Can Probiotics Prevent COVID-19?
COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, has caused a massive global impact in terms of economic disruption, and, above all, human health. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, is a novel virus not seen in the human eye before. Because it's a relatively new virus, it is extremely unlikely anyone would be able to confidently state that any treatment can prevent it from spreading and causing harm.
It is believed that COVID-19 disrupts the immune system through an “inflammatory cytokine storm”. This can result in rapidly declining health and even death. Researchers suggest that improving the gut microbiome through proper diet and by using probiotic supplements may produce a defensive effect against the novel coronavirus.
Probiotics in preventing inflammation
Probiotics are known to fight inflammation and boost the immune system. So, researchers think probiotics may help speed the recovery of patients with the disease. Probiotics have the ability to limit or inhibit the cytokine storm caused by the virus. They can boost immunity for the overall population rather than targeting a specific disease.
Cytokine storm is an aggressive inflammatory response among COVID patients. This occurs when there is too much production of pro inflammatory cytokines. Cytokine storms can cause damages to the lungs, brain, GI tract, liver, kidney heart, and eyes. Research suggests that probiotics can regulate mucosal and functional immune cells. Probiotics exert functions to achieve and maintain the ideal balance in the protective mechanisms to enable the body to defend itself.
Probiotics against COVID-19
- Extensive research is investigating how the gut microbiota influences lung disorders including:
- Viral infection
- It was also been recognized that viral infections in the respiratory tract affect the gut microbiota.
- COVID-19 infection affects the balance of natural microbiota in the intestine.
- Some important probiotics that could be related to decreasing the burden of the said virus includes:
- B. breve
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides
- Pediococcus pentosaceus
- Patients with relatively mild symptoms had received probiotics along with the established treatment protocol.
With consumer concerns surrounding immunity at an all-time high, many turns to treatments or preventative measures they claim will protect them. Yet, we reaffirm the advice of many health organizations and government offices. Coronavirus is an emerging disease. Vaccines are now available, but not everywhere immediately because mass production of the vaccine takes time.