Gut Health and COVID-19

March 29, 2021
The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Poor gut health could put you at risk of more severe outcomes if you get COVID-19.

A review recently published in the online journal mBio found those who had more severe COVID-19 cases tended to also have gastro-intestinal symptoms.

The review theorizes an altered gut micro-biome could allow COVID-19 to spread to more organ faster. It could be an underlying factor in known risk factors like chronic disease.

According to Dr. Elinor Zhou, a gastroenterologist at The Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy, there are gastrointestinal symptoms involved in COVID-19.

"The microbiome is the natural micro-organisms in your gut. If that is altered, people have found that you are more predisposed to COVID-19 because the microbiome acts as part of your immune system," Dr. Zhou said.

If you alter the gut, it is then easier for the virus to find its way into the immune system.

To view Mercy gastroenterologist Dr. Elinor Zhou’s interview regarding COVID-19 and gut health, click here.


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: dcollins@mdmercy.com Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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