In case you haven’t noticed yet, illnesses never affect two people in the exact same way. When infected with the exact same bacteria or virus, one person might get a slight cough for a week while the other person ends up with symptoms that linger for months.
We see this with all infections, and right now we’re seeing this with COVID.
🤔 Why does this happen?
Or, more importantly, is there anything we can do as individuals to increase our odds of being one of those people who just gets a mild cough?
The questions still outnumber the answers, but more and more research is showing that our body’s response to the COVID infection is linked (at least in part) to…
THE GUT MICROBIOME.
Scientists writing for the journal Gut BMJ recently reported that hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had alterations in their gut microbiome when compared with people who tested negative for the virus.
Scientists writing for the journal Gut BMJ recently reported that hospitalized patients with COVID-19 had alterations in their gut microbiome when compared with people who tested negative for the virus. They also found:
👉 Depletion of certain beneficial gut microbes in patients with COVID correlated with higher levels of cytokines and inflammatory markers in the blood.
👉 Gut microbes known to modulate immune function remained low 30 days after symptom resolution.
This is not the first study to look at the possible link between the gut microbiome and individual responses to the virus. In July, a survey published in The Lancet reported that about 85% of people struggling with long-haul symptoms also experienced some sort of gastrointestinal symptoms.
All of this makes logical sense. We know that disruption in the gut microbiome can break down gut barrier function, aggravate inflammation, and alter immune function.
I cannot promise you for certain that improving your gut health will strengthen your immune response to any virus. But I can promise you that improving your gut health will do no harm.
🌱 In functional nutrition, we use testing, diet, supplements (sometimes probiotics—but not for everyone!), and other lifestyle changes to support optimal gut health.
For more information on how we can help, please contact our office!