Protect Your Family’s Gut Health While Helping Save The Children

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Did you know that 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut? The gut breaks down the foods that we eat, absorbing nutrients that support essential functions of our body. Studies have found links between gut health and many aspects of our general health, from the immune system and mental health to autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The term ‘gut microbiome’ refers to the microorganisms living in your intestines. Some microorganisms are harmful to our health, while many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary for a healthy body. Many facets of modern life can affect the gut microbiome, including high stress levels, too little sleep, eating a Western diet high in processed foods and sugar, and taking antibiotics.

Gut health may be improved through lifestyle and diet changes such as lowering stress levels, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating less processed, high sugar and high fat foods, and taking a probiotic.

Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that may benefit your health by changing the overall composition of the gut microbiome and supporting your metabolism.

Momeena Omarjee, Consumer Healthcare Country Head: Scientific Affairs, at Sanofi South Africa says: “Good gut health is key to overall health at every age and stage of life and needs to be maintained, not just when taking a course of antibiotics. A daily probiotic may significantly affect the make-up of the gut microbiome and positively impact many areas of health, and is a good way to boost you and your loved ones’ resilience to diseases.”

Diarrhoea is still one of the leading causes of death, ill health and disability among children younger than five, accounting for 19% of deaths of under-fives in South Africa and for 46% on the African continent. Sanofi is committed to ensuring that no child dies of a preventable disease, especially when there are effective treatments available. It has therefore embarked on an ambitious campaign in partnership with non-profit organisation (NPO), Save the Children, to impact over 2,000,000 lives by 2025, through education on hygiene and nutrition and improved access to water.

“Since October 2022, Sanofi has donated 15 water tanks and 14 hand-washing stations to Early Childhood Development centres in KwaZulu-Natal communities in need, to ensure access to clean, drinkable water. This will help to curb the prevalence of diarrhoea and diarrhoea-associated deaths in children under five, which are entirely avoidable,” says Omarjee.

“Consumers across the country can play a part in supporting the affected communities too. For every Enterogermina pack sold, Sanofi will donate R20 towards providing safe water solutions and hygiene education. It is rewarding to know that you are effectively protecting your family’s health in this way, and you are also making a real impact on the lives of children in need, who can be protected from diarrhoea-related deaths.”

International Children’s Day falls on 1 June, and is an appropriate time to flag the plight that some children in South Africa are faced with. “Children living in poverty-stricken environments are approximately 10 times more likely to die from diarrhoea than their more privileged counterparts. Providing adequate access to clean, drinkable water and quality early childcare and development will impact the lives and health of so many vulnerable children,” says Omarjee.

Visit your local pharmacy or speak to your healthcare professional when choosing a probiotic to help improve the health of yourself and your family.

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