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Probiotics: A Science-Supported Antiviral “Secret Weapon”

Probiotics - A Science-Supported Antiviral Secret Weapon
Image – Pixabay (PD)

Scientific Studies Have Shown That Probiotics Reduce Pneumonia 25% In Critically Ill Patients. So, Why Is The Media Silent On This Potentially Life Saving Information?

While probiotics – aka the “good bacteria” – are associated by most with restoration of balance to the gastrointestinal system, many studies now support them as antivirals with overall benefits to the immune system.

POTENTIAL LIFE SAVER?? – Actual Human Trial Finds That Probiotics May Prevent Severe Pneumonia: A 2016 human trial (small scale, 150 patients) with Lactobacillus rhamnosus found that probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. It was theorized that probiotics potentially inhibit pneumonia by enhancing intestinal barrier function and reducing the load of pathogenic bacteria. [1]

The 2016 USA and Canada-based human trial found that probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus was beneficial in preventing VAP and other infections in critically ill patients. The report stated that “Probiotics constitute a promising method to prevent infection in critically ill patients.” [1]

More studies: Many other scientists have in fact TESTED probiotics in previous hospital ICU pneumonia scenarios and there have been numerous studies supporting the use of probiotics to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia intensive care unit mortality. A meta-analysis of 23 randomized controlled trials suggested that administering probiotics to critically ill mechanically ventilated patients is associated with a 25% reduction in the incidence of VAP. Probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. The study concluded that “administering certain strains of live bacteria (probiotics) to critically ill patients may restore balance to the microbiota and have positive effects on immune function and gastrointestinal structure and function.” [2]

This could be HUGELY important right now… and nobody is talking about it! We are in the middle of a pandemic where it is KNOWN that cases that turn to pneumonia are those causing most of the fatalities; we have a scenario where the number of intensive care units available is being stretched to the limit, and we have a commonly available supplement that has been associated by numerous studies with significant reduction of pneumonia-associated intensive care (and it’s associated mortality – millions of people per year, not just thousands)… and… nothing is being done. Why?

How Probiotics Can Help Produce More GOOD Bacteria And Help Prevent Viruses

Our tip? Just get some now. While the antiviral effects of probiotics are still not fully researched and understood, there is much encouraging scientific research to support the use of probiotics as general antivirals; a brief summary of this is below.

More Important Science For Probiotics: Probiotics May Lead To Increased Antiviral Response: An important 2017 scientific review reported that there is significant evidence from numerous studies that probiotics enhance immune response. Administration with the well known probiotic strains Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus exert a beneficial effect on mucosal immunity. [3] Other studies have also reported that these probiotic strains have the ability to decrease viral infection. [4]

Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics have the therapeutic potential to shorten the length of common respiratory conditions. A recent meta-analysis reported that, at least in adults administered vaccinations to protect against influenza viruses, the co-administration of probiotics and prebiotics was efficacious. [5] The effect is “perhaps attributed to a fine–tuning of the mucosal barrier and metabolic system”.

Probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri has also been found effective against influenza in mice: A 2014 scientific study reported that this probiotic increased their influenza survival rates by up to 40%: “The body weight losses were lower with the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration after the PR8 virus infection. At 5 days after the infection, the virus titer [amount of the virus present] was significantly decreased, as was the amount of produced IL-6 in the lung tissue, the number of total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was reduced by the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration. The expression of the Mx1 and Oas1a genes, critical for the viral clearance in the lung tissues was increased by the pre-treatment with [Lactobacillus gasseri]. These findings suggest that the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration is effective for the protection against influenza A virus infection by the down-regulation of viral replication through the induction of antiviral genes expression.” [6]

Now this is potentially highly relevant in the case of coronavirus also because IL-6, mentioned in the above study, is particularly upregulated by SARS-group viruses as part of the “cytokine storm” that can be potentially fatal. So while noting that this is only an animal trial, lowering IL-6 by the use of probiotics would make sense logically.

Probiotics are widely available – go here to pick up our chosen brand and in “this is not medical advice” fashion I think I can state would be a highly worthy addition to your antiviral protective arsenal!

But the way science works in these cases is SLOW. These studies are beginning to be taken seriously, but it will be years before it gets the official stamp – and this is too slow for the current pandemic. And the media missed them entirely, focusing instead on scaring the hell out of people; rarely do they give people any form of actual measures they can take to protect themselves and boost their own health naturally.

As we know, there are (simplified) two general outcomes from COVID-19. If your immune system is strong, you get a cold/flu type bug for several days, possibly quite intense but you then recover. However the other outcome, associated typically with those who have compromised or weaker immune systems, is that it hits you MUCH harder and that you can quickly end up in ICU with pneumonia symptoms as the filling of the lungs with fluid causes greater and greater difficulty in breathing, potentially causing fatality.

