Reading Time: 2 minutes A severe course of COVID-19 can lead to hospitalization Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
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Following a vegan diet could help slash the severity of COVID-19, according to a new major study. 

Research published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal investigated the link between the disease and different dietary patterns.

Severity of COVID-19

It tracked 2,884 healthcare workers (HCWs) from six countries with ‘substantial exposure’ to COVID-19.

Participants were asked to complete an online survey spanning over two months – providing information on demographic characteristics, dietary information, and COVID-19 outcomes.

Out of 568 positive cases – 138 respondents reported ‘moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity’; 30 individuals had ‘very mild to mild COVID-19 severity’.

After ‘adjusting for important confounders’ – participants following plant-based diets and ‘plant-based diets or pescatarian diets’ had 73 percent and 59 percent lower odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 severity, respectively.

However, those following ‘low carbohydrate, high protein diets’ had greater odds of moderate-to-severe COVID-19.

No association was found between self-reported diets and COVID-19 infection or duration.

Can vegan diets fight COVID-19?

While this is said to be the first official study connecting COVID-19 severity with diet – experts have pushed plant-based eating since the start of the pandemic. 

Vegan charity Viva! says conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and cancer ‘are the main underlying causes making COVID-19 more likely to result in severe, life-threatening disease’.

It says a plant-based diet can help people lose weight, reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol – overall reducing the risk of a severe COVID-19 case.

The COVID-19 vaccine has stirred controversy amongst vegans….

Renowned medic Dr. Greger has also made a similar point. In an online video, he said: “One of the reasons why the U.S now has the highest number of deaths compared to any other country in the world is because of pre-existing conditions.

“Obesity, T2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension… Every single one of them can not just be prevented and stopped but reversed with a healthy enough plant-based diet.

“Obesity is increasing the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 by six-seven times. That’s for a BMI over 28. That’s not even obese, that’s just overweight.”

Read the full study here

*This article was updated on June 9 to correct the number of participants to 2,884. It previously stated ‘more than 2,300’.

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.