Do Probiotics Help You When You’re Sick?
It is a well-known fact a healthy gut microbiome provides body wide health benefits, but what does your gut do when you fall ill? Do the probiotic gut bacteria help you when you have a respiratory infection like, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?
Recent research by Joe Pickard and Alexander Chervonsky at the University of Chicago suggests that your gut bacteria can help you when are well and also when you are suffering from an infection.
The study showed that when mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which mimics a bacterial infection one of the mouse’s immune responses was to add a specific sugar called fucose to the surface of the cells in the gut wall. The fucose provides a source of food for gut microbes, thereby reinforcing their health and increasing their ranks. This maintenance of healthy gut bacteria during infection helps reduce the likelihood that an infection will take hold. At the same time the healthy gut bacteria also help the host by increasing nutrient absorption and promoting the immune response which works to reducing weight loss and hasten a quick recovery.