Of the various degenerative diseases the one that seems to most increase a person’s chance of dying from this virus is type 2 diabetes. In the UK it has been found that a quarter of people dying from this virus have diabetes. It is well known that people with diabetes, particularly if their blood sugar levels are not well controlled, are immunosuppressed. That is their immune system is not working so well, and so they are more prone to catching infections and suffering more serious symptoms.
The diabetes organisation Diabetes.co.uk reports that this is also true of people with raised blood sugar levels who have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes. As well as around 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes, it is estimated that there are nearly a million more with raised blood sugar levels with either pre-diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes.
Over 90% of those diagnosed have type 2 diabetes, which typically develops during adulthood, and is now being recognised as almost entirely a diet and lifestyle caused disease. In parts of the world where sugar and processed foods are not eaten, rates of type 2 diabetes are very low, it is in the “developed’ countries eating an unhealthy processed diet and often lacking exercise where this illness is rapidly increasing.
Less than 10% of people with diabetes have type 1, which usually develops very early in life, in the first few years. It has been considered to be genetically caused, but with an increase of something like 4% a year, recent evidence is indicating that it too may be partly diet and lifestyle caused.
So this means that nearly a quarter of those dying from Covid-19 are dying because of having a disease which that they could have avoided. The message the government should be putting out now is:
Reduce your sugar and processed foods intake, and adopt a balanced whole food plant based diet.
This is actually the diet now being recommended by all the top nutritionists, including the UK NHS with its Eatwell Guide, made up of 1/3 whole grains and complex carbohydrates, 1/3 vegetables and fruit, about 1/6 higher protein foods especially beans and vegetable sources of protein, and around 1/6 dairy foods or alternatives such as plant milks. If our nation adopted this diet overnight (rather optimistic I know, but in time this is the way it is going) within weeks or months it would be better protected from Covid-19. Read more at: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/
And many people are predicting that there will be more pandemics affecting the world in the coming decades, with the increase in international travel we are sharing infectious diseases that in previous centuries may have stayed in just one local part of the world. Lets prepare and protect ourselves better from these future infections.