Scientists are studying whether harnessing specific microbiota in the gut or simply promoting gut health can boost immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens. A study in monkeys found that SARS-CoV-2 changes the gut microbiome and causes a decline in bacterial species that make short-chain fatty acids that travel through the bloodstream and protect mice from respiratory viruses, while other studies in mice have shown that exercise also improves SCFA levels, which could prevent complications of COVID-19 caused by a leaky gut.
Animal studies show gut microbes may boost immunity
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