A NEW STUDY NOW SUGGESTS THAT POOR GUT HEALTH IS LINKED TO SEVERE COVID SYMPTOMS
As a firm believer in overall gut health, this comes as no surprise to me that poor gut health contributes to the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Commonly, our guts are called “Our Second Brain” and for good reason. Poor gut health is linked to every ailment in the body including anxiety and depression. As a result, the effects of poor gut health have an impact on the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 just like all other chronic diseases is associated with altered gut microbiota (poor gut health). Growing evidence suggests poor gut health adversely affects the prognosis of COVID-19 by enabling the virus to access the surface of the digestive tract and internal organs. If you have ever heard of the term “Leaky Gut”, this can exacerbate symptoms as well. “Leaky Gut” occurs when the lining of the gut has become damaged and cannot optimally function as a barrier to harmful things such as bacteria and viruses. When this condition is combined with COVID-19 symptoms in the GI tract, the effects can be detrimental to your gut health.
There is a very CLEAR connection between the altered gut microbiome and severe COVID-19. This imbalance can affect gut barrier integrity, which can allow pathogens and pathobionts easier access to the cells in the intestinal lining. Some studies have suggested that a person’s gut health (at the time of infection) may be critical for symptom development. Keeping this in mind, the virus can deplete a healthy person’s gut of beneficial bacteria as well. The depleted bacterial species associated with COVID-19 are said to be ones that are responsible for the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid. Which plays a vital role in gut health by reinforcing gut bacteria. One of the biggest contributors to poor gut health is the western diet which is very low in fibre. Fibre deficiency is one of the main causes for altered gut microbiome dysbiosis which leads to chronic disease. The problem really goes beyond COVID-19 concerning gut health. It’s a global issue that is causing many ailments. Unfortunately, not everyone in the population fully understands its importance and role in the disease. I am hoping this article brings awareness to the importance of gut health and how to help improve it. While more studies are being done on this subject pertaining to poor gut health and COVID-19, there are ways that you can start improving your gut health today. Start eating high-fibre foods and probiotic-packed foods. Fermented foods are the best for containing probiotics! The majority of the population can safely supplement and benefit from a probiotic. A lot of research suggests that a good probiotic should have up to 10B CGU with 4 strains. The more variety the better. EXERCISE is like medicine to the gut. Exercise can improve the promotion of good bacteria in the gut. Limit alcohol intake as excessive alcohol intake causes inflammation of the gut which leads to unbalance of the gut microbiome. Cut back on artificial sweeteners as these can also be harmful to your gut microbiome. Choose better options like real stevia or coconut palm sugar.
Last but not least, pair your probiotic with a prebiotic. Prebiotics provide a source of food for the good gut bacteria that the probiotics place into the gut and help it grow. Prebiotics are carbs that your body can’t digest and are placed in the lower digestive tract as the food for the good bacteria to grow. For example, you can find prebiotics in foods such as garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, oats, apples, cocoa, burdock root, flaxseed, seaweed, barley, and Jerusalem artichokes. It’s very important to take charge of your gut health, especially in today’s world where our foods are can be depleted of key nutrients and also heavily processed. My ending thoughts are; if we take better care of our bodies from the inside out, there would be a lot fewer ailments and diseases in today’s world. The problem is, they don’t teach us this, so our health is really in our hands and we have to take control. Keep yourself healthy to avoid health problems before they become serious issues. We have one body and it should be our temple to protect at all cost!