Covid-19 & Health Update: Antiviral Defense Can Begin in the Gut!

Hello everyone:

Here is a very interesting and helpful article on how gut health directly impacts our ability to put up a fight against infectious viruses. Many might say…well…who knew? However, once we understand that our gut houses nearly 75% of our immune secreting cells, it becomes more apparent. Here are a few quotes from the Harvard article (1):

“The role of the gut microbiome in disease and health has been well established. Yet, how the bacteria residing in our guts protect us from viral infections is not well understood.

Now, for the first time, Harvard Medical School researchers have described how this happens in mice and have identified the specific population of gut microbes that modulates both localized and systemic immune response to ward off viral invaders. 

The work, published Nov. 18 in Cell, pinpoints a group of gut microbes, and a specific species within it, that causes immune cells to release virus-repelling chemicals known as type 1 interferons.

The team cautions that the results remain to be confirmed in further animal studies and then replicated in humans, but the findings point to a novel strategy that could help enhance antiviral immunity in people.” 

Bottom Line: These researchers found that the supplementation with the probiotic called Bacteroides fragilis demonstrated that supplementation with this commensal microbial molecule is sufficient to restore the protective effects of the whole microbiota in animals with depleted gut microbiota.”

Given that the Standard American Diet (SAD) can deplete and imbalance our gut flora, it seems like a good idea to figure out how to restore the gut biome. Research shows that this restoration can be done with diet…that is…more plant based whole, organic, unprocessed plants that are great sources of soluble fiber…which helps restore B. Fragilis and other important probiotics. (2) That is great news, as not only does eating healthy assist our ability to fight infections, but it also helps in numerous other ways to keep us optimal.



PS: Currently, there is no probiotic supplement that I know of that has any of the Bacteroides probiotics…the solution for now is in our food choices!


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