fiber and other strategies for treating leaky gut may prevent serious cases of COVID-19

Could this be the easisest and most effective way to prevent serious cases of COVID? A recent review of the research suggests it can!

A review of the research by Korean microbiologist Heenam Stanley Kim has led to a novel theory about COVID-19. The theory is that there “seems to be a clear connection between the altered gut microbiome and severe COVID-19.”

The research review discovered that people who advance to more serious cases of COVID-19 tend to have gastrointestinal symptoms.

Though respiratory symptoms and fever are the most recognizable symptoms of COVID, the review realized that “a substantial proportion” of people who are sick enough to be hospitalized, also have digestive symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. This finding suggests “that when the virus does get involved in the GI tract it increases the severity of the disease.”

That leaves two possibilities: either severe COVID causes gastrointestinal symptoms, or an unhealthy gut microbiome, that is an unhealthy balance of intestinal bacteria, contributes to more severe cases of COVID.

While the theory needs to be tested, there are two clues that suggest that maintaining a healthy environment of intestinal bacteria could help control COVID.

The first is that Kim noticed that the virus was spreading especially intensely in wealthy, western countries notorious for low fiber diets. Low fiber diets are terrible for gut health because they are terrible for the friendly bacteria in your gut.

The second is that several studies have shown that COVID-19 is associated with less variety of bacteria in the gut. People with COVID have depleted populations of the beneficial friendly bacteria that help maintain the gut barrier and too many of the bad pathogenic bacteria. The friendly bacteria produce butyric acid from dietary fiber. Butyric acid is a short-chain fatty acid the gut requires to maintain a strong intestinal wall, or intestinal barrier integrity. The depletion could lead to a leaky gut.

These two clues point to leaky gut syndrome as a potential player in the advance to more severe COVID. Poor diet leads to depleted friendly bacteria, and depleted friendly bacteria leads to a leaky gut barrier. The leaky gut barrier allows the virus to escape the gastrointestinal system into the blood stream, and, once it has accomplished that, the patient’s condition can get worse because the virus can now spread to more organs more quickly.

Kim suggests that “simply increasing the daily intake of dietary fiber may markedly help improve gut health." "This dietary adaptation,” he says, “may be the most easy and effective method that can be considered to be implemented immediately to prevent severe COVID-19 or just for general health improvement."

Since the review says that “accumulating evidence supports the hypothesis that an altered gut microbiota and an associated leaky gut may contribute to” more severe COVID-19, it would be valuable to take the steps needed to heal a leaky gut.

Seven Steps to Healing a Leaky Gut:

1.Vegetarian diets offer several nutrients that could help fight COVID. This review adds a new reason to eat more plant foods and less animal foods. Fiber is found only in plant foods, and fiber “may be the most easy and effective method that can be considered to be implemented immediately to prevent severe COVID-19.”

2. Take glutamine supplements. Glutamine is the preferred source of energy for intestinal cells. Glutamine encourages regeneration and growth of the protective lining of the intestine. It prevents damage to the intestinal lining and strengthens the tight junctions between intestinal cells: that is, it seals them together and prevents and treats the leaky gut.

3. Take probiotics. As the review discussed, the beneficial intestinal bacteria known as probiotics are crucial for healing a leaky gut. Imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria are found in people with COVID-19. Probiotics are a crucial part of any treatment of leaky gut.

4. Take prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers known as oligosaccharides that encourage a healthy gut microbiome by supporting and nourishing the good bacteria. Prebiotics are able to increase the health promoting bacteria in your gut while decreasing the harmful bacteria. And that is the goal in fighting COVID.

5. Take zinc supplements.

6. You can also try a special form of licorice called deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL, that is great at regenerating and healing the intestinal lining.

7. Avoid nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs.


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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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