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There is no diet that can prevent coronavirus, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) has said.
The organization, which represents dietitians across the UK, is asking people to stop spreading ‘nutrition pseudoscience’ about ‘miracle supplements and foods that prevent infection’.
The Association reiterates that good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.
The organization is concerned that people may be less likely to take proper precautions when it comes to distancing and hygiene if they keep hearing misinformation around nutrition.
The BDA says ‘no specific food or supplement will prevent you catching COVID-19 / Coronavirus’. It adds that no individual nutrient, food or supplement is going to ‘boost’ your immune system beyond normal levels, though it confirms that ‘eating a well-balanced diet can help ensure the normal functioning of the immune system’.
Those who are self-isolating – especially those showing symptoms – should try to maintain good nutrition and hydration, eating and drinking regularly, even if you have low appetite, and following the dietary recommendations made by your dietitian or other healthcare professional if you have specific nutrition needs.
‘Increase the risk’
“People sharing unevidenced nutrition solutions to COVID-19 may increase the risk that someone doesn’t take proper hygiene and social distancing precautions. It’s vital that we stop spreading this misinformation,” Andy Burman, BDA CEO, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
“Our dietitians, like all health care staff, are working tirelessly at the moment to support the growing number of COVID-19 hospital admissions. Proper nutrition can support improved outcomes for patients in ICU, where we know those COVID-19 patients with the most acute need will be.
“As our members are preparing with their colleagues to support the coronavirus effort in any way they can, including re-deployment into the areas where support is most needed, they are also working hard out of hours to make sure the public has access to good nutritional advice and guidance.
“In these extraordinary times, when it may be more difficult for people with less-serious conditions to access direct dietetic help, we want to reach as many people as we can. Our public advice is here to support anyone who does not need to go into hospital or work directly with a clinician.”
The BDA has created a comprehensive hub of nutrition information relating to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find it here