WRITTEN BY R.D.N ANTONIO GOMEZ
The year 2020 is facing very difficult times, the pandemic of Covid-19 is has impacted the world, medical and scientific research to fight off the virus has opened new implications on our understanding of this infectious disease.
Although Covid-19 primarily causes respiratory infection through the binding of the virus to specific receptors present on lung cells, it was recently reported that certain gut cells particularly the ones found on the small intestine also express the same lung receptors where the virus primarily attaches, the ACE2 receptors, that’s why the health care community is beginning to link connections between the role of the gut microbiota in influencing/facilitating a COVID-19 respiratory infection.
COVID-19 AND GUT BACTERIA CONNECTION
It has been noted that respiratory COVID-19 infection causes perturbations in the gut microbiota, from the previous post we have discussed that environmental factors, genetics, and most importantly a balanced diet help to promote good gut bacteria.
Good/friendly gut bacteria influence tremendously immunity, we know from statistics that elderly people are the most vulnerable populations against the Covid-19 virus, this is important to consider because gut microbiota diversity is decreased the older we get.
From this context the nutritional status of a person becomes a very important factor, improving gut microbiota profile with a balanced diet and supplementation is known to improve immunity, therefore nourishing our body with the best foods to promote a healthy gut is a natural nutritional strategy to minimize Covid-19 infections.
Yacon is the best prebiotic or soluble fiber food known in nutrition to promote a healthy gut bacteria profile, Yacon is very unique because despite being a tuber is low on calories and high in FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) making it an excellent prebiotic aid easy to add to your diet, FOS are scientifically proven to be the best source of prebiotic aid as they elicit the highest “bifidogenic effect” this means they help proliferate a very unique type of friendly/good bacteria called Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
A rise in number in friendly bacteria promotes an array of health benefits, from hormonal gut secretion, lipid metabolism, bone health and now is proving to be beneficial against Covid-19 infections because of its immunity properties.
Covid-19 is affecting the world in multiple ways, the faster we understand this disease the better we will be prepared the next time. Previous medical research on the gut microbiome has expanded our knowledge in the field of medical nutrition against chronic and infectious diseases.
Gut bacteria profile and the presence of beneficial microorganisms in the gut like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus may play an important role against many infections and diseases, elderly immune-compromised patients with other health problems like type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disorders stand very little chance against Covid-19.
It is also very interesting to note that a general imbalance of gut microbiota called “dysbiosis” is present in many populations, but especially the elderly, some of the main reasons were addressed and stated that aging itself decreases friendly bacteria profile but it is also known that chronic and/or excessive intake of antibiotics leads to increased susceptibility to virus infection.
Also, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) a metabolite of friendly bacteria, aids against allergic inflammation in the lungs, and that in fact, prebiotics such as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are known to reduce inflammation and improving conditions in asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Since gut microbiota is malleable and is modulated by what we eat, Yacon introduction to our diet may be the best nutritional strategy therapy to improve gut dysbiosis and thereby improving overall immune response, therefore improving and fastening recovery in ill patients, especially the elderly and the immune-compromised who are infected with Covid-19.
Finally, another line of action may that can be implemented and/or advice that will not only help to recover but to prevent Covid-19 spread is to provide FOS, prebiotics to the health caregivers who are in the front line tackling this disease, because only together, helping and taking care of each other, we will rise up.
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