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Ingestion of lactic acid and pyruvic acid enhances intestinal immunity

It was reported in a scientific journal Nature in 2019 that organic acids such as lactic acid and pyruvic acid produced by gut microbiota can activate the intestinal immune response. There are many types of immune cells in the intestine. Macrophages, which are innate immune cells in the small intestine, play a role in catching and exterminating pathogenic bacteria and viruses that have entered the intestine.

According to this paper, the immune response of the subject mice, which ingested lactic acid or pyruvic acid against Salmonella, a type of pathogenic bacterium, has been enhanced and their resistance to Salmonella has increased. The detailed mechanism about how innate immunity works has been unknown up until now, but this study has revealed the mechanism of immune enhancement by the ingestion of lactic acid and pyruvic acid.

Fermented foods also contain many types of organic acids

Fermented foods are the key to the efficient intake of organic acids in our daily diet. As I wrote at the beginning, vinegar and wine also contain organic acids. In addition, lactic acid bacteria are involved in the fermentation processes of miso and soy sauce. Therefore, lactic acid is present in them. The reason why pickles are sour is that lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, acetate, malic acid, etc. during the fermentation period. Organic acids are not broken or reduced by cooking, if you use an appropriate amount of fermented foods and fermented seasonings in cooking, you can get a good level of organic acids from your daily diet.

Nowadays, many people are paying attention to measures against infectious diseases. Fermented foods containing organic acids can be indispensable foods for enhancing the immune responses.

Credit to: Muneaki Takahata Ph.,D.