Can cabbage really be the secret to fighting the novel coronavirus?
A new study commissioned in France claims that eating certain vegetables like cabbage or cucumber daily could help people build a resistance to the virus by decreasing levels of ACE2, an enzyme in the cell membrane that is largely found in the lungs, the entry point of COVID-19.
The study, published in the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy, found that cabbage – like sauerkraut — along with cucumbers and kimchi could lower fatalities after studying countries like South Korea and Germany, where the vegetables are largely staples in local diets.
The study has not been peer-reviewed.
Dr. Jean Bousquet, an honorary professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Montpellier University in France, said nutrition may play a role in who gets sick and how they recover.
“Little attention has been given to the spread and severity of the virus, and regional differences in diet, but diet changes may be of great benefit. Nutrition may play a role in the immune defense against COVID-19 and may explain some of the differences seen in COVID-19 across Europe. I have now changed my diet, and it includes raw cabbage three times a week, sauerkraut once a week, and pickled vegetables,” Bousquet said, via the New York Post.
“Understanding these differences, and protective factors, like diet, but many others too, is of paramount importance, and may eventually help to control these epidemics.”
European researchers said that people with these foods in their diet are better prepared to fight the virus, according to the South China Morning Post.