Vegetarian, fish or meat: can food change the course of a corona infection? A study examined the relationship in six countries.
Munich – it is well known that you are what you eat. The fact that a healthy lifestyle and appropriate diet have an impact on our immune system is nothing new. A study from the USA published in June suggests, however, that our diet could also play an “important role” in the course of a corona infection.
The John Hopkins epidemologist Hyunju Kim and seven colleagues from different US institutes examined this connection in a study. According to their publication in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health People with a “plant-based diet”, i.e. vegetarians and vegans, suffer 73 percent less often a “moderate to severe Covid-19 course” than meat eaters. For pescetarians, i.e. fish-eaters, it was 59 percent. The risk of developing corona at all and the duration of an infection, on the other hand, do not seem to depend on our eating habits.
Study examines medical and nursing staff: Diet influences the course of Covid
For the study, the research team evaluated surveys from six different countries. 2,884 employees from various hospitals and care facilities provided information on their eating habits, lifestyle, previous illnesses and demographic characteristics.
They were then medically monitored between July 17 and September 25, 2020. All participants had an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus due to their occupation (medical or nursing staff). 568 had Covid-19, 430 of them with a mild course and 138 with a moderate to severe course.
Study shows: Diet influences the course of Covid – which factors play a role?
The distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the diet also played a role in calculating the probability. For example, those who followed a low-carbohydrate diet were almost four times as likely to get seriously ill with corona as people who mainly relied on vegetables, nuts and legumes.
Why this is so has not yet been fully clarified. The exact relationship between diet and the course of the corona has yet to be investigated further. After all, there are a number of factors and risks that can influence a viral illness. Criticism of the study arises because people’s self-assessment was used as the basis. (vs)
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