Q:  Does a Vegetarian/Vegan diet lesson the effects of Covid-19. Have there been any tests or studies?

We are starting to get good data from the pandemic that indicates that a Vegetarian/Vegan diet might be protective of COVID-19.  The studies are designed only to see if there is an association with diet and disease incidence and not if it is the cause, however.  In one study, a plant-based diet was associated with a 73% reduction in moderate COVID-19 and a 59% reduction in severe COVID-19.  This study also showed that compared to a plant-based diet, a low carbohydrate, high protein diet was associated with a 3.86 fold more likelihood of moderate to severe COVID-19.[1]  Again, it is not 100% protection and so a vegan diet alone doesn’t mean that one is sufficiently protected from getting severe COVID-19.

Response by Roger Seheult, MD, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and  Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine and Allied Health at Loma Linda University