Mother handing a glass of milk to her son

Immunity and the importance of nutrition

A wide variety of nutrients play a role in supporting the immune system and many of these nutrients are to be found in dairy. In addition to standard dairy, fermented dairy has been shown to have enhanced nutritional value which can modulate immune response. Dairy can help support a healthy immune system.

graphic of human body with important  areas

What is the immune system?

Our immune system is our body’s defence mechanism against infection and illness. The immune system enables the body to protect itself from invasion of pathogens and maintain balance.

The immune system is a complex collection of cells, tissues, organs and other substances that aim to protect us from infections.

graphic of gut with magnifying glass over it

Immunity starts in the gut

The gut microbiome is key to many aspects of human health. 70-80% of the body’s immune cells and 100 trillion gut bacteria make up the gut microbiome. The bacteria in the gut communicate with these cells, therefore the gut microbiome provides the most important stimulation source for developing immunity.

The immune system develops and adapts as we age, with certain life stages having a crucial impact on health and immune response

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Immune fitness, fit for the future

Nutrition is one of the most important environmental factors that can positively influence gut microbiota composition and therefore the development of a healthy immune system, which in turn improves immune fitness and optimises future health. Malnutrition, both over and under-nutrition, which is a global health concern impacts the immune response and leads people to being more susceptible to other diseases

Dairy Immunity Benefits

Dairy is a nutrient rich food group which has been championed for its role in bone, teeth and muscle health for decades. It is a unique blend of nutrients which may include calcium, phosphorus, iodine, Vitamin B2 and B12, fermented cultures (yoghurt and cheese) bioactive peptides and high quality protein containing all of the essential amino acids.

Dairy Immunity Benefits

‘The Dairy Matrix’ hypothesis suggests that the nutrients in dairy can interact with one another in ways that are beneficial for health. This also includes some of the nutrients that support the immune system, such as vitamin B12 and folate, found in milk, cheese and yoghurt, and vitamin A and zinc specifically for hard cheeses like cheddar.