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2021 Medical Journal On Gut Health And Its Relation to COVID-19

Posted on12 Jul 2021
Powerful benefits of Bifidobacterium probiotic strain (2021 Medical Journal)

Recently in 2021, some interesting data have emerged regarding gut health and SARS COV-2 infections. It is known that children for the most part have healthier guts than adults. The initial hypothesis focused on what in particular afforded children this protection. They found significant data linking the gut microbiome to this Immuno-protection.

Children’s gut microbiome differs slightly from adults. We all know the benefits of probiotics and many practitioners recommend that probiotics contain a particular species called Bifidobacterium.

Well, it turns out that children have much higher levels of Bifidobacterium in their guts than adults do. This species actually constitutes the major gut microbe present in children under the age of 10. These levels begin to decrease as we age and are very low in the elderly and adults with certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

A comparison of Bifidobacterium concentrations in the gut of children ranges from 60-80% compared to 20-40% in adults and less than 10% in the elderly with some high-risk groups as low as 1%. Bifidobacterium has been investigated extensively in previous studies and has been found to provide specific benefits to the immune system and in modulating immune cell mediators.

They discovered that many of the immune signaling mediators and pathways were the same ones affected in severe SARS COV-2 infections. Interestingly enough, although Bifidobacterium levels decline with age, when posed with an infection or perceived intruder to the body, these pro-inflammatory mediators lead to a hyper exaggerated immune response which leads to tissue damage.

Many individuals that develop severe infections develop something called a “Cytokine Storm.” This Cytokine storm is modulated by certain inflammatory mediators called Interleukins.

One particular Interleukin called Interleukin-6 ( IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory mediator. Its job is to alert the body of an infection or intruder. The problem with interleukin 6 is that sometimes it can pose as “ too much of a good thing.” Although it is meant to be protective in the body, and most of the time it is, it can sometimes lead to an exaggerated immune response by the body that causes the Cytokine Storm.

The Cytokine Storm ends up causing more damage to cells in lung and other tissues than the actual infection. Here’s the other unfortunate thing we have found with Interleukin 6. The levels of IL-6 are found to be higher at baseline in high-risk individuals such as those with BMI’s over 30 and diabetics. This represents a subclinical inflammatory state.

Think of it as a traffic light. If healthy individuals are at green subclinically, those with underlying conditions are at yellow and have higher than normal levels of IL-6 at baseline. When posed with an infection or perceived intruder to the body, these pro-inflammatory mediators lead to a hyper exaggerated immune response which leads to tissue damage.

In these high-risk individuals, the immune system overreacts, leading to severe illness. Bifidobacterium has been shown to down-regulate Interleukin-6 levels and actually increase certain anti-inflammatory markers. Bifidobacterium thus represents a very viable and low-risk option for prevention and building up immunity for the individual.

Source - American Journal of Translational Medicine, published online May 19, 2020

Choose a probiotic with the powerful probiotic immuno effect of bifidobacterium. (All our probiotics contain this highly beneficial strain - bifidobacterium)