This article is a review of a study that we will link to as #1 in the sources section below this article.
The full name of the study is:
Plant-based diets, Pescatarian diets and Infection Rate severity: a population-based case–control study in six countries
The results of the study are quite shocking, even to the one group who was singled out. I’m quite sure they expected it to go this way, but at this type of a level? I don’t think so, and I’m one of them, yes, I’m in that group.
As you’ll see below the groups that it covered were quite diverse, so it’s quite likely that you’ll fall into at least one of the categories.
You might be wondering why we would put out an article like this, when, at the time of writing it looks like the pandemic is receding.
That’s because it’s not. There are new variants popping up all the time right now and they are sure to make their way to our shores.
There is evidence that suggests that these new variants may be both more infectious and cause greater illness.
Plus, how long do you really think it will be before there is a super variant that the current vaccines can’t protect you against?
From the looks of it, with absolutely no ‘chicken little, the sky is falling’ attitude whatsoever, it’s not so much a matter of if there will be a super variant, but when.
Then, you also have to look at the fact that researchers claim that with the number of labs the world has studying infectious diseases that there is an 80% chance of an outbreak (virus leak) every 12. 8 years.
So, not only is this information relevant, it could quite possibly be vital to your survival, either now or in the relatively near future.
Before we start, we would just like to get the disclaimer in there first.
Disclaimer: The following is for educational purposes only. We are not advocating a change in dietary, health or exercise protocols. Please seek the advice or council of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to engaging in any dietary or exercise changes. This article does not necessarily espouse the views found in the study that it is reviewing. The opinions and findings of those researchers may not be in alignment with those of this site or its owner(s).
Now, on to breaking down this study.
Which Groups Of People Were Included In The Infection, Death And Health Study?
The study was conducted tracking 2,884 front-line health care workers from multiple countries.
Why would they choose to use healthcare workers instead of just regular people?
1. They knew that these front-line workers would be exposed to infection as they are the ones handling those incoming patients.
This gives them a greater number of people exposed to it, that they can track and then watch the outcomes, negative or positive.
They also know that they will be tested on a regular basis. This gives them real time data of when they were infected, with which variant and more.
2. Health care workers on average have a better diet than the average person, they are aware of the health risks of certain foods and so they will typically avoid them more than the general population.
They are far more likely to track their diet and to actually know how to do so. And also, they will be much more likely to correctly know the name of the diet they are following and how to adhere to it which gives better data as to the foods consumed VS the outcome.
3. They have a much more compliant group of people that will fill out the forms on time at the stated intervals and be accurate with the data they provide.
In reality this group of people is tailor made for this type of a study, they are the near perfect candidates.
Did The Study Adjust For Confounding Factors?
Yes, it did. It adjusted for all sorts of lifestyle and behavioral traits such as types of exercise and frequency, smoking, BMI (Body Mass Index), alcohol consumption, age, sex, ethnicity and more.
With such a large sample size of nearly 3,000 participants from six countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The UK and the United States.
How Was The Study Grouped?
The researchers grouped the study into three main groups.
People who did not contract the disease. These people were then somewhat used as a control group to judge the severity levels and mortalities of the other two groups. Which makes sense. You have the perfect control group. A specific section of society, not just a group of folks from the streets.
The next group of people were those that had the disease but had only mild symptoms and did not require massive intervention or hospitalization.
This group was indeed infected but displayed their symptoms asymptomatically or as a lighter case that only required light to moderate treatment, much like you might do for many other illnesses.
The third group were those who required medical intervention and or hospitalization and were termed the moderate to severe case group.
This group was then sub-grouped into fatalities and survivors, with each subgroup being broken down into various data segments such as, those that died within a certain number of days and those that passed on but at a much slower rate.
Then the survivors were grouped into those that had no ongoing challenges from the disease and those that did including those that had what is being termed as long term infected, when it lingers well beyond normal disease times causing a whole host of challenges.
How Were The Participants Grouped According To Diet?
They broke them down into four dietary groups which were as follows.
1. The Baseline Group – that were omnivores who ate a predominately meat-based diet that modeled the SAD formula (Standard American Diet).
This is just your typical western diet where people eat fast food, home cooked meals, out at traditional restaurants and snacking from vending machines and convenience stores as they would normally do.
2. The Low Carb Group – who eat a copious amount of protein and fat but restrict their carbohydrate intake to a level that will place them in ketosis.
Ketosis is where your body is left with no choice but to use ketone bodies as fuel because carbohydrates have been limited to a low enough level for long enough to force this adaptation.
