Study Shows the Food You Eat Is Linked to COVID-19 Symptom Severity

Centro Universitario de la Costa
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Diet based mitigation may be used hand in hand with vaccination against Covid-19.

The links between diet-related diseases and Covid-19 is now widely accepted based on scientific evidence. In this regard, obesity has been identified by the CDC as a strong risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness. Still, scientists trying to understand why Covid19 had mild symptoms in some and much more severe symptoms in others.

Vaccination against Covid-19 is essential. Vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective and should be promoted as the first line of defense. However, attention to the preventative effect of diet related mitigations, is largely missing. As a mitigating factor, diet impact on Covid19 should be carefully explored.

In this regard, a study led by the Centro Universitario de la Costa, Department of Medical Sciences, Universidad de Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, explored the association between severity of COVID-19 symptoms and habitual food intake in adult outpatients. The study was conducted on 236 patients with suspected COVID-19, where 103 were positive for SARS-CoV2 infection. A habitual food frequency questionnaire was designed to collect information on the dietary intake of adults during 3 months prior to their Covid19 tests. The study showed that those Covid19 positive individuals, with an increased habitual intake of legumes, grains, bread & cereals food groups, showed decreased overall symptom severity.

“The study shows the importance of care regarding diet management in Covid19 time. The importance of diet management for any disease is well known to the scientific community. So it is not surprising that taking certain food groups showed benefit for outpatients,” said Professor Elihud Salazar-Robles who is the leading author of the paper.

“This study is only a start and the sample size is relatively small. However, even such a study shows how important the effect of diet can be. The study does not negate the essential attention to vaccination. Alternatively, it shows that how diet management can help vaccination to mitigate the burden of Covid19. The outcomes of our study provide a base for considering diet for close contacts to Covid19 patients and can be promoted for further explorations,” continued Dr. Claudia Lerma the corresponding author of this paper.

Reference: “Association between severity of COVID-19 symptoms and habitual food intake in adult outpatients” by Elihud Salazar-Robles, Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Humberto Badillo, Martín Calderón-Juárez, Cesar Alberto García-Bárcenas, Pedro Daniel Ledesma-Pérez, Abel Lerma and Claudia Lerma, 12 November 2021, BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health.

DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000348

The study was published in the journal of BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health under the title of “Association between severity of COVID-19 symptoms and habitual food intake in adult outpatients” and was co-authored by Elihud Salazar-Robles, Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Humberto Badillo, Martín Calderón-Juárez, Cesar Alberto García-Bárcenas, Pedro Daniel Ledesma-Pérez, Abel Lerma and Claudia Lerma in November 2021.

Diet based mitigation may be used hand in hand with vaccination against Covid-19.
 

Diet based mitigation may be used hand in hand with vaccination against Covid-19.