More often than not it calls to mind a stuffed up nose, or an itchy throat and hacking cough.
But as it turns out, mucus plays a much bigger role in your health and survival than you probably realize.
In fact, your body’s mucosal system is one of the most important and protective components of your immune system. And when it’s functioning properly, it keeps you safe from pathogens, allergens, and toxins.
That’s especially true of the mucosal barrier that lines your intestines. This barrier must – repeat, MUST – be in top shape (ie: strong and impervious) in order for your immune system to function properly.
And even though it’s “out of sight, out of mind,” your mucosal system needs all the support you can give it… so it can do its most important job of protecting you from dozens of daily threats and keeping you alive and well.
Five Surprising Facts About Mucus
Mucus is about so much more than runny noses. Granted, when you’re aware of it, mucus probably feels like a nuisance. But mucus plays a crucial part in your immune system. In fact, it’s so important it has its own, thriving network in your body (the mucosal system).
Here are five things you probably don’t know about your mucosal system:
- It is home to one of the most important internal bodily barriers against infection.
- It contains 150 times more surface area than your skin.
- It acts as the main border between your body and the outside world.
- Your intestinal mucosa controls how your body interacts with antigens (substances – like viruses – that trigger immune responses)
- The structural integrity of your intestinal mucosa drives your overall immune function.
As you can see, mucus – more specifically, your intestinal mucosa – has a huge effect on your health and wellness… Keep reading to learn how you can support and protect this oft-overlooked system.
How Mucus Protects Your Gut Barrier… and Your Health
Your intestines have a protective lining that acts as a barrier (the gut barrier) to keep external microbes and molecules out of your bloodstream. The cells in your gut barrier form tight junctions that allow for that selective permeability. As the term sounds, this means that the gut barrier decides what’s allowed in and what’s denied access.
The single layer of cells forming the gut barrier works like a bloodstream bouncer: It lets essential water, nutrients, electrolytes, and antioxidants into circulation… but keeps antigens, toxins, and food particles out. And those cells count on a thick, slimy layer of mucus – the intestinal mucosa – to cover and protect them against potential attackers.
The intestinal mucosa contains a protein called mucin2, which gives the barrier its thick, gel-like consistency. Your body needs a constant supply of mucin2 in order to keep the gut barrier strong and functioning properly. Without enough mucin2, antigens and toxins slip through the door and can make their way into the bloodstream… and that can lead to a wide variety of health problems.
The Mucosal Barrier Faces Constant Threats
Your intestinal mucosa works 24/7 to keep you safe. It acts as frontline protection against a wide variety of invaders and nefarious substances… Therefore, any slip-up could spell big trouble for your immune system.
Unfortunately, a lot of factors can weaken and thin out your intestinal mucosa, including:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin)
- Gut infections
- BPA (a type of plastic used in food containers and water bottles)
Without proper support, any of the threats listed above can do some real damage to your intestinal mucosa. And that damage can lead to immune system malfunctions which can easily threaten your overall health and wellbeing.
3 Steps to Support The Health And Protection of Your Mucosal Barrier
It’s important for your overall health and immune function to keep your mucosal barrier thick and healthy. You can offer your mucosal system targeted support in three simple steps:
Step 1. Support mucin2 production with four key amino acids:
These amino acids work as building blocks for mucin2. They help increase mucin production in your gut for a thicker, more robust mucosal barrier.
Step 2. Neutralize mucus-damaging toxins with immunoglobulins (also called antibodies.) The good news is your body naturally makes its own immunoglobulins. They are your immune system’s first responders, and support a healthy inflammatory response, which greatly benefits the intestinal mucosa.
The bad news is that, while your body produces immunoglobulins, in times of high stress, poor health, and/or general uncertainty, your body needs all the extra support it can get. To learn more about how to boost immunoglobulin production, check out our article here.
Step 3. Promote healthy gut barrier function with special citrus polyphenols (beneficial plant chemicals). Polyphenols protect and preserve intestinal mucosa by helping regulate a healthy inflammatory response. These polyphenols also act as prebiotics, a special type of fiber that nourishes beneficial probiotic bacteria. In that way, polyphenols also help support a well-balanced gut microbiome (the trillions of bacteria in your gut)… an important ally for keeping the mucosal barrier in great shape.
COMING SOON! Support Your Intestinal Mucosa with gut 4-tify from Just Thrive!
It’s easy to overlook your mucosal system… but even easier to keep it in great shape with gut-4-tify.
- A healthy supply of dairy-free immunoglobulins to support digestion and protect the intestinal barrier
- 4 key amino acids to support healthy production of mucin2:
- A natural citrus polyphenol extract to support gut barrier function and a well-balanced gut microbiome
Interested in keeping your gut mucosa thick, healthy, and happy with gut-4-tify?
Join our gut strength list and get early access to the upcoming mucosal barrier product – gut-4-tify – designed specifically to support your most important immune asset.