Scientists from the University of Ghent in Belgium have published a study indicating that people who have fallen seriously ill from Covid-19 have one thing in common, namely a nutritional deficiency.
“Almost all of the patients who ended up getting seriously ill or even dying in hospital had severe selenium and zinc deficiency in their blood on admission.”. These are the unusual results of a study carried out by scientists at the University of Ghent. To arrive at such results, they studied the blood of 138 patients with the virus who were admitted last year to two hospitals. “We wanted to check the level of certain nutrients in the blood of patients“, explains Professor Gijs Du Laing to Belgian media 7sur7.”We knew from previous studies that people with deficiencies in certain nutrients are much more seriously affected by certain viral infections. We wanted to know if the same was true for Covid-19“, indicates the researcher.
Among the patients with Covid who died in the care units they studied, seven out of ten therefore had severe selenium and zinc deficiency, as reported by the scientist. “Patients who did not have this deficiency, or in whom it was less pronounced, more often survived Covid-19 and recovered more quickly. They fell much less seriously ill“, adds the professor.
A deficiency of selenium or zinc in the blood upon admission to hospital has even been shown to be a greater risk factor than diabetes, cancer, obesity or cardiovascular disease.
Professor Du Laing and his colleagues are not the only ones who share this theory. A similar study was published in Germany.
Finally, for the researcher, it is urgent to work on food in healthcare centers such as nursing homes. Hence the hypothesis put forward: “If you know that there are a lot of vulnerable people, special attention should be paid to selenium and zinc in the diet. A large number of elderly people hardly eat meat any more, because they have problems with chewing and therefore leave it aside, for example. Currently, older people living in residential care facilities primarily receive iron or vitamin D supplements in addition to their diet, while many also require selenium and zinc for their immune systems to function properly.“.