So now tell me: Did you hear ANYTHING from the media lately about how to keep your immune system strong and healthy naturally…..?

It almost seems as though the mainstream media WANT more people to die, because then they can scare people EVEN MORE, who then click EVEN MORE and make them EVEN MORE money. They are pigs at the trough, getting rich on this while millions go bankrupt. It’s sick and has even acquired a new name: “fear porn”. But they won’t stop. You are the one who must choose to unplug.

I counsel my friends not to look at mainstream media ever again but there they are the next day, at it again. They cannot comprehend that they really could be lied to on such a mass scale. So I say one thing: Read the scientific studies. Just actually read them and learn. If you read the actual studies (not just the ones we link to in our articles, but others too) you will get a different and much more detailed picture to the one the media tells. You will see how the media CHERRY PICK what they want you to know about and what they don’t. Their goal is to terrify you because that makes BANK for them. This scenario is literally their perfect storm.

Youtube, Facebook and the rest in fact have had so much web traffic with everyone staying at home and locked into a sort of trance state, consuming fear-based stories all day long, that they had to downgrade the bandwidth of their video streaming due to the unprecedented demand!

That means the media giants are making unprecedented ad revenue as the rest of the world goes bankrupt. Literally getting rich by preying on your fear.

Don’t rely on the media to guide you to health and safety. Rely on actual science. This Single SUPER-STRAIN Probiotic Could Be The Most Powerful Nutrient For A Faster Metabolism And Ultimate Defense Against Viruses

Note: Most people are fine with probiotics but they may be contraindicated in patients with gut perforation. Other patients i.e. catheterized may need special precautions with probiotic use. Pls check with medical professional.

More research: We recently covered Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections in full. Our research on that topic led us to probiotics and we felt it was too important not to cover in a dedicated article.

References:

[1] Probiotics: Prevention of Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial—PROSPECT: a pilot trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970233/

[2] Probiotics in the critically ill: a systematic review of the randomized trial evidence. (2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22975886/

[3] Adjuvant Probiotics and the Intestinal Microbiome: Enhancing Vaccines and Immunotherapy Outcomes (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748616/

[4] Interactions of macrophages with probiotic bacteria lead to increased antiviral response against vesicular stomatitis virus (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512614

[5] Effect of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707647/

[6] Oral administration of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 is effective for preventing influenza in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982165/

Note – we may make commissions on sales of natural health products linked to in this and other articles on this website.

Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections: FULL REPORT

Natural Remedies For Viral Infections
Image © herbs-info.com

You’ve heard about the 20-second hand washing and the social distancing. Now let’s open up the herbal war chest and see what else we have at our disposal… as it happens, quite a lot…

Last week I wrote to leading herbalist Stephen Jarrod Buhner, author of the groundbreaking Herbal Antivirals: Natural Remedies for Emerging And Resistant Viral Infections, asking him if he had updated information on coronaviruses since the publication of his book in 2013.

He is slammed at the moment as you can imagine, but he kindly responded! Yes! He has written up a detailed, up to date COVID-19 herbal protocol and here it is (full text):

https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus.txt.pdf

(Addendum:) https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronaupdate.pdf

Herbalists take note! This is some of the most important, up to date and accurate herbal information you can possibly get on herbs vs. coronavirus. But this info is a bit technical for the average person. These texts are dense, scientific and contain much information that is aimed at trained herbalists who also have the skill to make the preparations from the herbs.

However there are some simple and widely available herbs and other natural remedies that can be utilized.

WELL KNOWN TINCTURES and COMMONLY AVAILABLE HERBS:

Ginger while not yet noted as specific to coronaviruses, is regarded as an excellent general herbal antiviral. Note that the ginger should be fresh, not dried or powdered. Take a thumb-sized piece, chop or slice finely, put in a cup, add boiling water, honey (raw!) and a couple of slices of organic lemon for a superb supportive drink that can be taken liberally whether unwell or not.

Garlic can be considered giving “generally useful antiviral support”. It has also, perhaps importantly, been found active against viral pneumonia in vitro. Its antiviral effects have not been as heavily studied as its well-known antibacterial effects, however “studies have reported that garlic extract showed in vitro activity against influenza A and B (Fenwick and Hanley, 1985), cytomegalovirus (Meng et al., 1993 ; Nai-Lan et al., 1993), rhinovirus, HIV, herpes simplex virus 1 (Tsai et al., 1985), herpes simplex virus 2 (Weber et al., 1992), viral pneumonia, and rotavirus.” [1]. Raw is best, but crunching down whole cloves is ‘only for the hardcore’; fresh garlic chopped very finely and added to other savory foods makes it bearable.

