Immunity, weight & nutrition advice during COVID-19. Extra Helpings: 'Food as Medicine' series


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Watch the video “Immunity, weight & nutrition advice during COVID-19. Extra Helpings: 'Food as Medicine' series” and like it!

Dr Simone Gibson and Dr Aimee Dordevic from Monash University (Australia) respond to frequently asked questions and some of the recently released research relating to the role of nutrition, weight and immunity during COVID-19.

To find out more about the current thinking and research related to this area, consider exploring the following links. We hope you find them useful.


00:11 Intro: COVID-19 immunity and nutrition - responding to FAQs
00:46 Nutrition requirements for patients hospitalised with COVID-19
01:02 Sunlight and Vitamin D. Critical nutrient for immune function
02:02 Vitamin D supplementation
02:35 Obesity and age as risk factors for COVID-19
03:22 Obesity with regard to inflammation and the immune system
04:13 Other increased risks related to obesity
04:43 Respiratory illness and increased energy requirements
05:37 Successful COVID19 treatment results, weight loss, energy needs
06:15 Tips: Eat fruit and veg. Good diet. Exercise. Weight maintenance
06:58 Research studies and papers (linked below)
07:22 Links to Monash University online short 'Food as Medicine' courses


“Obesity a Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19 Infection: Multiple Potential Mechanisms” 22 April 2020

“Factors associated with hospitalization and critical illness among 4,103 patients with COVID-19 disease in New York City” April 2020 (abstract)

“A review of the critical role of vitamin D in the functioning of the immune system and the clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency.” Jan 2011 (abstract)
Vitamin D is essential to the normal function of many immune cells and barrier function

“Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: individual participant data meta-analysis.” Jan 2019 (abstract)
Vitamin D supplementation in people who are deficient has been shown protect against acute respiratory infections

“Obesity ‑ a risk factor for increased COVID‑19 prevalence, severity and lethality (Review).” 5 May 2020
Obesity is a risk factor for COVID-19 prevalence, severity and lethality

“Impact of obesity on respiratory function.” Jan 2012
Obesity has long been known to impact respiratory function

“The Impact of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome on Vaccination Success.” 9 April 2020
Due to the impact of obesity on the immune system, responses to some vaccinations are diminished

Please note, we regularly include papers and articles to help demonstrate some of the research in this area, but we do not expect anyone to purchase a subscription to read the full paper.

Hopefully, just reading the summary provided in free abstracts will be sufficient for those wanting to know more about the studies.


To register for the 4 week "Food as Medicine" online course by Monash University on FutureLearn, join here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/food-as-medicine The next fully mentored run begins 8 June 2020. Open to everyone.

For health professionals, the suite of upcoming professionally accredited 2 week specialist "Food as Medicine in Healthcare Practice" online courses, also by Monash University on FutureLearn can be found here: https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/food-as-medicine-in-healthcare

@FLFoodAsMed on Twitter

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