Indian diet, tea and turmeric lowered COVID deaths says ICMR study

According to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research that was published in the April edition of the Indian Journal of Medical Research, an Indian diet high in iron, zinc, and fibre, regular tea drinking, and the use of turmeric in meals reduced the severity and death rates associated with COVID in the nation (ICMR). 

According to reports, India, which has a dense population, saw a death rate that was 5-8 times lower during the COVID-19 epidemic than less populous western nations. The goal of the study, which was carried out by a global team of scientists from countries like India, Brazil, Jordan, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia, was to determine whether dietary habits were related to differences in COVID-19 severity and mortality rates between the populations of Western countries and India. 

The researchers from the Centre for Genomics and Applied Gene Technology at the Institute of Integrative Omics & Applied Biotechnology in West Bengal and the Policy Center for Biomedical Research at Translational Health Sciences stated that their findings “suggest that Indian food components suppress cytokine storm and various other severity-related pathways of COVID-19 and may have a role in lowering severity and death rates from COVID-19 in India as compared to western populations.” 

To support their findings, they stated, “large multi-centered case-control studies are necessary.” 

The results demonstrated that the components of Indian diets, which maintain high blood levels of iron and zinc and abundant fibre in meals, played a role in avoiding carbon dioxide (CO2) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and COVID-19-mediated COVID-19 severity. 

Also, Indians who regularly drank tea were able to keep their HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, levels high. Also, the catechins in tea reduced blood triglycerides by acting as a natural atorvastatin (a statin drug used to treat cardiovascular illnesses). Significantly, they claimed that Indians’ consistent use of turmeric in their meals contributed to their excellent immunity. 

The researchers hypothesize that the curcumin in turmeric may have reduced the death rate by blocking pathways and mechanisms linked to COVID-19 severity and SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

On the other hand, greater consumption of processed foods, red meat, and dairy, coffee and alcohol in western cultures led to a rise in COVID’s severity and fatalities. The high concentrations of sphingolipids, palmitic acid, and by-products like CO2 and LPS in these foods “promote cytokine storm-related pathways, intussusceptive angiogenesis, hypercapnia, and raise blood glucose levels,” they noted in the study. 

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: TOI)

Share this post