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Partners for Better Health: Unveiling the Symbiotic Relationship Between Gut and Immune Systems

Posted January 29, 2024

In the pursuit of optimal health, consumers are increasingly recognizing the profound interconnection between the immune and gastrointestinal (GI) systems. Acknowledging this symbiotic relationship is crucial for formulating comprehensive health solutions. A staggering 79% of consumers worldwide understand the link between immune and GI health1, highlighting the demand for multifunctional products that address overall well-being. Additionally, approximately 40% of individuals regularly wrestle with GI health issues2, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to health.2

The Gut-Immune Connection

Contrary to the perception of the immune and digestive systems as competitors, they collaboratively contribute to overall well-being. The digestive system plays a pivotal role by absorbing essential nutrients required for immune function. A well-nourished body is better equipped to mount an effective immune response. Notably, the gut houses a significant portion of the body's immune cells, actively participating in immune surveillance and response. The gut microbiota, comprising bacteria, fungi, and viruses, modulates immune responses within the gut, establishing a bidirectional communication crucial for immune homeostasis.3  Astonishingly, around 70% of the entire immune system is located around the gut.4

The Intestinal Barrier

The intestines serve as a vital interface between our bodies and the external environment. The intestinal barrier, comprised of tight junctions, regulates the passage of substances, preventing harmful elements from entering tissues.5  Disruption of this barrier can lead to increased permeability, allowing the entrance of undesirable things like food particles, bacteria, and toxins.6,7

Factors Affecting Gut Permeability

Several lifestyle factors, including aging8, diet, sleep, and stress, contribute to reshaping the composition of gut bacteria.9 Western diets, particularly those low in fiber, negatively impact intestinal permeability.9

The Benefits of Good Gut Health

Investing in gut health yields far-reaching benefits, extending beyond the gut itself. Enhancing intestinal barrier function leads to improved immune response, nutrient absorption, and decreased susceptibility to adverse conditions.10,11,12

Supporting Gut Health

Maintaining a balance between gut and immune health is essential for overall well-being. Consumers can adopt various everyday practices, including:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber.13
  • Staying hydrated.14
  • Managing stress.15
  • Getting enough sleep.16
  • Regular exercise.17
  • Supplementation.18

Formulate for the Gut-Immune Connection

Kemin offers science-backed ingredients designed to support both gut and immune health, catering to the specific needs of supplement manufacturers.

  • BetaVia™: Algae-source beta 1,3 glucans that prime key immune cells, shape the microbiome, and protect intestinal barrier integrity.19-23
  • ButiShield™: An encapsulated form of calcium butyrate providing a controlled release of butyric acid to support gut health.24-27

Understanding the intricate relationship between the gut and immune system is pivotal in the quest for better health. Kemin, a reliable partner in health and nutrition, offers cutting-edge solutions to support both gut and immune health. By incorporating these science-backed ingredients, supplement manufacturers can develop products that cater to the evolving needs of health-conscious consumers worldwide.

Explore how Kemin Human Nutrition & Health can enhance your gut or immune health product at Partner with us to create formulations that contribute to the holistic well-being of individuals globally.


Partners for Better Health: The Gut and the Immune System

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These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information on this webpage is a business-to-business information and not intended for the final consumer. Certain statements may not be applicable in all geographical regions. Product labeling and associated claims differs based upon government requirements and country or region specific information should also be considered when labeling or advertising to final consumers.

This web page and its associated brochures and other documents do not constitute or provide scientific or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and are distributed without warranty of any kind, either expressly or implied. This web page, its title or contents and associated brochures and other documents do not in any way make recommendations for health or marketing claims by the reader. Country and region specific regulations should be considered in this regard. Each claim or statement about the effectiveness of Kemin products and/or each claim or statement comparing the effectiveness of Kemin products to the effectiveness of other products is expressly limited to the United States, unless otherwise disclosed on the Kemin websites.


