How Do Probiotics Help to Prevent Viruses?
Daily life has drastically changed due to the global pandemic COVID-19. New information regarding the virus is in flux, and we must do our best to protect our health and that of the people around us. COVID-19 is a novel virus that was not seen in humans before now, which means health professionals are still in the process of learning how the virus behaves and how it is transmitted, and how it interacts with the human immune system. Current treatments are addressing the symptoms of coronavirus (fever, cough, etc.), which is also typical of seasonal flu or general respiratory illness. Regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your faces, and reducing social contact are some measures that we can take to reduce our chances of contracting the ongoing outbreak. Building up defenses internally by strengthening your immune system is just as crucial as externally protecting yourself from the virus.
70-80% of your entire immune system resides within the gut, and the gut microbiome plays an essential role in the body’s response to infection. A healthy gut microbiome is vital to the body’s response to infectious pathogens like coronavirus (Covid-19). According to the World Health Organization, “probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Adding probiotics to your preventative regimen can support your immune system in the following ways:
- Probiotics Can Combat Inflammation
Probiotic microorganisms regulate the immune system and enrich the body’s innate immunity by alleviating excessive inflammation. In a randomized study comprising of college students who caught upper respiratory infections at nearly the same rate, students who took probiotic supplements for 12 weeks experienced a shorter duration (4 days vs. 6 days), and symptoms that were 34% less severe than those students who didn’t take probiotic supplements. A similar study found that probiotic supplementation resulted in a 48% decrease in the number of flu episodes. And the number of days with flu symptoms dropped by a significant 55%. Cold and flu-like symptoms like a stuffy nose and sore throat are the body’s inflammatory response toward a virus. Probiotic supplementation can offer a beneficial defense against the effects caused by inflammation.
- Probiotics Protect the GI Tract from Pathogens
Probiotics work to secrete antibacterial peptides that are capable of killing off harmful bacteria in the gut and restore healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics in the GI tract reinforces the barrier function of the intestinal lining, lowering the chance of bacteria in the intestines entering into the bloodstream. This function may decrease infections and immune-related reactions. Probiotics also work to maintain balance in the gut by suppressing further growth of potential pathogenic bacteria.
- Probiotics Ward Off Infection
The immune system is responsible for creating antibodies that fight bacteria, viruses, and toxins. One of the most common antibodies, called secretory IgA, is found in mucous membranes. IgA acts as the body’s built-in security system within mucous membranes that line the nose and the upper respiratory tract. Six strains of probiotic bacteria have been shown to stimulate the body’s production of IgA, which protects the delicate mucous membranes. Human studies demonstrate that using these six strains of bacteria can reduce the incidence of colds and flu-like illnesses.
Our probiotic blend is composed of:
- B. bifidum
- L. salvarius
- L. casei
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Streptococcus thermophilus
Recent studies support a significant role of probiotics for humans and animals as a barrier against microbial infection. In one study, probiotics were beneficial in offering complete protection for mice from a viral infection pathogen. The probiotics lengthened the survival rates from the pneumonia virus of mice that were infected. In the book Probiotics, Protection Against Infection, Casey Adams Ph.D. writes,
“To protect against pathogens, probiotics will produce a number of natural antibiotics designed to reduce the populations of pathogenic bacteria.”
When You Stock Up On Essentials, Remember to Include Living Probiotics!
We are all acclimating ourselves to the new reality of Covid-19. During this time, we must take all health measures advised by the CDC to protect loved ones and ourselves from infection. Be sure to include probiotics in your daily preventative health regimen. Kashaya Probiotics use 13-diverse human-inherent strains of living and activated bacteria fermented in coconut milk. Living and bio-available probiotics have been shown to support the gut lining, immune system, mood, and total body wellness as it allows the body to experience probiotics the way nature intended.