Keynote Address Covid Research: Prof Robert Thomas, Consultant Oncologist at Addenbrooke's and Bedford Hospitals, UK
(Timings are in Greenwich Mean Time - add session to your diary using link below)
The influence of a combination of lactobacillus probiotic and Inulin on symptoms and outcomes among individuals with acute and Chronic Covid-19 infections - The UK Phyto-V Study
Ethics number: IRAS (Ethics) Number: 282517. EudraCT number: 2020-001532-10
This talk explores the emerging evidence why one person gets more severe consequences of covid than others. Age, underlying genetic susceptibility and having other chronic conditions features strongly but it is now clear that underlying gut health is fundamental. Poor gut health leads to immunity insufficiency, excess chronic inflammation and excess oxidative stress which are adverse feature seen in more severely affected people with covid. Patients with covid with GI symptoms suggestive of bacterial dysbiosis have a worse prognosis, have more prominent non-GI symptoms such as cough and breathlessness and are more likely to develop fatigue and neurological consequences of long covid.
Phytochemical-rich concentrated foods are safe and their regular intake has been found to improve immune and oxidative efficiency, to improve bacterial gut health via their prebiotic properties. Laboratory studies have reported that many of them also have direct anti-viral properties including reduced viral attachment, penetration and absorption, proliferation and shedding of viruses which in theory, if these benefits are extrapolated to humans, could reduce the chance of catching the virus, suffering from it or spreading it to others.
Probiotic supplements, particularly lactobacillus, along-side other healthy dietary habits, can help to improve gut health and microbiome diversity. Randomised trials have shown their regular intake can reduce the incidence of viral infections and enhance antibody titres post flu vaccination. The Kings APP study reported people who took them regularly had a lower incidence of covid. Their role in patients with confirmed covid is being explored across the World including within the UK national Phyto-v study.
The Phyto-v double blind randomised trial, investigated a specifically designed lactobacillus probiotic capsule (Yourgutplus+), plus a phytochemical rich food capsule, and found it significantly shortened the duration and severity of short and long term symptoms caused by a covid-19 infection. This talk summarises these findings. More information about this trial can also be found on the trial website http://phyto-v.com