The gut-lung connection and the coronavirus establishes that there are proven things we can do to help prepare our bodies for the pandemic; and exposure to all bugs in general.
I have written before about the importance of probiotics in human health. In short, there should be an astonishing 2kg of bugs in the colon; they play a widely varied role in immunity, assimilating nutrients and producing metabolites that have functions in distant organs such as the brain and the skin.
And so in the literature scientists are now investigating subjects such as the Gut-Brain and lung connections; those bugs enable the colon to produce serotonin and dopamine, for example, two extremely important neurotransmitters that impact on our mental and physical wellbeing.
But the influence of these friendly bacteria goes far beyond the brain and the skin. These scientists have discovered that there is another community living in our lungs, and they all talk to each other via the lymphatics and blood vessels.
In these frightening days of the coronavirus assault on humanity, there are few more important things, after washing of hands and social distancing, to help prepare our bodies for a potential exposure to someone carrying the bug.
A divergent microbiome not only improves our general immunity. Since this is in essence a lung-infection, having a vibrant and strong community established in our alimentary canals will help outweigh the invaders simply by their numbers.
The problem of course is that in these days of many antibiotics, both prescribed and in low doses in our foods, most of us probably do not have a strong microbiome. Add to that the chemicals we consume in our nosh and drink that have a very detrimental effect on this community, it is little wonder that many diseases of the alimentary canal, brain and lungs are so prevalent in society today.
The artificial-sweeteners in colas incidentally top the list of chemicals that destroy these friendly bugs; they are probably worse than sugar, though that is debatable.
So what can we do to help recolonise a healthy microbiome? One can take pills, and they do have a place, but the big problem is that they provide a very limited and narrow-spectrum of bugs; scientists are calling for a very diverse community in our bodies.
Making a probiotic in your own kitchen is not only vastly cheaper but supplies a far more diverse range of bacteria and viruses, the friendly ones, to our colons. Kefir, for example, has over 30 different strains of bugs in it.
Making our own probiotic foods used to be a part of almost every culture, but gradually the industry has convinced us they can do it better, which of course they cannot. They go off quite quickly so manufacturers have to add various chemicals to preserve them, destroying the very benefits they bring; or it is pasteurised.
One can think of maas, sauerkraut and kimchi as three examples; even brewing your own beer and wine.
"Bacteria-fighting drugs, especially penicillin, sulfonamides and cephalosporins can damage your kidneys if you use them too often."
I have written before of how kefir, a kind of very strong yoghurt, cured my fifteen-year stomach pain in one week. I had a proven stubborn helicobacter infection that did not respond to antibiotics; overwhelming them with millions of friendly bugs did wonders.
That of course is just a medical anecdote, of little value, but there is a huge scientific literature focused on the importance and influence that a diverse microbiome in our colons has on our brains, vaginas and armpits, just to mention a few others.
Brewing our own beer and wine, and even more exotic drinks such as mead does also contribute to the diverse community of creatures that dwell harmoniously in and on our bodies.
I have lamented before about how our hearts and minds have been captured by television and social media. It would seem we would rather watch others having fun than enjoy lives ourselves to the full.
Alcoholic drinks of our own not only add to the enjoyment of life but contribute to an even more diverse normal flora, contributing further to the gut-lung connection and the coronavirus.
The science is strong about what a sedentary life in front of the computer and television to our wellness. Our cyan zone strategy is how to avoid a life of inflammation and pain, and contribute to the health of the planet.
The gut-lung connection and the coronavirus means real value in kefir.
If you are interested in the science, or just skeptical, then google "frontiers of science; microbiome."
You could drink kombucha tea, brew mead but we make kefir; it takes about five-minutes, every morning initially and then a maintenance dose perhaps once a week or less.
You can get the starter from a health food store for around R80 and instructions here on how to make kefir. It is also one of the best sources of calcium for the prevention of osteoporosis by the way.
It will in some small way give your lungs added protection from an exposure to the coronavirus and many of the other flu-strains that attempt to infect us every year.
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