Northwestern Medicine study finds link between dietary choices and COVID-19 risk

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Dietary choices like coffee and vegetable consumption can have an impact on a person’s COVID-19 risk level, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Jacob Fulton, Summer Editor

Some dietary decisions, including high vegetable intake and coffee consumption, may impact a person’s likelihood of contracting COVID-19, a Northwestern Medicine study found, according to a Monday news release. 

The study also found being breastfed as a child and a reduction in processed meats in a person’s diet could, to an extent, mitigate the risk of catching COVID-19. Though these factors don’t provide complete protection against the virus, some behaviors, such as drinking at least one cup of coffee a day, have been associated with about a 10 percent decrease in risk. 

These dietary behaviors could potentially also influence risk for other respiratory infections, a theoretical relationship Feinberg Prof. Thanh-Huyen Vu is currently investigating. 

In the release, Feinberg Prof. Marilyn Cornelis described this research as supplementary to other efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19. By contributing to a greater understanding of the relationship between nutrition and the virus, she said the findings will help people protect themselves from infection.  

“A person’s nutrition impacts immunity,” Cornelis said. “And the immune system plays a key role in an individual’s susceptibility and response to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”

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Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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