Scientists from UK universities have pointed to convincing evidence of research coming out of china linking gut microbiome health to the state of lung health in Covid-19 infections. Public health experts are pointing to the importance of a healthy gut microbiome in limiting the aggressive action of the immune system to Covid-19 that damages the lungs. Recently a letter by a group of scientists was sent to the minister of health urging the government to give advice on using probiotics to help "flatten the curve of Covid-19".
The role of probiotics in reducing the incidence and duration of common upper respiratory tract infections is not new. There is plenty of evidence as to this link studied in human patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. So what is the connection between lung and intestinal microbiome? Researchers have found evidence that the lung microbiome is enriched with gut bacteria, both in animal models with sepsis and in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. In critically ill patients, lung bacteria were more outnumbered by the misplaced gut bacteria. The researchers conclude that critical illness that involves the lungs has more to do with disruptions to the body’s natural population of the microbiome. So is there a similar effect in patients who have a more severe version of corona infection and how does the gut microbiome lead to severe damage of the lungs? Well what we know is that not all probiotics are equal. For example certain strains of probiotics are great at lowering inflammation while others can enhance anti-viral immunity. So if probiotics have a role in boosting immunity is choosing the correct strains and the time to administer those immune boosting probiotics beneficial in the overall out come of lung health?
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