Plant-based eaters are considerably more protected against severe COVID-19 in comparison to meat-eaters, according to new research.
The research published in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, examined data from six countries to explore the connection between dietary patterns and COVID-19.
The study, examining data of nearly 3000 healthcare workers from six countries to explore the connection between dietary patterns and COVID-19, found plant-based eaters had 73 % lower odds of a ‘moderate-to-severe’ course of infection. It analyzed data obtained from healthcare workers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA who had “significant exposure to Covid-19 patients”.
Around 3000 respondents answered a web-based survey between July and September 2020 providing details on demographic characteristics, dietary patterns and COVID-19 outcomes. While 2,316 of the participants had not been infected with the virus, 568 had. Among those who tested positive for Covid-19, 138 reported moderate to severe symptoms while 430 said they had suffered only a mild or a very mild form of the illness.
Researchers ‘after adjusting for important confounders’, found that those following plant-based diets had 73% lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity while those eating ‘plant-based diets or pescatarian’ were 59% less likely to suffer from the infection when compared with participants who did not follow these diets. Also, those who reported following ‘low carbohydrate, high protein diets’ were found to be at greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19.
The authors concluded: “In six countries, plant-based diets or pescatarian diets were associated with lower odds of moderate-to-severe Covid-19. These dietary patterns may be considered for protection against severe Covid-19.”
Commenting on the study, Professor Francois Balloux of the UCL Genetics Institute said: “The study reports that doctors eating plant-based or pescatarian diets tend to be at significantly lower risk of developing severe Covid-19 symptoms upon infection.
“The sample size is decent, and the analyses look competently performed. Further validation may be required to confirm a direct, causal link between diet and Covid-19 illness severity. Indeed, unaccounted lifestyle variables correlated with diet might influence general health of the subjects of the study, and hence how well they coped with Covid-19 infection.”
Vegans have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer – all of which are major risk factors making Covid-19 more likely to result in severe, life-threatening disease. A diet change can not only make people healthier but, as this new study shows, it can also make us better equipped for fighting infections!
Original source: https://www.totallyveganbuzz.com