A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Efficacy of Systemic Enzymes and Probiotics in the Resolution of Post-COVID Fatigue.
Medicines (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;8(9)
Plain language summary
Coronavirus disease-19 (Covid-19) usually lasts for 7-10 days but in a proportion of individuals, long-term symptoms may develop such as fatigue, which can last for at least 12 weeks. Disruptions to the immune system and parts of the cell which produce energy have been observed in these individuals. This randomised control trial of 200 individuals aimed to determine the combined effects of two different multi-enzyme and probiotic supplements; ImmunoSEB and ProbioSEB on Covid-19 induced fatigue. The results showed that supplementation resolved fatigue and lowered fatigue in those who were still fatigued after 14 days compared to taking a placebo. Mental fatigue was also reduced in the supplemented group compared to placebo. It was concluded that 14 days of supplementation with ImmunoSEB and ProbioSEB resolves post-Covid-19 fatigue. This study could be used by health care professionals to recommend the supplementation of ImmunoSEB and ProbioSEB to improve feelings of and in some case resolve fatigue associated with Covid-19.
Conflicts of interest:
A: Meta-analyses, position-stands, randomized-controlled trials (RCTs)
B: Systematic reviews including RCTs of limited number
C: Non-randomized trials, observational studies, narrative reviews
D: Case-reports, evidence-based clinical findings
E: Opinion piece, other
This study reports on a randomized, multicentric, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that was conducted in n=200 subjects with post-COVID-19 fatigue and without active SARSCoV-2 infection, living in India. This study sought to assess the efficacy of a multi-enzyme formulation administered with a probiotic complex on COVID-19-induced fatigue.
Subjects were between the ages of 18 and 75 years, with RT-PCR, confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 at any time followed by an RT-PCR negative test who experienced fatigue and muscle weakness. Subjects were randomized to a test arm (n = 100), an oral supplement of a systemic enzyme complex and a probiotic complex for 14 days, or the control arm (n = 100) which used a placebo.
The multi-enzyme supplement formulation included Peptizyme SP, an enteric coated serratiopeptidase, bromelain, amylase, lysozyme, peptidase, catalase, papain, glucoamylase and lactoferrin. The probiotic supplement included, a blend of Bacillus coagulans LBSC (DSM 17654), Bacillus subtilis PLSSC (ATCC SD 7280) and Bacillus clausii 088AE (MCC 0538).
Treatment efficacy was compared using the Chalder Fatigue scale (CFQ-11), at various time points from days 1 to 14. At endpoint, 200/200 subjects finished the study.
Primary clinical outcomes were:
- The supplemental treatment resulted in the resolution of fatigue by 182 of 200 (91%) in the test arm compared to 30 of 200 (15%) in the control arm on day 14 (p<0.001)
- A beneficial effect was seen even at earlier time points, with a greater proportion of patients in the test arm being fatigue- free on days 4 (16% vs. 0%), 8 (44% vs. 2%), and 11 (87% vs. 7%) vs. the control arm (p<0.001).
The supplements were well tolerated with no adverse events reported.
Secondary clinical outcomes were:
- Subjects in the test arm showed a significant reduction in total as well as physical and mental fatigue scores at all time points vs. the control arm (p<0.001)
- On day 14, there was a significant reduction in all individual measures of physical fatigue (tiredness, need to rest, drowsiness, ability to do things, energy level, muscle strength and feeling of weakness) as well as mental fatigue (concentration, focus and memory) in the test arm vs. the control arm (p<0.001).
Clinical practice applications:
- There have been reports of post-viral fatigue syndrome up to 12 months in other coronavirus infections such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). A lengthy post-infection fatigue impairs quality of life and has a significant impact on individuals, employers, and the healthcare system. It is therefore essential for clinicians to have early interventions to promote recovery of COVID-19 patients.
- Based on this study, practitioners could therefore consider multi-enzymes and probiotics together with other evidence-based multidisciplinary care approaches to improve functional status and quality of life in patients suffering from post-viral fatigue from COVID-19.
Considerations for future research:
- The treatment period of the study was a one-time intervention of 14 days with no long-term follow-up. A long-term follow-up of patients in future studies is needed to evaluate the potential of recurring fatigue.
- Future studies are also needed to replicate these findings and to test for certain inflammatory and immunity markers to provide further insight into the mechanism of action of supplementing with multi-enzymes, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus clausii.
