COVID-19 Update: The Importance of a Plant-Based Diet in Combating COVID; and More

Kids With COVID-Linked MIS-C Have Long-Term Symptoms

Following a bout of severe COVID-19, some children suffer lasting neurological complications, part of a rare condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a new study finds.

“I see this happen to 10% to 20% of children who have COVID,” said senior researcher Dr. Sanjeev Kothare, director of the division of pediatric neurology at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Lake Success, N.Y.

Obesity Associated with a Higher Risk of COVID-19 Death Among Ethnic Minorities

A study found a stronger correlation between obesity and COVID-19 deaths in ethnic minorities than in White people. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Leicester and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and the findings were published in journal Nature Communications.

In this analysis, researchers assessed the national Census information, electronic health records and mortality data of more than 12 million English adults over 40 years of age who were alive at the start of the pandemic and who had their BMI recorded in the previous 10 years.

According to the results, there was little difference in risk between ethnic groups in lean individuals at low Body Mass Index (BMI). However, as the researchers noted, obesity level BMI among Black, South Asian and other ethnic groups were associated with an appreciable increasing dying from COVID-19 compared to White counterparts.

Can a Plant-Based Diet Reduce the Risk of Severe COVID-19?

Adopting a plant-based diet, similar to people from high longevity areas known as “Blue Zones,” may protect against severe COVID-19 infection, according to a commentary piece published this month in the the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

As the pandemic persists, precipitated by the omicron variant, a central question remains: How can we prevent “breakthrough” infections in those who are vaccinated? Well, vaccine effectiveness may be markedly reduced in those with chronic conditions, particularly hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, and smokers. COVID-related deaths are higher in people living with these conditions; conditions linked to dietary and lifestyle choices that can be changed. In fact, as noted in the article, people who implement healthy lifestyle changes have appreciable protection against COVID.