Friendly Flora Boosts Natural Killer Cell Activity
Monday, December 26, 2011
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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A new study shows that daily supplementation with a strain of probiotics called Lactobacillus casei boosted the function of natural killer cells in male smokers. This study is interesting to me because it shows that boosting intestinal health can have a significant impact on overall immune function.
This study is good news for smokers, since NK cells are needed to knock out cancer cells and the lack of them would make a smoker more at risk for cancer. However, these study results have potential benefit for everyone, not only in terms of cancer prevention but also in terms of anti-viral defense against the flu or any other viral infection. That is because NK cells (also called cytotoxic T cells) are needed as a key part of anti-viral immunity to kill virally-infected cells.
It is an interesting technical point that boosting digestive health has a direct bearing on overall immune competence. Friendly flora are a good tool for general immune support, especially in the winter months of the flu season.
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