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Covid and the GI Tract

Did you know the covid virus lives in the GI tract?

Traces of the virus can be found as fragments in the lining of the GI tract.

Why is this a problem?


Studies have shown the covid virus changes our gut microbiota. The gut microbiota refers to the community of micro-organisms that reside in our intestines, playing a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and overall health.

People who develop covid are shown to have a depletion in their beneficial bacteria. People who develop long covid have lost important beneficial gut bacteria before they develop long covid.


One species in particular is called Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.

This bacteria strain is involved in keeping inflammation down in the GIT, as well as the whole body. This bacteria helps the brain repair and restore itself. How cools that!


This dysbiosis causes an overgrowth of toxic bacteria like Ruminococcus gnavus species. This species has been reported to produce neurotoxins with covid or long covid. These toxins excellerate the rate of age related decline in brain function. Leading to brain fog, memory problems and cognitive decline.

This is why it is so improtant to restore the gut microbiome after covid.


COVID-19 can lead to alterations in the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota. These changes may persist even after the resolution of acute symptoms.

Potentially leading to low Butyrate production. Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid important for gut health. It is the main fuel source for our gut cells, which helps to keep the gut cell barrier intact, reducing inflammation and assisting in controling appetite.


All these changes in the gut microbiome may contribute to intestinal barrier dysfunction, causing damage to the intestinal lining, leading to increased permeability or "leaky gut." When the intestinal barrier is compromised, it allows harmful substances, such as bacteria and toxins, to enter the bloodstream, potentially triggering an immune response and further inflammation.


What can we do to help?

  • Provide anti-inflammatory support to regulate cytokine production and reduce pro-inflammatory mediators.

  • Provide nutritional and herbal support to resolve tissue damage and promoting gut barrier repair.

  • Encourage the growth and diversity of beneficial gut bacteria by promoting short chain fatty acids, like butyrate to enhance immunity and inhibit growth of toxic pathogens causing the dysbiosis.

  • Follow the anti-inflammatory or mediterranean style diet. Increasing fermented foods, antioxidant rich foods, a high fibre diet with lots of fresh vegetables, and small amounts of lean meat, fish and eggs.

References

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