The Gut-Immune Connection: Know about Link Between Gut Health and Immune System

11:42 AM Apr 05, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Our body’s defence system, known as immunity, is a marvel of balance. It must protect us from harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses while also ensuring it doesn’t mistakenly attack our own healthy cells. This delicate equilibrium is called immune homeostasis, and our gut plays a pivotal role in maintaining it.


Inside our gut reside millions of microorganisms that interact closely with the immune cells lining our intestines. Together, they regulate not only the immune responses within the gut but also those throughout our entire body. Our intestines serve as the primary gateway for exposure to invading microorganisms and foreign particles, priming our immune system to recognize and eliminate these potential threats.

In fact, the gut is our body’s first encounter with foreign substances after birth, making it a crucial player in shaping our immune responses from the very beginning of life. This immunity isn’t confined to the intestines alone; it extends its protective reach throughout our entire body via immune cells, shielding us from infections and foreign invaders.

However, this finely tuned system can be disrupted by factors such as antibiotic treatments, vaccinations, and hygiene practices. These interventions can alter the composition of microorganisms in our gut and consequently affect our immune responses.

When our immune system becomes overwhelmed, it may inadvertently turn against our own healthy tissues, leading to autoimmune disorders.


Interestingly, early reintroduction of oral nutrition in patients recovering from major surgeries or illness has been found to have a positive impact on the immune system, hastening the recovery process. This underscores the intimate connection between our gut health and overall immunity, highlighting the importance of nurturing our gut microbiota for optimal health.

Moreover, emerging research has linked the composition of our gut microbiota to various autoimmune diseases, both within the intestine itself, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune atrophic gastritis, and in extra intestinal conditions like immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and multiple sclerosis.

While these associations are complex and multifactorial, they shed light on the intricate interplay between our gut and immune system in the development of autoimmune disorders.

In conclusion, the relationship between our gut and immune system is a complex one, with far-reaching implications for our health and well-being. While the gut serves as a crucial hub for immune regulation and protection against pathogens, disturbances in this delicate balance can lead to immune dysregulation and autoimmune diseases.

By understanding and nurturing the symbiotic relationship between our gut and immune system, we can empower ourselves to support our body’s natural defences and promote optimal health. Whether through dietary interventions, probiotics, or lifestyle modifications, investing in our gut health may hold the key to unlocking a resilient and balanced immune system.

By Dr. Anurag Shetty, Consultant Gastroenterology, KMC Hospital, Mangalore

Disclaimer: The opinions and assertions expressed in this article are solely those of the author/authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Udayavani. The publication holds no legal responsibility for the content presented.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.