There is this yogurt commercial, that shall remain nameless, that brings up an interesting fact. A full 70% of our immune system, is actually found in our digestive track.
As I said, it shall remain nameless. So I don’t have a cite. But I assume it is an established medical fact. I mean, why would they want to deceive us (besides wanting to sell us their product, and all that)?
My question is simple: What on earth is 70% of our immune system doing, in our digestive track? Shouldn’t it be in our blood system and organs, protecting us from dangerous pathogens?
And if it is mostly in our digestive track, it sure doesn’t seem to be doing its job. We have plenty of friendly bacteria there. It doesn’t target that. But still, outside bacteria is still outside bacteria, isn’t it? Also, I get mild cases of food poisoning all the time. So it certainly doesn’t seem to be helping me? What is it doing there?
How do you suppose dangerous pathogens normally get into your blood system and organs?
It’s of course not a medical fact, but the digestive system is one of the places in the body where very permeable parts of our exterior (remember your topology, if we ignore nose and ears the human body is a donut) is constantly exposed to pathogens.
A large part of our immune system is closely associated with our digestive sytem.
Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is indeed a major part of our immune system.
As part of the Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) it hosts lymphocytes, macrophages and other cells that participate in immune responses. Considering that our digestive system is laden with bacteria, it makes sense that it is under strict supervision by the immune system. The Gastrointestinal Immune System
The problem with claims like this (which may be true in a quantitative sense) is that they imply that the product(s) being sold are going to boost one’s immune system, which is another kettle of (rancid) fish.
“Gut health” is a big buzzphrase these days, and marketing is way ahead of the science.
The digestive tract is where stuff from outside the body is brought inside the body. It’s important to regulate what gets in and what doesn’t. It doesn’t work perfectly, but it does work most of the time.
When you read the full article, however, you soon realize that it refers specifically to food-based allergic reactions. That is not the “immune system” as most people generally understand the term, which is generally taught as the white blood cells.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the gut plays a part in defending against food-based allergens. That article explains the mechanisms - as far as they are known, which isn’t all that far - and the possible consequences.
The danger comes from taking a specialized medical finding and applying it to areas where it doesn’t belong. This claim is technically true, which I define as a fact so wrenched out of context that it appears to mean the opposite of what it does.