Is There a Link between Gut Health and COVID Risk?

Woman sitting on couch and using diabetes needleI’ll be the first to admit that the connection between diet and COVID risk is overblown. While it’s true that a healthy diet may help optimize your immune system, it’s no guarantee against infection.

One thing we do know about a healthy diet, however, is that it can promote a healthy population of gut bacteria, otherwise called a microbiome. A healthy and diverse microbiome is also closely linked to immune strength.


Which is exactly why some researchers decided to look at how gut health may play a role in COVID-19 risk and severity.

Researchers examined fecal samples of 100 hospitalized patients from two hospitals in Hong Kong and found that those hospitalized for COVID symptoms had very different microbiomes than those hospitalized for other reasons.

They found that COVID patients had fewer of the bacterial strains associated with the body’s immune response to infection and that the species seemed to correlate with symptom severity and longevity.

The results were published in the journal Gut.

These observational findings do not prove that a healthy microbiome can offer protection from COVID-19, nor do they mean you should be stocking up on probiotic and prebiotic-rich supplements and food to bolster your immune system.

But they do offer something to think about.


Doing your best to build a healthy gut may not protect you from COVID or other infections, but it can help promote better overall digestive health that might translate into a more robust immune system.

There is plenty of data that indicates high-fiber diets (read: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains) can help boost gut health, aid immune strength, and improve overall health and well-being. Probiotics like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi may also add support.

The more you can do for your gut, the better off you might be. A growing pool of data suggests a diverse microbiome can offer a host of health benefits; a tamer response to COVID-19 could, potentially, be one of them.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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