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Intermittent Fasting For Covid-19.

 What is Intermittent Fasting?

Currently there are two methods of intermittent fasting which are widely practiced.

  • 16:8 : Person eats 8 hours a day and fasts the remaining 16 hours- Eating between 12 pm to 8pm.
  • 5:2 : Person eats normal diet on 5 days a week and fasts the remaining 2 days (not in a row) with calorie intake of less than 500 calorie meal on these days. Diet is usually low carb and high fat diet and packaged foods are avoided.

Researchers have found that although weight loss is similar to calorie based diet, intermittent fasting has some added benefits. Eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours triggers a metabolic switch, shifting from glucose based energy to ketone based energy with resultant increased longevity, increased stress resistance, decreased incidence of diseases including cancer and obesity. Click Here

Studies have shown that Intermittent Fasting can improves insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and oxidative stress: all of which place a person 'high risk' category if he gets covid19 infection. Click Here.

Furthermore intermittent fasting has shown to promote immune system priming and induce autophagy (immune cells eating away the infected cells). Click Here. A 2014 study shows that Intermittent Fasting can reverse immunosuppression and trigger lymphocyte production (which are key in fighting covid19 infection). Click Here.

Boosting immune system, reducing oxidative stress and improving risk factors like obesity and cardiovascular profile (cholesterol, blood pressure etc) make Intermittent Fasting a very useful strategy to fight Covid19 infection. Since we know that 'cytokine storm' is a major killer in Covid 19, modulating the immune system and decreasing the oxidative stress can be very useful.

Recently actress Gwyneth Paltrow said that she used intermittent fasting to deal with lingering long term side effects of Covid 19 and to detox the body. Her functional medical practitioner Will Cole said that its kind of 'yoga for your metabolism.'

Indian Alternative Medical Practitioner Dr. Biswaroop Roy Choudhary and his team treated more than 55,000 Covid 19 patients without wearing a mask, free of cost, and none of his patients died. His treatment is purely based on diet and intermittent fasting. Click Here.

Conclusion: While there are no randomized double blind placebo control trials to support the use of diet or intermittent fasting as a treatment methodology for Covid19, there is enough observational data to suggest that at least mild to moderate case of Covid 19 can use this method at home (in consultation with a family physician) and can also be used for prophylaxis.

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