A team of nutritional scientists led by an oncologist at Bedford Hospital has developed a capsule which will help patients recover from long Covid.
Last year Bedford Today revealed how Professor Robert Thomas had led a national study which showed treating the gut to a blend of five different friendly bacteria called lactobacillus probiotics, combined with a chicory-rich ingredient known as an inulin, helped with symptoms.
And now, in a second paper just published, Professor Thomas – who also works at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – has found this capsule containing a mix of other natural substances known as phytochemicals can significantly help further.
Phytochemicals occur in plant-based foods with abundant colour, taste and aroma and Professor Thomas analysed laboratory data to determine which blend may work in synergy against Covid.
The new capsules contain purified citrus bioflavonoids, a large family of substances found in most foods that are good sources of vitamin C, resveratrol, a plant compound that acts like an antioxidant, pomegranate, chamomile and turmeric.
Professor Thomas’ team recruited 147 study volunteers from the Cambridge and Bedford areas with symptomatic Covid-19 from May to November 2021. 25% had acute Covid and 75% long Covid with troublesome symptoms lasting on average 108 days.
They were all given a dried lactobacillus probiotic capsule and then half were also given the phytochemical-rich concentrated food capsule, and half were given a dummy capsule called a placebo.
The results, analysed by University of Bedfordshire statisticians, revealed symptoms improved significantly in the entire group. On top of this, participants who took the phytochemical rich food capsule had an even better improvement compared to those who took the placebo.
The figures show:
*A two-fold further reduction in mean fatigue scores
*A three-fold reduction in cough score
*A two-fold improvement in overall well-being scores
Professor Thomas said: “This safe phytochemical-rich concentrated natural whole food capsule significantly shortened the duration and severity of short and long-term symptoms caused by a Covid-19 infection.
“In addition, sub analysis of the participants’ demographics revealed that those more likely to have pre-existing gut condition had an even better response to intervention.”