In a new paper from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, researchers suggest that in addition to vaccinations, health care workers should recommend plant-based diets to help patients improve their health and decrease vulnerability to COVID-19.
They point to a new study of health care workers whose immune response to the Pfizer vaccine was inversely associated with waist circumference.
A 2021 study of health care workers in six countries revealed that those following largely plant-based diets had 73% lower odds of developing moderate-to-severe COVID-19, compared with those following other diets.
This benefit may come from the fact that plant-based diets are linked to much lower body weight, lower risk of high blood pressure, lower plasma lipid levels, and lower risk of diabetes.
A healthy vegan diet can benefit a large group of individuals who fail to respond adequately to vaccination yet do not have a classic immunosuppression condition.
As of November 18, 2020, more than 60% of COVID-19 hospitalizations were attributable to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or heart failure.
To improve health and decrease vulnerability to COVID-19 and other illnesses, the authors suggest three key strategies:
Doctors should encourage patients to improve underlying health conditions, including adopting healthful dietary habits, particularly a renewed emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, and plant-based diets.
Medical practitioners should refer appropriate patients to registered dietitians as a matter of medical urgency.
They should provide nutrition information and code nutrition messaging into their electronic medical records to be automatically given to patients at check out.
Hospitals should provide information about good nutrition to patients, families, visitors, and staff, and should model it with the foods they serve.
If you care about COVID, please read studies about vitamin D and COVID-19: What you need to know and findings of this cholesterol-lowering drug could reduce COVID-19 infection by up to 70%.
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The study is published in the American Journal of Medicine. One author of the study is Saray Stancic, MD.
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