Can food determine the severity of Covid-19 infection? A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Ghent and published on September 22, 2021 in the journal Nutrients could explain why the coronavirus manifests as a simple cold in some people while others are admitted to intensive care. The postman ? Two nutritional deficiencies! Lighting.
The role of dietary deficiencies in the severity of Covid-19 infection
According to scientists at Ghent University, people with a severe form of the coronavirus have a remarkable similarity. To arrive at this finding, the researchers analyzed the blood of 138 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients who were admitted to two hospitals in Ghent. One of the study’s authors, Professor Gijs Du Laing, explains that the aim was to assess the levels of certain nutrients in the blood of these patients. These are more particularly micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
The professor says that thanks to previous studies, it is known that individuals with dietary deficiencies suffer more from certain viral infections. The researchers therefore wanted to know if this was the case for Covid-19.
According to the results of the study, almost all people with severe forms of the virus had severe selenium and zinc deficiency upon admission to hospital. Among the victims of the virus, seven out of ten patients suffered from a strong lack of selenium and zinc.
Patients without dietary zinc and selenium deficiencies had a mild form of the disease and recovered more quickly. The researchers therefore concluded that it may be a risk factor for severe forms of the virus, or even more important than diabetes, cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Scientists recommend that vulnerable people pay attention to their diet and include more foods rich in selenium and zinc in their menu.
Nutrients (septembre 2021) : « Course and Survival of COVID-19 Patients with Comorbidities in Relation to the Trace Element Status at Hospital Admission », Gijs Du Laing et coll.