- Additionally, further investigation is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-enzymes, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus clausii in patients with persistent fatigue for six months or beyond to address the needs of patients suffering from chronic fatigue.
- All the subjects in the study were of Indian ethnicity, therefore further studies of other ethnicities are required.
- This study was capped at 75-year-olds, thus studies in older subjects are warranted.
- Conflict of interest statement: This study was fully funded by the manufacturer of the specialty enzymes and probiotics and the authors are paid employees of the manufacturer.
Muscle fatigue and cognitive disturbances persist in patients after recovery from acute COVID-19 disease. However, there are no specific treatments for post-COVID fatigue. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the health supplements ImmunoSEB (systemic enzyme complex) and ProbioSEB CSC3 (probiotic complex) in patients suffering from COVID-19 induced fatigue. A randomized, multicentric, double blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 200 patients with a complaint of post-COVID fatigue. The test arm (n = 100) received the oral supplements for 14 days and the control arm (n = 100) received a placebo. Treatment efficacy was compared using the Chalder Fatigue scale (CFQ-11), at various time points from days 1 to 14. The supplemental treatment resulted in resolution of fatigue in a greater percentage of subjects in the test vs. the control arm (91% vs. 15%) on day 14. Subjects in the test arm showed a significantly greater reduction in total as well as physical and mental fatigue scores at all time points vs. the control arm. The supplements were well tolerated with no adverse events reported. This study demonstrates that a 14 days supplementation of ImmunoSEB + ProbioSEB CSC3 resolves post-COVID-19 fatigue and can improve patients' functional status and quality of life.
Functional Nutrition & EBV with Dr. Kasia Kines
Dr. Kasia Kines, the guest of this episode of the podcast, holds a doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition and has helped thousands of patients get to the root cause of their illnesses. Dr. Kines is a key opinion leader on the Epstein-Barr virus and. In this episode, Dr Kines discusses how the reactivation of chronic EBV infection can impact health while analysing the interplay of nutritional interventions, toxic exposure, and stress in chronic EBV. She delves into the pros and cons of monolaurin as a therapeutic treatment, highlighting the importance of literature-backed clinical applications of nutraceuticals such as selenium.
'The long tail of Covid-19' - The detection of a prolonged inflammatory response after a SARS-CoV-2 infection in asymptomatic and mildly affected patients.
Plain language summary
‘Long COVID’ or the persistence of symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as fatigue, is becoming increasingly common. As the emergence of the virus is still relatively recent in research terms, little is known about the long-term impact of the viruses infection. This study sought to generate further insights into the management and diagnostic of long COVID, by assessing a range of inflammatory markers from blood serum samples. Examined were 10 samples of health care workers with previous asymptomatic or moderate SARS-CoV-2 infections, compared to 10 samples of SARS-CoV-2 naive health care workers. The serum was analyzed by mass spectrometry using a customized panel of the 96 immune response associated proteins. Despite being mild to moderate cases, the results showed that even 40-60 days after infection, significant disturbance in the immune systems inflammatory response could be observed. Particularly markers that reflect anti-inflammatory pathways and mitochondrial stress. The study highlighted six of the most noteworthy proteins and included a brief description of their role. The authors suggest that analysing proteins by using targeted proteomic technology, could serve as a cost-effective strategy to further investigate the changes in inflammatory responses post SARS-CoV-2 infection. Which could help to aid the identification of potential treatment targets in the future. Relevant findings from this small study for clinical practice are that even mild to moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection can alter the inflammatory responses for months afterwards.
'Long Covid', or medical complications associated with post SARS-CoV-2 infection, is a significant post-viral complication that is being more and more commonly reported in patients. Therefore, there is an increasing need to understand the disease mechanisms, identify drug targets and inflammatory processes associated with a SARS-CoV-2 infection. To address this need, we created a targeted mass spectrometry based multiplexed panel of 96 immune response associated proteins. We applied the multiplex assay to a cohort of serum samples from asymptomatic and moderately affected patients. All patients had tested positive for a SARS-CoV-2 infection by PCR and were determined to be subsequently positive for antibodies. Even 40-60 days post-viral infection, we observed a significant remaining inflammatory response in all patients. Proteins that were still affected were associated with the anti-inflammatory response and mitochondrial stress. This indicates that biochemical and inflammatory pathways within the body can remain perturbed long after SARS-CoV-2 infections have subsided even in asymptomatic and moderately affected patients.