This is a diet strategy thought to promote faster weight loss.
3. The Plant Based Group – These people are thought to have eaten a predominantly plant-based diet that abstains from consuming any animal products.
However, it was found that they were pretty loose with this term and included vegetarians in this group as well who’s diet allows them to consume both dairy and egg products.
It would have been nice if they had been super strict with these categories and maybe even added a couple of other groups to more clearly define each, but they did not.
4. The Plant Based Plus (+) Pescatarian – here the only animal flesh that they consumed was from fish.
They then took this group and simply added it to the plant-based group. Yes, that’s how they did it.
They had 250 plant-based eaters and 40 pescatarians (fish eaters) and they just added the two together for a total of 290 to form the plant-based plus pescatarian category.
As you’ll see in the results section the 40 fish eaters really messed up the plant-based eaters scores.
They did screen them by asking if they ate anything else, such as dairy or eggs. However, the study does not specifically say whether they removed them from the pescatarian group or not for eating eggs or dairy.
However, it is presumed that they would, or the group would have to be renamed, or at least that’s what would make sense.
What Were The Results Of The Study?
The Plant-Based Group had a 73% lower instance of moderate to severe covid infection and death over the baseline meat eating group.
It surprised the researchers and it surprised us here at healthGetters.com too.
If you could eat better and get even just a 20% increase in protection, you’d do that in a heartbeat.
Or if there was a supplement that gave you a 20% to a 30% increase in protection, you’d buy it.
We’re not talking 20% or 30% here, we are talking about a protection level of 73%!!!
That’s even with the plant-based group just being plant based and possibly not real vegans which would have likely given even better protection than the number cited in this study.
So, with a 73% decrease in moderated to severe cases and then of course the death that accompanies them, this becomes not just something you should do, but something you must do.
Because not only can you cut the risk of moderate to severe infection for yourself and your family, but you lower their risks of all-cause mortality significantly.
Not only that, but you also of course dramatically reduce the risk of you and your loved ones getting or dying from our top 4 killers in the United States which are heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
You potentially get all this from only one change in diet.
We would say that this is a huge win for you and your loved ones with no downside that we know of.
Not to mention that there are multiple studies that show a vegan diet lowers joint stiffness, promotes better and more restful sleep and literally dozens of other benefits.
It’s a no brainer!
The Pescatarian Group had a protective rating of 59% which is huge as well, or is that really true? Because what you have to realize is, they just took the people who ate fish and added them to the plant-based group.
They did not test them separately.
This, in our opinion is the biggest flaw of the whole study.
We read so many studies around here that we get a little worn out by the fact that most researchers just don’t know how to conduct a study that isn’t slightly messed up before they even begin.
Sure, we get it, there were only 40 fish eaters (pescatarians). So, they would claim that there was not a large enough sample size. So what, we’ve seen plenty of studies where the sample size was 10 people.
You have the other huge sample sizes in the other groups, just test the pescatarians by themselves, is that so hard? Jeeze.
Sorry for the rant, but we’ve just become pretty picky over the years. And we just wish someone would do a study where there was nothing for us to pick apart.
Now, don’t get us wrong, these are some of the best studies out there, period. It’s just hard to find any that are ‘FLAWLESS’.
Yes, we know we’re super strict, but that’s why our readers trust us to dissect these things and put the real truth into simple layman’s terms that are easy to understand VS some of the language used in many studies.
In fact, what this really means is that the fish-eating group was bad enough that just 40 of them lowered the score of the other 250, now 290 ‘averaged’ down from 73% to only 59%.
This would indicate that, if they had tested the fish-eating group by itself, they would have had the lowest score of the study, lower than the meat eaters who were used as a baseline.
This in our opinion skews the data points of the baseline group to some extent.
Sure, the pant-based only group still did 73% better than the meat eater baseline group, but they may have done even better, as in, possibly the middle 80 percentile(s) against the pure pescatarians.
The Base-Line Group (The Meat Eaters) were set as baseline, so they were naturally used as the 100-percentile mark to judge the effectiveness of the other categories. This is fair and accurate. They were clearly denoted as the baseline group and used correctly.
We do want to say one thing in defense of the meat eaters. If the pescatarians had been separated into their own group, the meat eaters might have been the middle category and the fish eaters may have actually been the baseline.
In which case we can see their logic. With only having 40 in their sample size our complaint then would have been that we wished they had a larger sampling for their baseline group.
Sigh… We know, were hard to please.
Conclusion: in our opinion, the data comparing the baseline group to the plant-based group is both fair and legitimate and is solid data that you can use to make your decisions from.