Your Diet Could Cut Your Odds for Severe COVID-19

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By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- People who devour plentifulness of fruits and vegetables whitethorn person a somewhat little hazard of COVID-19 than those with unhealthy diets, a caller survey suggests.

Of much than 590,000 adults surveyed, researchers recovered that the 4th with the astir plant-rich diets had a 9% little hazard of processing COVID-19 than the 4th with the least-healthy diets.

Their hazard of terrible COVID-19, meanwhile, was 41% lower, according to findings precocious published online successful the diary Gut.

Experts were speedy to accent that healthy eating is nary magic immune-booster that volition ward disconnected COVID-19.

"This doesn't alteration anything. Get vaccinated," said Dr. Aaron Glatt, an infectious illness specializer and spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Jordi Merino, the pb researcher connected the study, agreed that nary 1 should see fare a replacement for vaccination oregon different measures, similar wearing a mask.

Instead, the findings suggest that mediocre fare prime whitethorn beryllium 1 of the societal and economical contributors to COVID-19 risk.

So making steadfast foods much accessible to low-income Americans could beryllium 1 mode to assistance easiness the load of the pandemic, according to Merino, a researcher astatine Massachusetts General Hospital successful Boston.

The findings are based connected implicit 592,000 U.S. and British adults who were portion of a smartphone survey. They reported connected immoderate COVID-19 symptoms they developed and whether they'd tested affirmative for the disease. They besides completed a fare questionnaire asking astir their intake of assorted foods during a emblematic week.

Merino's squad divided participants into 4 groups based connected their intake of works foods similar fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and rootlike oils.

During the survey period, determination were 31,815 documented cases of COVID-19.

On average, the researchers found, the one-quarter of participants with the astir plant-rich diets were somewhat little apt to make COVID-19 than the 4th with diets devoid of fruits and vegetables.

And erstwhile they did get sick, their hazard of terrible COVID (requiring hospitalization and oxygen) was 41% lower. In implicit terms, the complaint of terrible COVID-19 was 1.6 per 10,000 radical per period successful the radical with the healthiest diets; successful the radical with the poorest diets, the complaint was 2.1 per 10,000 each month.


Of course, Merino said, radical with steadfast diets whitethorn beryllium antithetic successful galore ways from those with less-healthful eating habits. So his squad accounted for factors similar age, race, exercise habits, smoking, body weight and whether radical lived successful low- oregon high-income neighborhoods.

Obesity, for example, is simply a hazard origin for terrible COVID-19. And assemblage value did explicate a bully information of the transportation betwixt fare and COVID-19 risk, the survey found.

But fare itself inactive showed a protective effect, the researchers noted.

The nexus was really strongest among radical who lived successful economically deprived areas, Merino said. The researchers estimated that if 1 of those 2 factors was not contiguous — mediocre fare oregon deprivation — astir one-third of COVID-19 cases successful the survey radical could person been prevented.

Glatt cautioned, however, that it is precise hard to abstracted immoderate effect of fare from everything other radical bash successful their lives.

"There are conscionable truthful galore variables," helium said.

People who strive to devour healthfully, Glatt said, are astir apt cautious astir their wellness successful wide — and protecting themselves against COVID-19, specifically.

The researchers did inquire respondents astir their mask-wearing habits, and those responses did not explicate the diet-COVID link.

But, Glatt said, "it's intolerable to relationship for everything" — including whether radical worked from home, utilized nationalist transportation, oregon were consenting and capable to debar different crowded indoor situations.

Merino pointed to immoderate different limitations of the study. While astir one-quarter of respondents were property 65 oregon older, they were reasonably steadfast arsenic a radical — with fewer reporting chronic conditions similar heart disease and diabetes.

Plus, Merino said, the survey was done successful 2020 — earlier anyone was vaccinated and earlier the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Whether a healthful fare mightiness person immoderate further interaction successful a vaccinated person, oregon during a clip of Delta dominance, is unknown.

Those caveats made, some Merino and Glatt said that eating plentifulness of whole, plant-based foods is surely a omniscient idea, since radical with bully nutrition are mostly healthier and hardier.

"It's rather tenable to suggest that a steadfast fare volition beryllium beneficial," Glatt said.


More information

The World Health Organization has much connected COVID-19 and nutrition.

SOURCES: Jordi Merino, PhD, probe associate, Diabetes Unit and Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and instructor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Aaron Glatt, MD, chief, infectious diseases, Mount Sinai South Nassau, Oceanside, N.Y., and spokesman, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Arlington, Va.; Gut, Sept. 6, 2021, online

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