Ginkgo biloba – this herb upregulates ACE-2 function [1], which is a function specifically damaged by the COVID-19 virus. ACE-2 support is especially important in the elderly as this function tends to be decreased with age, part of the reason why the virus is more dangerous in the elderly. Widely available in tincture or capsule form.

Glycyrrhiza (Licorice) – increases T cell count and protects ACE-2; may reduce symptom picture and severity.

Cordyceps – immune support, recommended by Buhner as part of the coronavirus protocol.

Rhodiola – immune support, adaptogenic.

Angelica Sinensis – immune support

Astragalus – immune support

Cinnamon and other plants high in procyanidins and lectins – supports ACE-2.

Oregano – typically in tincture form – is a web known “herbal antiviral” that is typically used for gastro-intestinal viruses such as noroviruses. Scientific research supports this use [2] and I have personally found oregano tincture highly useful against the typical “seasonal colds and flu”, however research specific to coronaviruses is lacking. However oregano essential oil has been found to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 [3] which is spiked in coronaviruses, thus indicating that it may be supportive in reducing symptom severity in COVID-19.

Panax Ginseng – this is the Korean / “red ginseng” – listed by Buhner as active against coronaviruses. [4]

Other Plants Found Active Against SARS-group Coronaviruses (according to Buhner): Scutellaria baicalensis, Artemisia annua, Cassia tora, Cibotium barometz, Dioscorea batatas, Eucalyptus spp, Gentiana scabra, Linera aggregate, Lonicera japonica Polygonum multiflorum, Taxillus chinensis, Pyrrosia lingua, and Rheum officinale. [4]

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – this “medicinal mushroom” has a long history of use in herbal medicine and significant support for use with viral infections. May be a useful supportive herb. Other fungal antivirals to consider include Chaga and Turkey Tail.

Note – if taking medications pls check with medical professionals before using herbs. We also advise using these herbs under the guidance of a qualified herbalist. Buhner’s full recommended regimen is listed at the link above from his website.

VITAMIN, SUPPLEMENT and OTHER IMMUNE SUPPORT PROTOCOLS:

Zinc – well known immune booster – increases T cell count (T cell inhibition is one of the mechanisms via which the coronavirus enters and severely damages the lymph organs in the lungs); zinc may reduce symptom picture and severity.

Vitamins C and D. Well known immune support nutrients.

Vitamins A and E are linked to general immune health.

Good food (organic if possible). Lots of fresh berries, citrus fruits, green and orange vegetables. Nuts and seeds.

Get plenty of rest. Stay positive, reduce stress and anxiety as these are known to weaken general immune system function.

AIR PURIFICATION / DECONTAMINATION:

Eucalyptus Essential Oil – has been found active against SARS-group Coronaviruses! If you have an essential oil diffuser, a few drops of this diffused into the air may be a highly useful addition to your antiviral arsenal; especially if you are required to receive persons into your home or other establishment. Eucalyptus EO is also a very useful antibacterial and has even been included in hospital surface cleaning agents to protect against MRSA (staph). If you are making up a hand sanitizer / surface cleaner using isopropyl alcohol, adding a few drops of Eucalyptus EO should be highly beneficial! Furthermore, steam inhalation may be useful. The typical practice is to pour boiling water into a large bowl, add a couple of drops of the essential oil and breathe the steam.

HEPA FILTRATION: – HEPA air filters are somewhat active against coronaviruses, with some caveats. You might see sales pitches saying that “HEPA Filters filter out over 99% of the coronavirus in one pass” – yeah right – but that requires some clarification because not all HEPA filters are exactly the same. The size of the coronavirus is approximately 0.06 to 0.14 microns [5] – however viruses seldom exist alone and will clump together to make a larger particle. They also “ride around” on droplets or particles larger than they are, such as a tiny water droplet or dust particle which may be 0.8 to 1 micron. A high rated face mask (N95) which filters 95% of particles of 0.3 microns therefore certainly appears somewhat helpful. HEPA-based air purifiers fare better – especially if they have a UV sterilization component, which targets airborne viruses specifically. There are different grades of HEPA filters:

HEPA H14: pass up 0.005% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H13: pass up 0.05% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H12: pass more than 0.5% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H11: pass a maximum of 5% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air.
HEPA H10: pass more than 15% of 0.1 micron particles per liter of air. [6]

Summary: Combination of HEPA with UV sterilization and activated carbon bed layer should be the most effective.

Ad: HEPA air purifiers with UV on amazon.com

IONIZERS are not advised, as they do not actually remove particles (including viruses) from the air. They merely move them onto other surfaces.

PROBIOTICS – POTENTIALLY VERY IMPORTANT!

Ad: How Probiotics Can Help Produce More GOOD Bacteria And Help Prevent Viruses

Our tip? Get some now. While the antiviral effects of probiotics are still not fully researched and understood, there is much encouraging scientific research to support the use of probiotics as general antivirals; a brief summary of this is below.

