- Stevie Bee
Could intermittent fasting help treat covid-19? Looks like it.
Turns out intermittent fasting isn’t just for weight loss. If you haven't already, check out my experiences with intermittent fasting and losing weight here and here. I know from personal experience it works. But how about for covid?
Well, research published in the British Medical Journal (Nutrition, Prevention & Health) in July 2022 concludes intermittent fasting could help limit the severity of covid-19, including controlling hyperinflammation and strengthening some immunity pathways.
Researchers took 205 people diagnosed with covid-19 and divided them into two groups: those who intermittently fasted, and those who didn’t. The study was conducted in the US state of Utah between March 2020 and February 2021. Utah has a big population of Mormons who intermittently fast as part of their religious practice, that is, they go without food or drink for two consecutive meals on the first Sunday of every month.
The study’s authors found 11% of the fasters were admitted to hospital and/or died but for those who didn’t fast, it was much higher at 28.8%. They concluded that “routine periodic fasting was associated with a lower risk of hospitalisation or mortality in patients with covid-19”.
The finding isn't entirely new. A study published pre-covid found that “fasting reduced inflammation and improved chronic inflammatory diseases without affecting the immune system’s response to acute infections”. It does this by reducing the release of highly inflammatory immune cells called monocytes into the bloodstream. When we’re fasting, these cells go into ‘sleep mode’ and are less inflammatory than monocytes found in those who were eating.
The study’s authors suggest investigating the effect of intermittent fasting on long covid-19 as well.
As a regimen, intermittent fasting helps keep inflammation in check, which has benefits for total overall wellbeing as well as being helpful in perhaps warding off illnesses such as covid-19. Add in a balanced in-season organic diet; keeping earthed; breathing in fresh clean cold air in winter as much as possible, getting plenty of rest and relaxation; and enjoying moderate exercise a few times a week and you should be well on your way.