How a Plant based diet helped our doctors with Covid 19
For some people, COVID-19 is a life threatening illness, while for others, it is little more than a short-term annoyance. To some extent, this is a function of an individual’s comorbidities. However, why SARS-CoV-2 manifests so differently in different people remains a mystery.
The study’s authors write, “Our results suggest that a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19.”
Healthcare workers (HCWs) from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, USA) with substantial exposure to COVID-19 patients completed a web-based survey from 17 July to 25 September 2020.
Participants provided information on demographic characteristics, dietary information, and COVID-19 outcomes. They used multivariable logistic regression models to evaluate the association between self-reported diets and COVID-19 infection, severity, and duration.
There were 568 COVID-19 cases and 2316 controls. Among the 568 cases, 138 individuals had moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity whereas 430 individuals had very mild to mild COVID-19 severity.
After adjusting for important confounders, participants who reported following ‘plant-based diets’ and ‘plant-based diets or pescatarian diets’ had 73% and 59% lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity, respectively, compared with participants who did not follow these diets.
Compared with participants who reported following ‘plant-based diets’, those who reported following ‘low carbohydrate, high protein diets’ had greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 . No association was observed between selfreported diets and COVID-19 infection or duration.
Conclusion In six countries, plant-based diets or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19.
But plant-based diets are rich in nutrients, especially phytochemicals (polyphenols, carotenoids), vitamins and minerals, all of which are important for a healthy immune system, say the researchers.
And fish is an important source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have antiinflammatory properties, they add.
“Our results suggest that a healthy diet rich in nutrient dense foods may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19,” they conclude.
“The trends in this study are limited by study size (small numbers with a confirmed positive test) and design (self-reporting on diet and symptoms) so caution is needed in the interpretation of the findings,” comments Deputy Chair of the NNEdPro Nutrition and COVID-19 Taskforce, Shane McAuliffe.
“However, a high quality diet is important for mounting an adequate immune response, which in turn can influence susceptibility to infection and its severity."
He adds:“This study highlights the need for better designed prospective studies on the association between diet, nutritional status and COVID-19 outcomes.
These dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19.
If you would like to read the full study click here