General, Research, Technology

How do gut bacteria affect the severity of COVID-19?

The first case of coronavirus infection wasrecorded in December 2019. Quite a long time has passed since then, during which almost the whole world was quarantined, and scientists managed to develop several vaccines. Every person experiences the disease differently. Some people have it without symptoms, but most have fever, shortness of breath and loss of smell. Unfortunately, there are also those who eventually die. Scientists have long been trying to understand exactly what factors lead to severe COVID-19. Previously, scientists noticed that the disease is difficult to tolerate people with a deficiency of vitamin D. Now, researchers have found a relationship between the severity of the disease and the composition of intestinal bacteria.

Scientists have suggested that the composition of gut bacteria affects the severity of the coronavirus

Intestinal bacteria and coronavirus

The results of the study werepublished in the scientific journal Gut. Between February and March 2020, Chinese doctors took stool samples from patients with COVID-19. Among them were people with both a mild form of the disease without pneumonia symptoms, and patients in critical condition. Also at the disposal of the researchers were stool samples from already recovered patients and healthy people who were spared the disease. As part of the scientific work, the scientists compared stool samples. It turned out that the composition of intestinal bacteria in infected and healthy people is different.

Bacteria living inside us play important roles in organ function

A deficiency has been observed in the intestines of infected peoplebacteria Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale, which are very important for the immune system. But they had an excess of other bacteria, which are observed in smaller quantities in the intestines of healthy people. The more severe the disease progressed, the more the imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria was observed. An unhealthy ratio of bacteria was observed even 30 days after recovery.

Bifidobacterium adolescentis and similar bacteria strengthen human immunity

Researchers have suggested that people withThe "wrong" set of intestinal bacteria are more vulnerable to coronavirus. It is assumed that due to the deficiency of microorganisms important for the immune system, they with great difficulty resist the disease. In the end, the virus turns out to be stronger and even if the person recovers, the symptoms bother people for a long time. Recently, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova told that 76% of COVID-19 patients suffer from complications even six months after recovery.

See also: Gut bacteria can strongly affect a person's sociability

Prevention of coronavirus

But the words of the researchers should be taken withshare of skepticism. After all, it may be such that the composition of intestinal bacteria in patients has changed a lot precisely because of the severe form of the disease. That is, initially everything could be in order with their immunity, but the virus somehow destroyed most of the beneficial bacteria. The possibility of this cannot be ruled out in any case. Researchers would do well to repeat the work, comparing the results of analyzes of people before and after infection with the virus. If the imbalance is not noticed until after infection, this means that the initial amount of gut bacteria does not affect the severity of the disease.

Perhaps the coronavirus somehow alters the intestinal microflora

The same skepticism is worth treatingthe reports that vitamin D helps protect against COVID-19. Of course, it is very important for our body and its deficiency should not be allowed. It plays a very important role in the functioning of the human immune system and helps it resist viral infections. To make up for this deficiency, you need to be in the sun more often, or at least take dietary supplements. But it is not worth looking for sources of vitamin D thoughtlessly. Indeed, in large quantities, it can cause problems with the heart, kidneys and other internal organs.

Too much vitamin D can be just as dangerous as a lack of it

In general, officially recommended medicinalthere are no drugs to prevent coronavirus. To protect yourself from infection, you need to be in public places less often, and if you happen to be there, you must definitely wear a medical mask. And you need to do this correctly, without sticking your nose out, but covering the entire lower part of the face. Also, do not forget about regular hand washing.

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In addition to everything written above, you can govaccination. However, the currently existing vaccines do not enjoy great confidence in people. After all, recently a message appeared on the Internet that one of the Spanish nurses who had been vaccinated still contracted the virus. You can read more about this case at this link.

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