Gut health could prevent one of the most worrying side effects of Covid-19

Inside your body, there is an army of microbes that are working overtime to protect your health. Part of their protective job is to regulate the immune system. And that matters when it comes to fighting uncontrolled viral infections and avoiding long-term side effects: we’re talking about long Covid.

In a study published earlier this year in the well-titled journal, Intestine, scientists present evidence showing that bacteria in your gut can influence your risk of developing a long Covid. The reason comes down to the fundamental role of your gut microbiome in regulating the immune system, according to the study. The term ‘long Covid’ is associated with many long term side effects associated with coronavirus infection – once the infection is cleared, some people are left with an array of persistent problems, including ‘brain fog’, forgetfulness, physical weakness, etc. .

REVERSE counts the ten most surprising discoveries about your wonderful gut in 2021. It’s # 1. Read it original story here.

Discovery – People with and without Covid-19 have clear differences in the makeup of their gut microbiome, according to the study. The study involved a small sample of 100 people, so the results should be taken with a pinch of salt until replicated by larger studies.

In particular, three species of intestinal bacteria – Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Rectal eubacterium, and bifidobacteria – stood out in the analysis. Patients with the most severe disease also had lower levels of all three microbes in their gut microbiome, and their gut microbiome remained altered for at least 30 days after the infection cleared.

The results suggest that an altered gut microbiome can help predict whether a person will fully recover from Covid-19 infection or become a long-haul.

“Fruits, yogurts and foods containing fiber are said to be practical ways to develop a healthy gut microbiome. “

Dig into the details – The microbial imbalance seen in patients with long-term symptoms was associated with elevated levels of cytokines and other blood markers of tissue damage, such as C-reactive protein and other enzymes. The immune system releases these proteins to fight Covid-19, but prolonged infection can lead to overproduction of cytokines called “cytokine storms,” which damage nearby tissues and organs. This overly aggressive immune response is in turn linked to long-term characteristics collectively known as long Covid.

“The imbalanced gut microbiota or ‘dysbiosis’ weakens our immune defense, thus predisposing to more severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and potentially contributing to ‘long Covid’,” study co-author Siew C previously said Ng Reverse. Ng is professor of medicine and therapeutics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Why is this important – Scientists now think one in three people infected with the coronavirus will develop a long Covid.

What we do know is that the long Covid is debilitating. This can prevent people from resuming their daily activities such as returning to work. In July 2021, the United States government decided to classify long-lasting COVID as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What we don’t know is just How? ‘Or’ What long long Covid can last, however, preliminary research suggests that some people may experience symptoms five months after they no longer test positive for Covid-19.

We also don’t know what causes the long haul or why there is such a variety in the symptoms experienced by long haulers – which makes it difficult to treat. To add to the confusion, there is no clear timeline as to how long it takes to recover from a long Covid.

With so many unknowns, prevention can be a viable treatment strategy in itself. Good gut health helps manage other inflammatory diseases, and this study shows that gut microbes may also play a role in controlling the high inflammation caused by Covid-19.

“Maintaining a healthy microbiome through a healthy diet would definitely be beneficial in the fight against Covid-19,” said Hasan Zaki, assistant professor at UT Southwestern who was not involved in this study, previously. Reverse.

“Avoiding diets high in fat and sugar, and eating fruits, yogurt, and foods containing fiber would be a convenient way to build a healthy gut microbiome. “

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