Dr. Christine Bishara Talks About Gut Health, Ideal Diet To Feed “Good” Bacteria, Improve Immunity

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The Importance Of Healthy Gut Bacteria In Keeping Down Inflammation, Improving Immunity

Dr. Christine Bishara, specialist in gut health and internal medicine, sat down again with Staten Islander News to discuss how to promote a healthy gut microbiome for better viral and bacterial resistance. Consuming probiotic-rich foods can help establish a healthy balance of gut flora, while making sure your diet has many high-fiber foods to feed the bacteria that are established and help them grow stronger and healthier is also extremely important.

Most people do not have the correct balance of healthy gut bacteria, whether through overuse of antibiotics, poor diet lacking in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, or a high-stress lifestyle. Over time, this can lead to inflammation throughout the body, making it more likely that a person may suffer a cytokine storm when exposed to Covid. This means that the body has runaway inflammation when exposed to this or other viruses, causing a much more severe illness.

Dr. Bishara and her team found that those who had the best response to Covid, where it was more akin to a mild cold, had something in common: a healthy gut microbiome, in particular a high level of bifidobacterium. This bacteria is common in the gut flora of healthy children, but as we age and practice poor dietary habits, this healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut begins to degrade.

One reason why bifidobacterium is so important is that it down-regulates interleukin-6, which is a stress chemical. When this chemical is up-regulated, such as in those with high levels of stress and poor diet, it causes runaway inflammation in the body. When this chemical is down-regulated, the body has a more positive response to stressors of all kinds, including viruses and bacteria.


The good news is that it is never too late to start to build back a healthy gut microbiome. Doing so has many health benefits, including a better response to diseases such as Covid, flu, and others. By following Dr. Bishara’s advice in the video, one can build a healthy gut microbiome, ensuring a better response to illnesses the body is exposed to in the future.

Banner Image: Video cover. Image Credit – Staten Islander News


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