Could THIS twice-daily probiotic filled with gut friendly bacteria help beat Long Covid?
- YourGutPlus has produced a 25p probiotic pill which could help beat long Covid
- Doctors at Addenbrook's and Bedfordshire hospitals have been testing the drug
- The capsules have eased coughs, reduced breathlessness and boosted energy
A cheap pill made with gut-friendly bacteria could help beat long Covid.
The capsule, containing probiotic bugs that promote intestinal health, eased coughs, reduced breathlessness and boosted energy levels, according to a trial carried out by doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Now, YourGutPlus, the company that made the twice-daily pill, for the trial, is marketing it for sale at £14.98 for 60 – equivalent to just 25p each.
Professor Robert Thomas, a cancer specialist at Addenbrooke’s, said: ‘The majority of those on the trial had chronic long Covid symptoms, and most saw an improvement when they took the supplement.
The probiotic pills have been used on patients suffering Long Covid and have relieved symptoms such as breathlessness and shortness of breath
Medics at Addenbrook's Hospital in Cambridge have reported good results of a trial using the 25p pills on patients suffering from Long Covid
‘It’s possible some of that was a placebo effect, but it’s dawning on everyone that poor gut health may play a role in long Covid. We don’t want to be seen promoting a commercial product, but it’s safe and cheap – worth giving a try.’
About 1.2 million people in the UK have long-term after-effects from Covid-19 infection.
But following previous studies that suggested people who were already taking probiotics were less likely to get infected, Prof Thomas and his colleagues wanted to see if they could help with long Covid, too.
The bespoke pill was made with five types of a gut-friendly bacteria called lactobacillus. Earlier studies showed that many long Covid victims have low levels of the bug in their intestines, and scientists believe this leads to inflammation, not just in the gut but throughout the body.
Researchers asked 126 long Covid sufferers to take the capsules twice a day for a month. The results, in the journal Infectious Diseases Diagnosis And Treatment, showed that coughing episodes more than halved after just a month, and patients also reported less fatigue and nausea.
Sheila Taylor, 81, from Oakley, Bedfordshire, fell ill with Covid in 2020. ‘I caught it during a hospital trip,’ says the former bank worker, married to Michael, also 81. ‘I wasn’t hospitalised but I did feel breathless and tired.’
Sheila’s symptoms subsided but returned again a few weeks later. ‘Some days I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, and I was coughing all the time, which was exhausting.’
Sheila joined the trial in October 2020. She says: ‘Within a few weeks, my cough virtually disappeared, and my energy returned. I was able to walk to the shops and back – there’s been a significant improvement.’
- For more details on YourGutPlus, go to keep-healthy.com.