Gregor Reid

Professor, Western University and Lawson Institute
  • Canada


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Behind the Paper News and Opinion

Recent Comments

Apr 19, 2020

Dear Doctor Gregor, It is a pleasure to know you here, 

3 cuestions

do you reccomend some artisan fermented drink in special like kefir? or do you recommend only  some specific characterized strains of probiotics? 

do you know know kefir 12 from Hansen? please share others probiotics option to improve health in covid times...

best regards

Adan, I actually prefer not to make specific recommendations, but if I do they need to be based on studies. I am a big supporter of fermented foods and believe they are good for us, but unless a study is done on any given one, it's hard to recommend them for a specific purpose and certainly not COVID-19 where no data exists.  With all the money being spent on vaccines and a host of coronavirus studies, I wish some would go to assessing probiotics.

With a colleague in UK and three in Switzerland we submitted a paper on probiotics and prebiotics that may be relevant to reduce the risk and seveity of this virus. Hopefully it will be published. It includes a list of product and web sites featuring clinically documented strains, but again none proven specifically against SARS-CoV2.


Apr 14, 2020

Excellent points but will the gatekeepers listen? Do we truly have a strategy for research in Canada or elsewhere? Millions of dollars are now being spent on vaccines but realistically how many will actually be developed and be effective? It seems universities feel they are contributing just because they allocate funds for research on a vaccine or concepts that might lead to a vaccine in ten years, but it is unfortunate that there was not a collective discussion amongst the 50-100 institutions that may be doing this, to pull resources and invest in ten with the best chance of success. Of course such collective action is unprecedented as each institution wants to be famous for discovering a treatment, but aren't these unprecedented times? With at least two large pharmaceutical companies already going to vaccine trials, should the university researchers who just received funding to pursue their vaccine, not simply talk to one of the companies to see if their idea is better? At the end of the day, any vaccine needs a company with the resources to make, test and distribute a vaccine. How much money should be diverted at the expense of other research that in the meantime may reduce the incidence and severity of COVID-19, or contribute to the main killers of cardiovascular disease and cancer? Good luck in disseminating your message. I can imagine lots of debate on the issue.