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The dreaded ‘winter vomiting bug’ has been on the rise in the last few weeks, [i] so read on to learn how nutrition and lifestyle may help you avoid infection, and support you during and after infection if it comes to that.
Norovirus is the infamous microbe responsible. The symptoms of winter vomiting bug include severe diarrhea and vomiting, and often fever, muscle aches, and weight loss too. Anyone can pick up this pesky bug, however young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are most vulnerable. [ii]
Symptoms usually only last 2-3 days, but norovirus can disrupt our health for several months, if not years, after the infection has cleared. It can trigger post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS)[iii],[iv] and this is certainly what we observe in clinical practice.
If you would like personalised advice, please contact our Clinical Nutrition team or seek the advice of a private Registered Nutritional Therapist.
The brand you can talk to:
Or head to our advice page where you can find Healthnotes.
[i] James L. 2019. What to do if you catch norovirus – the winter vomiting bug. [online]. Accessed 11/11/19. Available from: https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/winter-vomiting-bug.
[ii] Schwartz S et al. Norovirus gastroenteritis causes severe and lethal complications after chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Blood. 2011; 117 (22): 5850-6.
[iii] Marshall JK et al. Postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome after a food-borne outbreak of acute gastroenteritis attributed to a viral pathogen. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007; 5 (4): 457-60.
[iv] Zanini B et al. Incidence of post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome and functional intestinal disorders following a water-borne viral gastroenteritis outbreak. Am J Gastroenterol. 2012; 107 (6): 891-9.
[v] Monini M et al. Occurrence of two Norovirus outbreaks in the same cafeteria in one week. New Microbiol. 2019; 42 (3): 156-160.
[vi] Guix S et al. Final consumer options to control and prevent foodborne Norovirus infections. Viruses. 2019; 11 (4). Pii: E333.
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[viii] Jack S et al. Norovirus contamination of a drinking water supply at a hotel resort. N Z Med J. 2013; 126 (1387): 98-107.
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[xvi] Long KZ et al. Vitamin A supplementation has divergent effects on norovirus infections and clinical symptoms among Mexican children. J Infect Dis. 2007; 196 (7): 978-85.
[xvii] Chen P et al. Association of vitamin A and zinc status with altered intestinal permeability: analyses of cohort data from northeastern Brazil. J Health Popul Nutr. 2003; 21 (4): 309-15.
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[xxiii] Crost EH et al. Production of an antibacterial substance in the digestive tract involved in colonization-resistance against Clostridium perfringens. Anaerobe. 2010; 16 (6): 597-603.
[xxiv] Kennedy MJ, Volz PA. Ecology of Candida albicans gut colonization: Inhibition of Candida adhesion, colonization, and dissemination from the gastrointestinal tract by bacterial antagonism. Infect Immun. 1985; 49 (3): 654-63.
[xxv] Flanagan PK et al. Killing of Escherichia coli by Crohn’s disease monocyte-derived macrophages and its enhancement by hydroxychloroquine and vitamin D. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015; 21 (7): 1499-510.
[xxvi] Scricciolo A et al. Vitamin D3 versus gliadin: a battle to the last tight junction. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2018; 63 (1): 1-3.
[xxvii] Plummer S et al. Clostridium difficile pilot study: effects of probiotic supplementation on the incidence of C. difficile diarrhoea. International Microbiology. 2004; 7: 59-62.
[xxviii] Roberts JD et al. An exploratory investigation of endotoxin levels in novice long distance triathletes, and the effects of a multi-strain probiotic/prebiotic, antioxidant intervention. Nutrients. 2016; 8 (11): 733
[xxix] Lei S et al. High protective efficacy of probiotics and rice bran against human norovirus infection and diarrhea in gnotobiotic pigs. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7: 1699.
[xxx] Sindhu KN et al. Immune response and intestinal permeability in children with acute gastroenteritis treated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2014; 58 (8): 1107-15.
[xxxi] Bhutta ZA et al. Therapeutic effects of oral zinc in acute and persistent diarrhea in children in developing countries: pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 72 (6): 1516-22.
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[xxxv] Nielsen et al. Magnesiumsupplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res. 2010 Dec; 23 (4): 158-68