Address: 11 Mavista Grove Elanora Queensland 4221    Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm
Book a Meeting Book a Meeting

Probiotics: Enhancing Gut & Immune Health

Gut bugs, of which you have approximately 32.7 trillion, perform an extraordinary number of roles in your body [1].  The key component to not only physical, but also mental, vitality and wellness is to sustain the right balance of these microbes.

Lifestyle and Diet

Major observations from different studies and science projects, have shown that lifestyle and diet affect the diversity of the human gut microbiome and over the past decade, have illuminated the ever-increasing importance of gut flora upon our health.  Our modern lifestyle, in the majority of cases, is not supportive of a well-balanced microbiome and may in fact be leading to the disruption of this special system, or ‘organ’.  Lifestyle factors such as increased consumption of processed foods, malnutrition, obesity, chemical and pesticide use,  stress, impaired sleep and disruption of the circadian rhythm, medication, aging, sedentary living, exposure to EMF’s and other pollutants are just a few of the documented and suggested disruptors of the microbiome, leading to gut dysbiosis [2].

Good and Bad Microorganisms

95 percent of the microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract are good for us, leaving about 5 percent, that under normal circumstances don’t cause too much alarm.  However, changes in the PH (acidity) of the intestinal environment, caused by poor dietary choices and availability or lifestyle factors,  may encourage these “bad” microorganisms to thrive, leading to gut dysbiosis or SIBO (small intestinal overgrowth) in the small intestine.  Simply put, gut dysbiosis and SIBO, is when the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria, is out of symphony.

Our Immune System

Our immune system works day and night to protect the body from the large array of airborne bacteria and viruses trying to lodge an attack against us.  One of our defence systems, the innate system (the immunity system we are born with) is our bodies first line of defence against invading pathogens and is vital in the regulation of homeostasis (a self-regulating process by which the systems in our bodies tend to maintain stability).  It also preps the adaptive defence system (acquired immunity) for attack if necessitated.

The innate system consists of mucous membranes and their secretions that create physical and chemical barriers.  The gastrointestinal tract, along with other mucous membrane lined cavities within the body, plays an active role in this initial immune response.  This mucosal immune system senses the microbiota, and responds by maintaining intestinal homeostasis (balance), and prompting total body protective responses.  However, if the gut microbiome is not flourishing, an unbalanced immune response will occur resulting in severe inflammation and uncontrolled tissue damage and disease [6]. Thus, manipulation of the intestinal microbiota, with the use of probiotics, is a potential alternative approach for maintaining health and preventing and/or treating diseases. [6].

Probiotics – What are they?

Probiotics, defined as ‘live microorganisms which, when consumed in adequate amounts as part of food, confer a health benefit on the host’.  Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces are three extensively studied and commonly used probiotics in humans and animals. [6]

Several beneficial effects of probiotics on our intestinal mucosal defence system have been identified, with potentially the most important benefit being the modulation of the immune system [6].

Practitioner Results

Our gut microbiome is a complex organ in itself and restoring healthy gut flora is not as simple as killing the “baddies” and boosting the “goodies” with probiotics.  According to Rob Knight, “The definition of a healthy gut microbiome may be context-dependent and highly personalised.” [5].  Each persons’ gut environment has its preferred balance of microorganisms for optimal functioning. 

Working with a practitioner will optimise your overall health results.  Quite often, where signs of dysbiosis and leaky gut are evident, a practitioner will guide you through a gut healing and sealing protocol which will assist in long term, sustainable results, before or in conjunction with, the introduction of quality, commercially produced probiotics and fermented foods.

A practitioner will be able to prescribe the most beneficial probiotics for your lifestyle and health situation.  Many of the probiotic supplements commercially sold tend to be of questionable viability, whereas, health care practitioners are more likely to have access to products that have to more rigorously adhere to strict standards [3]. It is also important to consider the symptoms you may be experiencing to tailor the correct probiotic strains for your health improvements.

Fermented Foods

It is however, the ancient, simple and often less expensive introduction of fermented (cultured) foods into our daily diets, that remains one of the greatest solutions to restoring healthy gastrointestinal flora [3]. Fermented foods are those that have been exposed to bacteria.  The bacteria eat the sugars in the food which helps to break down the nutrients, making them easier to digest and the nutrients more readily available for absorption. [4]  The addition of raw cultured vegetables and, if tolerated, homemade raw milk-based or dairy-free, coconut milk-based kefir, yogurt and the Changing Habits Organic Probiotics, are wonderful, natural, real food products containing live probiotics and enzymes [3]. In addition to purchasing cultured or fermented foods commercially, you can also make many of them at home.  Starter culture kits are now quite readily available and simple to use.  Eating probiotic foods is a great step toward improving your wellness and reducing the risk of disease.


Nutrition is essential for a well-functioning immune system, as it directly affects our gut flora, which in turn affects our immune response capability.  Following is a list of foods that are beneficial for improving and maintaining your gut health, which as we now know is intricately linked to our overall health and wellness.   

Beneficial Foods for Gut Health

Bone Broth, fermented foods, organ meats, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, slippery elm, aloe vera, turmeric, watercress, calendula, cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, cumin, enzyme rich fruits (red papaya, kiwi & pineapple), fennel seeds, ginger, kakadu plum, lemon juice, licorice root, zinc, and peppermint [1].

Great Reading and Recipes to Get You Started on  Your Gut Healing and Health Journey

"Changing Habits Recipe Book” - Cyndi O’Meara 

“The Complete Gut Health Cookbook” - Pete Evans and Helen Padarin

“Heal Your Gut” – Lee Holmes

“Brain Maker” - Dr David Perlmutter

“Primal Body, Primal Mind” – Nora T. Gedgaudas

“Your Personal Paleo Diet” – Chris Kresser

Are you ready to enhance your gut and immune health? 
Sign up for the
8 Week 'Revitalise, Energise and Drop a Size' Ultimate Gut Health Program... and start creating health from the inside out!


  1. Evans, P., Padarin, H.  The Gut Health Cookbook (2016). Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd
  2. Myles, I. (2014). Nutrition Journal.  Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet in Immunity.
  3. Gedgaudas, N. Primal Body, Primal Mind (2011).  Healing Arts Press, Vermont.
  4. Ancestral Health, Functional Medicine.  Probiotics Are Pro-Health (2019).
  5. Prados, A. Gut Microbiota For Health by ESNM.  Diet, antibiotics and geography can influence the microbial make-up of the gut. Discussion with Rob Knight on the World Microbiome Day 2019 (2019).
  6. Yan, F., Polk, D. B.  (2014). Probiotics and Immune Health. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology.  Oct; 27(6): 496-501.  DOI: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32834baad4
  7. Kresser, C.