According to a new study, taking a probiotic capsule, which is designed to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, may hasten recovery from the Covid-19 infection. Probiotics are over-the-counter tablets and drinks that are said to improve the gut microbiome, which is the complex intestinal “soup” made up of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They have been linked to everything from your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to depression, and now it appears that our gut bacteria can also combat Covid, according to the Daily Mail.
In the study, half of 300 Covid patients aged 16 to 60 who tested positive on a PCR test but did not require hospital treatment were given a probiotic capsule, while the other half received a placebo. According to the report, 53% of those on the probiotic (78 of 147 in this group) were free of Covid symptoms within a month, compared to 28% (41 of 146) on the placebo. Lactobacillus is known to be present in probiotics, which, according to research, produces substances that may communicate with nerve cells and reduce chronic inflammation associated with many diseases. Previous research has found that Long Covid patients have low lactobacillus levels in their intestines, which could lead to widespread inflammation.
According to the report, those who took the bacteria capsule not only recovered faster, but they also had a lower viral load – the amount of virus circulating in their system. Probiotics “can modify” the gut microbiome, according to Philip Calder, Professor of nutritional immunology at Southampton University.” By doing so, they may be able to help the immune system function and limit inflammation,” he was quoted as saying.
A healthier diet and probiotic supplements are also likely to improve microbiome health, according to Tim Spector, Professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London. However, some experts argue that it may not be suitable for everyone. Professor Andrew Smith and Dr Paul Gill, experts in microbial diseases at University College London, warned in an online article that the study excluded those over 60 and did not account for whether volunteers had been vaccinated or not, according to the report.”As a result, we don’t know whether probiotics benefit those who are most at risk of severe Covid.””In addition, taking probiotics may be inappropriate for those with a weakened immune system due to the potential increased risk of infection from consuming large quantities of live bacteria,” they wrote.