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Regular fasting linked to less severe COVID: study

August. Oct. 10, 2022 — Intermittent fasting isn’t associated with a lower chance of contracting COVID-19, but it’s associated with a less severe infection, according to the results of a new study.

This study was conducted on Utah men and women who, on average, were in their 60s and had contracted COVID before a vaccine was available.

Roughly one-third of Utah’s people fast from time to time – more than any other state. That’s partly because more than 60 percent of Utah’s people belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and about 40 percent of them fast — usually two meals in a row.

Over the past 40 years, people who fasted an average of one day a month were not less likely to contract COVID, but they were less likely to be hospitalized or die from the virus.

“Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health,” lead study author Dr. Benjamin Horn of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City said in a statement said in.

“In this study, we found that confrontation The added benefit of COVID-19 in patients who have been fasting for decades,” he said.

The study was published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.

Intermittent fasting is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine

The researchers stress that it is important that intermittent fasting should not be considered a substitute for the COVID vaccine. Instead, regular fasting may be a healthy habit to consider, as it has also been linked to a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, for example.

But anyone thinking about intermittent fasting should consult their doctor first, especially if they are elderly, pregnant, or have diabetes, Horn emphasizes , heart disease or kidney disease.

Fasting does not prevent COVID-19, but reduces severity

For their study, the team looked at data from 1,524 adults at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute from March 16, 2020 to February 25, 2021. The catheterization lab conducted inspections, completed an investigation, and tested for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Of these patients, 205 tested positive for COVID-19, and 73 of them reported that they fasted regularly at least once a month.

A similar number of patients contracted COVID-19 regardless of whether they fasted regularly (14% vs. 13%).

But among those who tested positive for the virus, fewer patients were hospitalized with COVID or died during study follow-up if they fasted regularly (11%) than if they fasted regularly ( 29%).

Regular fasting remained an independent predictor of a lower risk of hospitalization or death, even after adjusting for analysis for age, smoking, alcohol use, ethnicity, history of heart disease, and other factors.

Several things explain the finding, the researchers suggest.

They point out that loss of appetite is a typical response to infection.

Fasting reduces inflammation, and after 12 to 14 hours of fasting, the body switches from using glucose in the blood to using ketones, including linoleic acid.

“There is a pocket on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 that linoleic acid can embed, which prevents the virus from attaching to other cells,” Horn said.

Intermittent fasting also promotes autophagy, he notes, which is “the body’s recycling system that helps your body destroy and Recover damaged and infected cells.”

The researchers concluded that the intermittent fasting program should be investigated in further studies “as a complementary therapy to vaccines during a pandemic and The severity of COVID-19 can be reduced post-pandemic because the entire world cannot be re-vaccinated every few months indefinitely, and vaccine use is limited in many countries.”



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