• Rachel Turner Wellness

Could your gut bacteria help in the fight against Covid-19?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

As I was scanning articles and studies earlier today I read an interesting piece on our gut health and Covid19.

I had UC for many years so I am always on the look out for new research on how to boost gut health to keep me and my clients well. I know the connection between a balanced gut bacteria and our immune system so I was pleased to see that here was some concrete evidence on how our gut bacteria (or Microbiome) could help in the fight against Covid19....

Scientists in both S Korea and Hong Kong have discovered that:

  1. People suffering with Covid19 had a 'significantly altered' microbiome composition.

  2. People with a poorly functioning gut are more likely to develop severe Covid19 because the lack of healthy microbes makes it easier for the virus to infect cells in the digestive tract.

So, if you flip that on its head, in theory:

  1. People with an 'optimum microbiome' composition suffer less from Covid19

  2. People with a healthy functioning gut are less likely to develop severe Covid19 due to the abundance of healthy microbes making it very difficult for the virus to infect cells in the digestive tract.

I don't know about you but I know which group I would rather be in!

The researchers found that two particular bacteria were lacking in the study subjects, these were Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bifidobacterium bifidum (it's ok, I don't expect you to remember these).

Here is a little more about these two gut friendly microbes....

Bifidobacterium bifidum - several previous studies have shown that this probiotic has shown promise in treating IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, constipation, certain types of diarrhoea and pouchitis. This probiotic helps digestion and staves off harmful bacteria.

You can get more of this in your diet by eating:

  • yoghurt (with cultures)

  • kefir

  • fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi etc)

  • sourdough

  • some vinegars

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii - This bacteria is thought to make up to 10% of our overall microbiome, interestingly, as of 2015 most studies found that this bacteria was lacking in Crohn's Disease patients, there are also studies with links to Colitis. These bacteria produce butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids through the fermentation of dietary fibre. Short chain fatty acids are the main source of nutrition for the cells in our Colon and increasing these can reduce inflammation in the body.

You can boost your gut with these bacteria by eating:

  • Kiwi fruit

  • chicory root

  • onions

  • bananas

  • garlic

  • leeks

So, I know what I will be adding more of to my next shop!

Which or these do you already eat and which new ones are you going to try?

Drop me a line I would love to know!

Photo by Aigars Jansons from Pexels

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