The Immune System and Sports

With the discovery that more than 60% of the immune system is based in the gut, sportsmen and sportswomen are changing the way they look at this aspect of health.

Vigorous and prolonged physical exercise is known to supress the immune system which not only leads to more frequent colds but also a reduced ability to train. Serious athlete’s therefore take a range of steps to ensure their immune system is kept as strong as possible.

In the past this mainly involved taking supplements which are a good source of immune supporting nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc as well as antioxidants. While these still have a role to play it is the discovery that more than 60% of the immune system is based in the gut that is now changing the way sportsmen and sportswomen look at this aspect of health.

Scientific studies have shown that certain types of bacteria such as Bifidobacteria play a key role in helping to support and regulate the immune system. Athlete’s, bodybuilders and others can take advantage of this fact by ensuring their diet contains prebiotic foods and supplements that encourage the growth of these immune supporting bacteria in the gut. 

 

 

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