COVID-19: A Wakeup Call for Our Dying Microbiome

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The interplay between protective bacteria and invading viruses has taken center stage

Our microbiome is dying. This essential collection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in our body and on our skin is disappearing. Herbicides like glyphosate are partly to blame, but special attention must be paid to certain medical interventions, research suggests.

Enough warning signs have arisen that researchers are raising alarm to fix, protect, and preserve the human microbiome—the flora made up of symbiotic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on the skin and in the body. At least 70 percent of the immune system resides in the gut microbiome.

“Paying attention to the microbiome is crucial moving forward because it is disappearing. It’s disappearing because the diversity is disappearing,” Dr. Sabine Hazan told The Epoch Times.

Hazan is the founder and CEO of Progenabiome, a genetic sequencing research laboratory, that in the company’s words is trying to “crack the genetic code of a trillion bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our gut.” Hazan is a specialist in gastroenterology, internal medicine, and hepatology.

“The microbiome is trillions of microbes that once you’ve killed them, it’s very difficult to regrow what you’ve killed,” she said.

Of particular concern to her is Bifidobacterium, a genus of anaerobic bacteria which are among the first microbes to populate the human gastrointestinal tract in infants. They are foundational to immunity and are believed to have many health-promoting properties such as metabolic processes that ward off infection by synthesizing vitamins, strengthening the intestinal barrier, stimulating hormones, and keeping inflammation at bay. The good news is they are fairly hardy and adaptable; the bad news is that they can be depleted rapidly—something illustrated on a mass scale with COVID-19.

Three years of study has revealed that COVID-19 is diminishing our healthy gut bacteria, which play an important role in battling viral attacks on the body, but the full extent of damage is unclear and recovery is unknown. Early evidence from one of Hazan’s studies suggests messenger RNA vaccines are also reducing bifidobacteria, adding to a growing list of health risks associated with the controversial technology.

By Amy Denney

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