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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 1-16.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2022.10.001

• Review •     Next Articles

COVID-19: Reducing the risk via diet and lifestyle

Jessica L. Campbell   

  1. 160 Goat Island Road, Leigh, Auckland 0985, New Zealand
  • Received:2022-03-08 Accepted:2022-07-15 Online:2023-01-19 Published:2023-01-04

This review shows that relatively simple changes to diet and lifestyle can significantly, and rapidly, reduce the risks associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in terms of infection risk, severity of disease, and even disease-related mortality. A wide range of interventions including regular exercise, adequate sleep, plant-based diets, maintenance of healthy weight, dietary supplementation, and time in nature have each been shown to have beneficial effects for supporting more positive health outcomes with COVID-19, in addition to promoting better overall health. This paper brings together literature from these areas and presents the argument that non-pharmaceutical approaches should not be overlooked in our response to COVID-19. It is noted that, in several cases, interventions discussed result in risk reductions equivalent to, or even greater than, those associated with currently available vaccines. Where the balance of evidence suggests benefits, and the risk is minimal to none, it is suggested that communicating the power of individual actions to the public becomes morally imperative. Further, many lives could be saved, and many harms from the vaccine mandates avoided, if we were willing to embrace this lifestyle-centred approach in our efforts to deal with COVID-19.

Key words: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Exercise, Sleep, Diet, Risk reduction behaviour

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