Beneficial gut bacteria help determine our ability to fight off infection, but how? Scientists discover that gut bacteria communicate with immune cells and cells lining the intestinal wall to regulate the immune system’s response to infection. Beneficial gut bacteria are responsible for attaching to the intestinal wall and signaling the cellular production of IL-10, a cytokine that tones down the inflammatory response triggered during the initial immune reaction. This regulation protects the gut from being attacked by the immune system and keeps the immune response focused on the infection. Immunity
→Takeaway: The lead researcher in the study, Professor Gretchen Diehl, tells us, “A take-home message… is that a healthy microbiota is necessary to allow for a balanced response to not only protect us from infection, but also to limit potential tissue damage as the immune system attempts to eliminate pathogens.” Eat your veggies, grow a good gut garden, and reap the benefits of an appropriate and balanced immune response!