Clinical trials are currently underway to determine if probiotics can help reduce the severity of COVID-19 and improve recovery, as your gut microbiota plays an important role in your overall health. In the past months, doctors and researchers have also discovered that people with poor gut health have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
As well as influencing digestion and immunity, scientists have discovered you have a gut-brain axis and a gut-lung axis. The gut-brain axis has bidirectional communication, through which microbiota help regulate brain function.
For example, a study published in 2017 found Bifidobacterium breve strain A1 helps to reduce cognitive dysfunction that is normally induced by amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s disease.
In another study, researchers found a connection between an imbalanced gut microbiome and the development of amyloid plaques in the brain. More recently, researchers have discovered that there is also a gut-lung axis, which supports the role your microbiota plays in your immune system, both locally and systemically.
Although your gut and lungs are anatomically distinct, there is growing evidence that communication between the systems helps maintain homeostasis of your immune system. Building on this knowledge, researchers are now investigating a potential and likely link between the health of your gut microbiome and the potential risk for more severe illness from COVID-19.