By Gabriele Amersbach, Prebiotin Science Writer
More than 290,584 people have contracted COVID-19, as of March 21, according to Worldometers.info (these numbers are increasing by the hour). The death toll is at least 11,972 deaths, a mortality rate of 3.4%. This compares to a mortality rate of less than 0.1% (1 death per every 1,000 cases) for the seasonal flu.
Half of the deaths are outside mainland China, which has 81,008 confirmed cases, with a death toll of 3,255. The U.S. has 22,708 cases with 279 deaths, although with the lag in testing, it is difficult to confirm these numbers.
Infected people have been detected in at least 186 countries, with Italy having the highest infection rates outside of China. The whole country is on lockdown, while hospitals are overwhelmed with spiraling numbers of infected patients. As of March 18, Italy has 47,021, with 4,032 deaths.
With lockdowns, school closings, and the strong suggestion from the CDC that organizers cancel events larger than 10 people, our situation is looking a lot like Italy’s. Many experts are saying the United States has just a two-week delay before we see similar infection rates; U.S. hospitals may also struggle as the number of severely ill patients spikes.
On a personal level, most of us are becoming more and more vigilant about wiping down our cars and homes with disinfectant, although Purell and disinfecting wipes are almost impossible to purchase. We wash our hands until they crack, stay 6 feet away from anyone we meet, while we attempt to stay calm in the face of such dire news and the growing fear that the worst is still to come. What can we do?
Strengthen your immune system
One strategy is to strengthen your immune system, designed to protect you from viruses and bacteria that can make you sick.
No one can make a claim to help you prevent viral infections. However, to reduce the risk of contracting illness, a good start is regular sleep and moderate exercise (30 minutes a day or about 2.5 hours per week)—even 10-minute increments of exercise can help.
The junk foods we love, from cheese doodles to frozen dinners, are especially damaging because of added dyes, artificial flavoring, preservatives, and other chemicals, as well as sodium, sugar, and saturated fats added during the manufacturing process. Researchers link these foods to the increase in chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, as well as spiraling obesity rates.
Instead, a diet that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, and limits sugar, meat, alcohol, and processed foods can help strengthen your immunity.
Be kind to your gut!
What you eat is especially important since up to 80% of the entire immune system makes its home in the gut microbiome. This “organ” includes trillions of microbes, including viruses, fungi, and more than 2,000 different species of bacteria that live in your intestines.
Research tells us that a healthy gut microbiome is diverse, with high ratios of “good” bacteria (especially in the bifidobacteria and lactobacillus groups). These bacteria help us to digest food and extract necessary nutrients, control immune function to fight disease, and support brain function. In addition, the right mix of bacteria helps us to maintain a healthy weight.
An essential ingredient in a healthy diet that nurtures these good gut bacteria is fiber. Foods high in prebiotic fiber, like dandelion greens, asparagus, unripe bananas, apples, Jerusalem artichokes, onions and garlic, and chicory root, are especially beneficial. Prebiotic fiber goes through the small intestine undigested and is fermented when it reaches the large colon.
This fermentation process feeds beneficial bacterial colonies (including probiotic bacteria) and helps to increase the number of desirable bacteria that are associated with better health and reduced disease risk.
Inulin and oligofructose are the two most natural and beneficial prebiotics we know.
Include Prebiotin for a healthier gut microbiome
Since our gut microbiome plays such a key role in keeping us healthy, we need to be especially vigilant when we face an ongoing health threat like COVID-19. A healthy microbiome allows us to fight all the viruses and pathogens we encounter in our daily lives more successfully. It is not surprising that the CDC tells us older people who are often less well and those with serious medical conditions are at highest risk for contracting COVID-19.
To boost your immune system and improve your gut health, eat foods rich in prebiotic fiber and probiotic bacteria (yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, Miso soup, kimchee, and other fermented foods).
If you are like many of us eating a Western diet, it is critical to get enough prebiotic fiber to reduce disease risk. We need at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber each day. The average American only gets about 15 grams.
Prebiotin® Prebiotic Fiber is an ideal supplement to add prebiotic fiber to your diet. It has been shown to help grow beneficial bacteria in the gut, boost immunity, and reduce leaky gut. It may be especially helpful if vegetables and fruit become scarce. For a video on leaky gut, click here.
Prebiotin can also support the gut after a course of antibiotics and other drugs that kill beneficial as well as undesirable bacteria.
Prebiotin is an affordable long-term solution that can be stored for months. Your gut must be in continuous healthy balance in order to absorb vitamins and minerals and optimize metabolic processes and brain function. A good prebiotic supplement can also help your children to maintain a healthy gut as well as maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to inflammation, which can also weaken your immune system.
A hundred years of pandemics
In the last 100 years, we have had numerous pandemics, starting with the horrific flu of 1918 that took the lives of 20 to 50 million people worldwide, with a death rate of 10 to 20%. The Asian flu in 1956-58 had 2 million deaths; the “Hong Kong” flu of 1968 had a death toll of 1 million; the HIV/AIDS pandemic (at its peak, 2005-2012) caused the death of at least 36 million people. Currently, about 35 million are still living with HIV, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With COVID-19, mortality rates are unclear. During a recent hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), explains: “The flu has a mortality rate of 0.1 percent. This has a mortality rate of 10 times* that. That’s the reason I want to emphasize we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.” *These statistics are changing daily. Please check the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center or Worldometer, Coronavirus for real time updates.
As we face another pandemic, we must come to terms with the reality that any real control is impossible when disease hits without warning and strikes at a global level. We can only take personal precautions, hope that a vaccine will soon be developed, and build up our immunity where possible. And we must find ways to stay calm since stress can also weaken the immune system.
All orders (with no minimums) within the U.S. offer free shipping. International shipping is free with a purchase over $150.00. Please don’t pay more for our product than prices we have listed on our website or our Amazon website. Feel free to contact us with any pricing concerns or further questions about Prebiotin. RESOURCES REFERENCES
All orders (with no minimums) within the U.S. offer free shipping. International shipping is free with a purchase over $150.00. Please don’t pay more for our product than prices we have listed on our website or our Amazon website. Feel free to contact us with any pricing concerns or further questions about Prebiotin.