Immune system support – the role of the lymphatic and digestive systems

The lymphatic system and immunity

The lymphatic system is a highly important, yet generally ignored, system inside our bodies. It has a pivotal role to play in:

• keeping fluid balance in the body 
• absorbing fat from the digestive tract
• acting like a garbage collection service, filtering the bloodstream of toxins and waste
• combatting infection – lymph nodes contain large amounts of white blood cells that attack bacteria.

Here are some incredible facts you most likely didn’t know about the lymphatic system:

1. It is made up of lymph, lymphocytes, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, the tonsils, the thymus gland, Peyer’s patches of the intestines and the spleen.

2. We have approximately three times the amount of lymph fluid in our bodies than we do blood.

3. Blood is pushed around our body by the heart’s contractions. By contrast, lymphatic fluid generally flows around the body against gravity. Three things help to keep it moving: the contractions of surrounding muscles during exercise or activity (this can increase lymph flow by up to fifteen times); contractions of smooth muscle in the lymph vessel walls; and movements of the chest when breathing.

4. The most essential part of the immune system is in the gut – 70 per cent of all antibody-producing cells are located in Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT), found in the intestine. GALT is believed to be the largest set of immune cells in the body.

Consequently, just by boosting your level of activity and taking deep breaths, you will be cleansing your immune system!

The digestive system

The digestive tract is the group of organs in the body through which food and liquids pass when they are consumed, digested and eliminated. These organs include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum and anus.

By contrast with the lymphatic system, the digestive system tends to receive more interest – but not necessarily without due cause. Nutritional medicine places great emphasis on the proper operation of the digestive system in terms of its impact on our overall health and well-being.

This makes sense, as obviously our bodies rely upon the food we eat and the liquids we drink for nutrients. Similarly, we rely upon the digestive tract to expel toxins from our bodies, which would otherwise be harmful if allowed to remain. Indeed, the health of our lymphatic system is said to be greatly affected by the state of our intestines, as is the liver and our immune system.

The digestive system is one of the most critical systems of our body and its normal functioning is vital to our survival. We get all our nutrition and energy from the digestive system, and its inefficiency can lead to lethargy and nutrient deficiency.

Lesson learned

What the above teaches us, is that it is important that we do all that we can to support our lymphatic and digestive systems and make certain (as far as possible) that they are operating properly. The day-to-day pressures that are placed on these systems by the modern-day diet, work strains, family strains, lack of exercise and environmental toxins all create an incredible burden on both the digestive and lymphatic systems on a daily basis.

A regular exercise regime and a healthy eating regimen can go a long way to mitigating this burden. However, in some instances our bodies need a little bit of extra help. Dietary supplementation can offer your body support, particularly at times of unusual strain.

Specialist Supplements Ltd has a fantastic range of non-synthetic, herbal supplements to support both immunity and digestive transit. The superfoods supplements range is packed full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for an easy top-up every day. The digestive system supplements range contains digestive aids, colon cleansers (both herbal and oxygenated), digestive enzymes, high strength probiotics and much more. Check them out now!