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The immune - gut connection

Did you know that 80% of our immunity lives in and around the gastrointestinal tract?


This explains why there is such a strong connection between immune health and gut health. There's different aspects of digestive function that affect our immune system: 


  • Are we able to properly break down and absorb the food we eat? If not, it doesn’t matter how high the quality of our food is. If we can’t digest and absorb it, we won’t get the full benefit no matter how nutrient-dense it is.

  • Are we producing the necessary digestive secretions? Gastric juices in the stomach, pancreatic enzymes and bile in the small intestine, are essential for properly breaking down the food we consume and allow proper absorption of the nutrients they contain. This is the base for our body to create ATP which source of energy.

Within the small intestines, we have millions of villi which are tiny finger-like projections that cover the epithelial lining of the small intestines. These villi and their microvilli absorb the nutrient molecules and allow them to pass into the bloodstream, where they are carried throughout the entire body.


The epithelial tissue that lines our small intestine’s walls depends on a healthy gut flora to stay healthy and be able to regenerate. If the gut flora is not sufficient, the epithelial lining does not regenerate, but also a deficiency of good bacteria leads to an increase in pathogenic bacteria.

Compromised gut microorganisms diminish our protective lining normally present in a healthy gut, which helps us ward off. The gut cannot protect itself; it depends on these microorganisms to destroy viruses and pathogenic bacterial invaders in the digestive system.

If food is not properly broken down, undigested  or maldigested, it will impact  the villi  and microvilli on the walls of the small intestine. Opportunistic uncontrolled microbes like candida damage the small intestine by putting roots into the lining  and making it  “leaky”. They push apart the intestinal cells breaking down the integrity of the intestinal wall and allow undigested foods into the blood (leaky  gut  syndrome otherwise known as intestinal permeability). This challenges our immune system, as it has to determine whether these big molecules are friend or foe. If the food is determined to be an invader, an inflammatory cascade occurs as our immune system goes to battle against what would otherwise have been an innocent bit of lunch.

Once this cycle of inflammation and immune up-regulation gets going, inflammatory cytokines are released into general circulation and can activate inflammatory immune cells in the brain, joints, blood vessels, heart and other tissues. This downward spiral can lead to, at best, a depressed immune system, and, at worst, autoimmunity.


It is for this reason that I’m so obsessed with healing the gut. I’ve seen this through my own journey how important this is. Only when I did some comprehensive testing and followed the respective healing protocol did I finally get rid of my eczema, digestive distress, bloating, food sensitivities etc.

Probably one of the most common issues disrupting the microbiome is stress. It can prevent us from being in parasympathetic state while eating but also disrupting our enteric nervous system and weaken our immune system.


In the case of Covid-19, I mentioned during the webinar the ACE2 receptor that's present all over the body, so not only in our lungs but also in our gut (and other organs) and as I said, this is where the virus will dock on to get in our cells. The more tissue damage we have from our past and possible inflammation going on in our gut, the more ACE2 receptors will be present in our body and the more likely we are to catch the virus as it multiplies the chances for viral replication.

If you are ready to heal your gut, book your free strategy session now.


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not render medical or psychological advice, opinion, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a medical or psychological problem, you should consult your appropriate health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Links on this website are provided only as an informational resource, and it should not be implied that we recommend, endorse or approve of any of the content at the linked sites, nor are we responsible for their availability, accuracy or content. Any review or other matter that could be regarded as a testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any consultation. The testimonials on this website represent the anecdotal experience of individual clients. Individual experiences are not a substitute for scientific research. 

Copyright© 2021 by Marieke Steen. All rights reserved.

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