Vitamin D, good hygiene: key Covid tips

Dr R. Hemalatha, director of ICMR’s National Institute of Nutrition, sheds light on the importance of nutrition, and other Covid questions.

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Secunderabad: There are no specific guidelines about an appropriate diet for Covid-19 patients but Vitamin D supplements could result in lower chances of morbidity, says Dr R. Hemalatha, the director of the Hyderabad-based ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). 

In an interview with ThePrint, Dr Hemalatha, an expert in microbiology and immunology, discussed a range of subjects pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic: From allegations of low testing rates in Telangana, to the WHO’s decision to pause HCQ trials, which has since been reversed, and advisories on ayurveda. 

Also read: High doses of vitamin D may not prevent or treat COVID-19: Study

Dr Hemalatha cited “certain preliminary data collected from nearly 10 countries with respect to coronavirus”, to claim that individuals with low serum levels of Vitamin D showed a higher mortality rate. 

You should have enough stored vitamins in your body and sufficient vitamins and minerals that you are taking when you are sick as they go a long way in fighting the progression of the disease and also reducing mortality,” she said

She pointed to the high deficiencies of iron, calcium, zinc, Vitamin A and D among citizens of the country, and said 50 per cent of India’s population suffered from anaemia

Micronutrients, she said, can play a pivotal role not only in enhancing immunity but also regulating it. “This is so that unchecked proliferation doesn’t occur or to keep inflammation in check… they also scavenge all the dead cells in the process.”

Dr R. Hemalatha, Director of ICMR’s National Institute of Nutrition

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