Health & Fitness Are vegetarians and vegans less likely to get severe Covid?
Around 1.1MILLION Britons have 'long Covid', ONS figures show
The Office for National Statistics questioned 20,000 adults who had the virus on their symptoms up to a year after catching the virus, and used these results to estimate rates across the UK.And 70,000 people say they have battled fatigue and other crippling symptoms for a over a year.
The study, published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal, examined six different countries to determine whether dietary patterns had an effect on Covid symptoms. Healthcare workers from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA who had "significant exposure to COVID-19 patients" completed a web-based survey between July and September 2020.
They provided information including demographic characteristics, dietary information and information on whether they caught the virus and how it affected them.
Of the almost 2,900 participants, 568 had COVID-19 and 2,316 did not.
Children as young as 12 'will get Covid vaccines in September'
'Core planning' documents have been leaked showing UK schoolchildren will be given one dose when they go back to class after the summer. There are also reportedly plans for Britons over 50 to be given booster jabs in the autumn amid fears over Covid variants sweeping Europe.It comes as experts say vaccines should be able to control the pandemic as they published new real-world UK data showing jabs slash infection and cut transmission.
Of those 568 who did, 138 people had 'moderate-to-severe' Covid-19 and 430 had 'very mild to mild' illness.
The study found that participants who said they ate only plant-based diets were 73 percent less likely to suffer from moderate-to-severe illness from coronavirus.
Plant-based diets are those that do not have any animal products in them - including milk, eggs and any type of meat.
Similarly, those who stated they had a plant-based or pescatarian diet, where they may eat fish but no poultry or red meat, had 59 percent less chance to become moderately-to-severely ill.
The study also found that those who followed 'low carbohydrate, high protein diets', which is generally thought to be a healthy diet, in fact had a greater chance of suffering a moderate to severe illness.
Flu and pneumonia are now killing almost as many people as Covid
Office for National Statistics data showed 275 deaths had Covid listed as the underlying causes. For flu and pneumonia, there were 265 that fitted this category.Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis showed the illnesses were listed as the underlying cause of death for 265 victims in England and Wales in the week ending April 16.
No link was found between a person's diet and their chances of picking up the virus, however, nor was a link found between diet and the duration of the virus.
The study concluded that in the six studied countries, plant-based or pescatarian diets may be considered for protection against Covid-19.
Are vegetarians less likely to get severe Covid?
The results of the study are not conclusive, and more work will need to be done to see if there is a definitive link between diet and severe covid infection.
Sara Seidelmann is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, said: "We found that individuals who reported following plant-based diets had a 73 percent lower odds of moderate to severe COVID-19.
"Plants are packed with micro-nutrients. In prior studies supplementation with some of these nutrients decreased the risk of respiratory infections.
Study - Obese men are more likely to die from Covid than fat women
Data from 3,530 infected patients admitted to hospital in New York found men do not need to be as fat as women to have a 'significant association with higher in-hospital mortality'.Data from 3,530 infected patients admitted to hospital in New York found men do not need to be as fat as women to have a 'significant association with higher in-hospital mortality'.
"These nutrients can support the immune system."
Dr Gunter Kuhnle, professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Reading, said: "The findings of the study are not surprising: people who follow a mainly plant-based diet or eat fish are often healthier when compared to a control group with a 'normal' diet.
"An interesting - and for some surprising - finding is the higher risk found in those following a low-carbohydrate diet."
However, Dr Carmen Piernas, nutrition scientist at the University of Oxford, was not convinced by the way the study was conducted and questioned the strength of the findings.
She said: "Overall, this is methodologically weak and while it raises an interesting possibility that the severity of COVID-19 may be related to diet quality, a larger-scale population based study is needed to support these preliminary findings since the population studied here is unlikely to represent behaviours of the general population."
Prof Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, UCL said: "further validation may be required to confirm a direct, causal between diet and COVID-19 illness severity."
Weird gadget may cure hiccups, early study suggests .
A new study hints that the device works, but more studies are needed to rule out a placebo effect.When a bout of hiccups strikes, the brain stem shoots signals to the diaphragm that cause the muscle to contract and pull a gulp of air into the lungs; then the epiglottis, a flap of tissue behind the tongue, flips over to cover the windpipe and triggers the characteristic "hic" sound that give hiccups their name, Live Science previously reported. The involuntary reflex may serve some purpose in fetuses and newborns, in that hiccups may help train the brain regions and muscles involved in breath control.