammation smoulders for too long, problems can arise. This is where it can actually have a negative influence on immunity. 

Although the immune system kicks off the inflammatory response, your gut still plays an important starting role. For example, if you have too many harmful bacteria in the gut, they can release chemicals that increase inflammation levels. 

How can I support a healthy gut? 

As there are so many factors that affect your gut health, there are many steps you can take to improve gut health. Some simple ones to get you started include: 

  • Eating more fibre-rich foods 
  • Reducing the amount of processed foods and added sugars you consume 
  • Identify any food intolerances that could be contributing to inflammation 
  • Seek professional advice if you have significant gut symptoms 

For more gut health tips, make sure you check out this blog article. 

Do you suspect your gut is letting your immune system down? If so, our naturopath Trish is here to help you.  

She can assess your diet, lifestyle and goals, as well as any pathology results you might have from your GP. Together, you can discuss the best ways to improve your gut health naturally. 

To book an appointment with Trish at our Bundaberg clinic, book an appointment online here or call us on (07) 41522372 


© 2019 by Burnett House
84 Burnett St
Bundaberg South QLD 4670
ABN: 88 973 250 774
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