What does your gut health have to do with COVID-19?

A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases. However, according to a new study, imbalances in gut bacteria could be associated with more severe Covid-19 cases.

Gut health has been forgotten in the fight of Covid-19 and a new study has shown that we may need to re-think this. Covid-19 is viewed as a respiratory disease because of the way it is transmitted but its effects reach far further than the lungs. In fact, it's been estimated that one in ten Covid-19 patients experiences gastrointestinal symptoms. Nausea and vomiting are less well-known symptoms than the tell-tale cough, fever and loss of taste but research has shown these are important indicators of the disease.

A review published by a Korean microbiologist, Heenam Stanley Kim, proposed linking gut dysfunction and severe Covid-19 infections. It is early days but, this serves as a good reminder that fibre intake and a healthy diet is of the utmost importance in taking care of our health. 

Ways that you can take care of your gut health include eating high fibre foods wherever possible (aiming for 15-20g of fibre a day), increasing your daily intake of fruit and vegetables, include fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and tempeh in your diet, and lastly, consider a good quality daily probiotic in your supplement regime.

Reference: Kim, Heenam Stanley: Do an altered gut microbiota and an associated leaky gut affect Condi-19 severity. American Society for Microbiology. DOI:10.11/mBio.03022-20