  1. FMCG GURUS Digestive Health in 2022 and Beyond – Global Report; 2022.
  2. Sperber, A.D.; Bangdiwala, S.I.; Drossman, D.A.; Ghoshal, U.C.; Simren, M.: Tack, J.; Whitehead, W.E.; Dumitrascu, D.L.; Fang, X.; Fukudo, S.; et al. Worldwide Prevalence and Burden of Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Results of Rome Foundation Global Study. Gastroenterology 2021, 160, 99-114.e3, doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.04.014.
  3. Wu HJ, Wu E. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes. 2012 Jan-Feb;3(1):4-14. doi: 10.4161/gmic.19320. Epub 2012 Jan 1. PMID: 22356853; PMCID: PMC3337124.
  4. Vighi, G.; Marcucci, F.; Sensi, L.; Di Cara, G.; Frati, F. Allergy and the Gastrointestinal System. Clin. Exp. Immunol. 2008, 153, 3–6, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x.
  5. Salvo Romero E, Alonso Cotoner C, Pardo Camacho C, Casado Bedmar M, Vicario M. The intestinal barrier function and its involvement in digestive disease. Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2015;107(11):686–696.
  6. Fasano, A. All Disease Begins in the (Leaky) Gut: Role of Zonulin-Mediated Gut Permeability in the Pathogenesis of Some Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. F1000Research 2020, 9, 1-13, doi:10.12688/f1000research.20510.1.
  7. Fasano, A. Intestinal Permeability and Its Regulation by Zonulin: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Implications. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012, 10, 1096-1100, doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2012.08.012.lntestinal.
  8. Untersmayr, E., Brandt, A., Koidl, L., & Bergheim, I. (2022). The Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction as Driving Factor of Inflammaging. Nutrients, 14(5), 949.
  9. Madison, A., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2019). Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition. Current opinion in behavioral sciences, 28, 105–110
  10. Fasano, A. All Disease Begins in the (Leaky) Gut: Role of Zonulin-Mediated Gut Permeability in the Pathogenesis of Some Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. F1000Research 2020, 9, 1-13, doi:10.12688/f1000research.20510.1
  11. Fasano, A. Intestinal Permeability and Its Regulation by Zonulin: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Implications. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012, 10, 1096-1100, doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2012.08.012.lntestinal.
  12. Fasano, A. Zonulin and Its Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function: The Biological Door to Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Cancer. Physiol. Rev. 2011, 91, 151–175, doi:10.1152/physrev.00003.2008.
  19. Evans et al., (2019) Effect of a Euglena gracilis Fermentate on Immune Function in Healthy, Active Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(12):2926.
  20. Patents granted a patent on beta 1,3 glucans for modulating immune function (US Patent 10,912,794). This new patent joins a previously issued patent, US 9574217, on the production of immune modulation using algae from a proprietary strain of Euglena gracilis ATCC PTA-123017.
  21. Spiering, M. J. (2015). Primer on the Immune System. Alcohol research: current reviews, 37(2), 171–175.
  22. KHTL-017-149 Characteristics and Prebiotic like Properties of BetaVia Complete.
  23. KHTL-017-159 BetaVia Complete Supports Gut Health after Induced Colitis in Mice
  24. Facchin, S., Vitulo, N., Calgaro, M., Buda, A., Romualdi, C., Pohl, D., Perini, B., Lorenzon, G., Marinelli, C., D’Incà, R. and Sturniolo, G.C., 2020. Microbiota changes induced by microencapsulated sodium butyrate in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 32(10), p.e13914.0
  25. Gao, F., Lv, Y.W., Long, J., Chen, J.M., He, J.M., Ruan, X.Z. and Zhu, H.B., 2019. Butyrate improves the metabolic disorder and gut microbiome dysbiosis in mice induced by a high-fat diet. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 10, p.1040.
  26. Louis, P. and Flint, H.J., 2009. Diversity, metabolism and microbial ecology of butyrate-producing bacteria from the human large intestine. FEMS microbiology letters, 294(1), pp.1-8.
  27. Vital, M., Karch, A. and Pieper, D.H., 2017. Colonic butyrate-producing communities in humans: an overview using omics data. Msystems, 2(6), pp.e00130-17.