COVID, Nutrition & Lifestyle
One of the biggest disservices done to the public in the last two years is the total lack of acknowledgement of the vast medical literature which shows a distinct correlation between diet, key nutrient status, lifestyle, and COVID severity.
Now this of course is nothing you'll find anywhere on mainstream media and most social media channels. The focus, of course, has been fear driven, politicization of a pandemic.
Like most infections, healthy people still die. But also like most infections, reducing risks of severe illness is so often attainable. And we have the knowledge to do so. In addition to protecting the most vulnerable, addressing modifiable risk factors is key to reducing not only the number of infections but also the ability to fight COVID effectively. One study was performed on almost 400,000 patients in the UK and published in July 2020 which showed a distinct correlation with lifestyle, and severity of COVID. The factors they looked at included inactivity, obesity, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Here its is: Lifestyle risk factors, inflammatory mechanisms, and COVID-19 hospitalization: A community-based cohort study of 387,109 adults in UK https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245300/
Tell me, did you see any of this this on the news. Did you read this on social media?? Of course not. Almost nowhere is this even addressed, to this day.
We could debate the reasons for this, however, let's stay pro-active and talk about effectively addressing the most important modifiable risks.
Not surprisingly, the same risk factors noted above apply to COVID in addition to so much of what ails humanity.
So, how do we fix this?
For starters, physicians must lead by example. Healthy, plant-based diets low in animal products and high in fruits and vegetables with calculated supplementation of key nutrients (Vits C, D, Zinc especially), along with active lifestyles and avoiding smoking are by far the most valuable strategies. Of course, we still need effective medications we select based on our training and experience, as well as common sense solutions to slow spread and effective vaccination strategies.
More than this however is the need for all of us to make lifestyle top of mind every day. In our own lives and in the practice of medicine. The more we focus on our own roles and the essential role they play in preventing and treating COVID, the better we all will be!
What a different world it would be if the media and politicians practiced this as well.
There are many studies on COVID nutrition & lifestyle which have been published, one you'll find interesting. Here are some to start with.
Enjoy and share!!!
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Preventing the Adverse Effects of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and COVID-19 through Diet, Supplements, and Lifestyle
COVID-19: The Inflammation Link and the Role of Nutrition in Potential Mitigation
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284818/ The Role of Nutrition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What We Know https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33459251/