COVID-19 may affect your gut health in this way

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In a study from Rutgers, scientists looked at the effects of the virus causing COVID-19 on patients’ microbiomes.

They found that acute infection disrupts a healthy balance between good and bad microbes in the gut, especially with antibiotic treatment.

The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live in and on the human body.

The new study may lead to the development of probiotic supplements to redress any gut imbalances in future patients.

In the study, the team examined the microbiome of patients and volunteers.

It began in May 2020, the early days of the pandemic, and was designed to zero in on the microbiome because many COVID-19 patients complained of gastrointestinal issues—both during the acute phases of their illness and while recuperating.

They found while there were differences between people who had COVID-19 and those who were not ill, the biggest difference from others was seen in those who had been administered antibiotics.

Early in the pandemic, before the introduction of vaccines and other antiviral remedies, it was a common practice to treat COVID-19 patients with a round of antibiotics to attempt to target possible secondary infections.

Humans carry large and diverse populations of microbes. These microorganisms live in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin, and in other organs, with the largest population in the colon.

The microbiome has many different functions. One is to protect the human body against invading pathogens, whether they’re bacteria or viruses, or fungi.

The scientists tested microbiomes by measuring populations of microorganisms in stool samples taken from 60 people, including 20 COVID-19 patients, 20 healthy donors, and 20 COVID-19-recovered subjects.

They found major differences in the population numbers of 55 different species of bacteria when comparing the microbiomes of infected patients with the healthy and recovered patients.

The researchers plan to continue to test and track the microbiomes of patients in the study to ascertain the long-term effect on individual microbiomes from COVID-19.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about Vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19, and Mediterranean diets could help people recover after COVID infection.

For more information about gut health, please see recent studies about common antimicrobials in toothpaste linked to inflammation in the gut, and results showing green tea extract could help reduce gut inflammation and blood sugar.

The study was conducted by Martin Blaser et al and published in the journal Molecular Biomedicine.

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