Did you know your lungs have their own microbiome too? A new review suggests the gut-lung connection could play a major role in #covid19 infection… here’s what you need to know.
Like our gut, our lungs have different communities of bacteria and they interact with viral infections and affect how they progress. (Zeppa et al, 2020).
Our gut and lungs are constantly ‘chatting’ to each other, known as the gut-lung axis (just like the gut-brain axis you’ve probably heard about by now our gut is connected to pretty much every other organ in the body!)
The health-promoting chemicals our gut bacteria produce (called short-chain fatty acids or SCFAs) travel to our lungs where they can support the immune response and are thought to have anti-inflammatory effects.
How do we help our gut bugs to produce more SCFAs? Eat more PLANTS and fill up on FIBRE!
The researchers in this study suggested prebiotics, found in many of our plant-based foods, could be helpful as an additional treatment in the fight against the virus… because nourishing our gut microbes is crucial to supporting our immune system (remember 70% of our immune cells live in our gut!) Pretty powerful stuff, right?
On the flip side, poor gut health (i.e. ‘unbalanced’ gut microbes) has been linked with a higher risk of more severe Covid-19. So while the science suggests having a healthy gut won’t prevent you from getting covid-19, it does suggest it may help lower your risk of becoming more severely unwell if you do get it.
It’s way too early to start prescribing prebiotics for Covid-19, but as our gut is so essential for our immune system, it’s definitely worth a thought. Head to the Inner Community to get my free 10-step gut health guide if you’re just getting started!