Science (Important): Probiotics May Lead To Increased Antiviral Response: An important 2017 scientific review reported that there is significant evidence from numerous studies that probiotics enhance immune response. Administration with the well known probiotic strains Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus exert a beneficial effect on mucosal immunity. [7] Other study has also reported that these strains have the ability to decrease viral infection. [8]

Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics have the therapeutic potential to shorten the length of common respiratory conditions. A recent meta-analysis reported that, at least in adults administered vaccinations to protect against influenza viruses, the co-administration of probiotics and prebiotics was efficacious. [9] The effect is perhaps attributed to a fine–tuning of the mucosal barrier and metabolic system.

POTENTIAL LIFE SAVER?? – Actual Human Trial Finds That Probiotics May Prevent Severe Pneumonia: A 2016 human trial (small scale, 150 patients) with Lactobacillus rhamnosus found that probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. It is theorized that probiotics potentially inhibit pneumonia by enhancing intestinal barrier function and reducing the load of pathogenic bacteria. [10] Other studies and meta-analyses have supported these findings.

Probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri has also been found effective against influenza in mice: A 2014 scientific study reported that this probiotic increased their survival rates by up to 40%: “The body weight losses were lower with the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration after the PR8 virus infection. At 5 days after the infection, the virus titer [amount of the virus present] was significantly decreased, as was the amount of produced IL-6 in the lung tissue, the number of total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was reduced by the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration. The expression of the Mx1 and Oas1a genes, critical for the viral clearance in the lung tissues was increased by the pre-treatment with [Lactobacillus gasseri]. These findings suggest that the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration is effective for the protection against influenza A virus infection by the down-regulation of viral replication through the induction of antiviral genes expression.” [11]

Now this is potentially highly relevant in the case of coronavirus also because IL-6, mentioned in the above study, is particularly upregulated by SARS-group viruses as part of the “cytokine storm” that can be potentially fatal. So while noting that this is only an animal trial, lowering IL-6 by the use of probiotics would make sense logically.

Ad: The Single SUPER-STRAIN Probiotic That Could Be The Most Powerful Nutrient For A Faster Metabolism And Ultimate Defense Against Viruses

Note: Probiotics may be contraindicated in patients with gut perforation, pls check with medical professional.

LIVER AND KIDNEY SUPPORT

In all viral infections, supporting the other organs of the body to do their work effectively is important as this may reduce the severity of illnesses. Herbs that may be valuable in this regard include pomegranate, milk thistle, cranberry.

Further Research: The field of “antiviral fungi” is one which holds much potential. Fungi represent a vast source of bioactive molecules, which could potentially be used as antivirals in the future. [12]

Standard Medical Disclaimer:

We cannot make actual medicinal recommendations for legal reasons. Please treat this information as general research information not intended to supersede or take the place of actual consultation with a qualified medical professional. By all means show your doctor or caregiver this report! We do not make actual medical claims but report on widely available scientific research.

That’s what we have covered so far; please ask questions and if you have specific inquiries about other herbs / natural remedies let us know in the comments and we will look into it!

References:

[1] Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects (2014) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/

[2] Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jam.12453

[3] Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152729/

[4] “Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections”. Buhner. (2020) https://www.stephenharrodbuhner.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/coronavirus.txt.pdf

[5] How Small Are Coronavirus Particles? https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/can-air-purifiers-filter-out-the-coronavirus/

[6] Do HEPA filters catch viruses? (Berkeley Microbiologist answers) https://www.quora.com/Do-HEPA-filters-catch-viruses

[7] Adjuvant Probiotics and the Intestinal Microbiome: Enhancing Vaccines and Immunotherapy Outcomes (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748616/

[8] Interactions of macrophages with probiotic bacteria lead to increased antiviral response against vesicular stomatitis virus (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512614

[9] Effect of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707647/

[10] Probiotics: Prevention of Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial—PROSPECT: a pilot trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970233/

[11] Oral administration of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 is effective for preventing influenza in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982165/

[12] Antiviral Agents From Fungi: Diversity, Mechanisms and Potential Applications (2018) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02325/full

How Soap Kills The Coronavirus

Plain old soap and water absolutely annihilate coronavirus.

You’ve been told a thousand times: wash your hands to stop the spread of COVID-19. But why does this work so well? It has to do with the way the soap molecules are able to absolutely demolish viruses, like the coronavirus.

This is actually a great video and tutorial that demonstrates why 20 seconds of washing with soap are vital, and why no soap or ‘just 10 seconds’ does not work.

Another tip: Switch out those hand towels more frequently and run them on the hot wash cycle.

Video courtesy of: Vox