The UK Phyto-V covid study highlighted the wide range of symptoms people suffer following a Covid infection (see table below), in particular:
- Joint pains
- Disturbed sleep
- Poor concentration
- Low mood
- Persistent cough
- Bloating and altered bowel habit
There are several theories why post viral syndrome or long covid occurs. The most likely is that the virus is not completely clearly from the body so there is a persistent immune up regulation resulting in chronic inflammation and the typical symptoms associated with it.
It is now well established that patients with Covid with low vitamin D and pre-existing GI symptoms and other factors linked to gut dysbiosis have more severe and more persistent of symptoms and much more likely to develop long covid.
In addition to dietary measures, the phyto-v study strongly suggests that an intervention with a specifically designed probiotic supplement, enhanced recovery from Covid especially for individuals who have symptoms or conditions suggestive of poor gut health. This blend, now called yourgutplus+, has both pro and prebiotics and vitamin D. The reason why vitamin D was included is that here is now also strong evidence that vitamin D is better absorbed if given with a probiotic. Likewise vitamin D aids health gut colony formation (read more).
In the UK study, in addition to the probiotic supplement a phytochemical rich supplement, given at teh same time, further enhanced the benefit of yourgutplus three fold. It contained purified foods such as chamomile, pomegranate, resveratrol and turmeric which act as pre-biotics but also have direct anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. The design and results of these trials are summarised on the UK distributors website. In this major study this combination of two supplements was also reported to be safe and well tolerated
Going forward, the same research group are now designing a study to evaluate whether this blend could also enhance antibody titres and reduce symptoms post Covid vaccination. The background to this study is that it is becoming clear that people who are more likely to get long covid are more likely to get symptoms after the vaccine and get less benefit. This includes:
- Overweight or obese
- Low vitamin D levels
- Symptoms of poor gut health