Vitamin D Supplementation and Covid-19: From Evidence to Action
This podcast features Dr William B Grant, a leading expert on vitamin D, with over 275 publications listed at pubmed.gov. His primary research interests are identifying and quantifying the risk-modifying factors for chronic and infectious diseases, with a particular interest in ultraviolet irradiance and vitamin D. In this interview, Dr Grant explores vitamin D research and it's clinical use with particular focus on the relationship between vitamin D and viral respiratory tract infections including COVID-19.
Low level of Vitamin C and dysregulation of Vitamin C transporter might be involved in the severity of COVID- 19 Infection
This manuscript aims to present existing information regarding the extent to which vitamin C can be an effective treatment for COVID-19 and possible explanations as to why it may work in some individuals but not in others.
Nutraceuticals have potential for boosting the type 1 interferon response to RNA viruses including influenza and coronavirus.
Progress in cardiovascular diseases. 2020;63(3):383-385
The Malnutritional Status of the Host as a Virulence Factor for New Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
Plain language summary
This highly technical review paper summarises some known actions and mechanisms by which certain nutraceuticals can boost the type 1 interferon response, a specific immune response to viruses, including influenza and coronavirus. These include: Ferulate (ferulic acid) has been shown to stimulate type 1 interferon production, and enhanced survival in influenza A-infected mice. Sulforaphane (phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli) and lipoic acid have similar actions. Spirulina extract has been found to decrease mortality in influenza-infected mice. Clinical and preclinical evidence for the potential benefits of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor for the important antioxidant glutathione, and selenium are also discussed. A glucosamine-enriched diet increased survival of mice infected with influenza virus. The authors present a table with suggested dosages for the above nutrients, as well as yeast beta-glucans, zinc and elderberry extracts, for viral control, whilst calling for more research into these compounds.
Frontiers in medicine. 2020;7:146
The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease.
Plain language summary
This opinion article explores the role of an individual’s nutrition status when subjected to infection by viruses, in particular Covid-19. Distinction is made between the susceptibility to infection in the first instance and the ability to persist in fighting infection once it is established. For Covid-19, it is argued that a healthier nutritional status, in particular Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, iron selenium and zinc, will lower susceptibility to infection, lower the severity of the virus and therefore reduce the length of time an individual has to find reserves to fight the virus. More severe cases of Covid-19 infection also often include gastro-intestinal symptoms which further exacerbate nutritional status with lowered appetite. The authors conclude that malnourished individuals may be more susceptible to Covid-19 infection and that nutritional support is vital in severe cases. The article includes a useful diagram of both hyponutrition and hypernutrition and possible impacts of Covid-19.
Physiological reviews. 2019;99(3):1325-1380
Plain language summary
The interaction between sleep and immunity is an established phenomena. This thorough review article summarises sleep changes in response to both infectious and non-infectious immune system challenges and describes the role of sleep in supporting the immune system. Details are provided of how sleep affects the innate immune system (first line, rapid defence against infection) as well as the adaptive immune system (second line, delayed defence against infection), using a feedback system which promotes host defence. Sleep is associated with reduced infection risk and can improve infection outcome and vaccination responses. Sleep deprivation is also associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation. Nutrition Practitioners wishing to support immunity can focus on sleep as a simple lifestyle measure to enhance resilience.
Sleep and immunity are bidirectionally linked. Immune system activation alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects the innate and adaptive arm of our body's defense system. Stimulation of the immune system by microbial challenges triggers an inflammatory response, which, depending on its magnitude and time course, can induce an increase in sleep duration and intensity, but also a disruption of sleep. Enhancement of sleep during an infection is assumed to feedback to the immune system to promote host defense. Indeed, sleep affects various immune parameters, is associated with a reduced infection risk, and can improve infection outcome and vaccination responses. The induction of a hormonal constellation that supports immune functions is one likely mechanism underlying the immune-supporting effects of sleep. In the absence of an infectious challenge, sleep appears to promote inflammatory homeostasis through effects on several inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines. This notion is supported by findings that prolonged sleep deficiency (e.g., short sleep duration, sleep disturbance) can lead to chronic, systemic low-grade inflammation and is associated with various diseases that have an inflammatory component, like diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegeneration. Here, we review available data on this regulatory sleep-immune crosstalk, point out methodological challenges, and suggest questions open for future research.