Multiple articles from a myriad of sources are being published almost hourly on how to protect your health from the COVID-19 pandemic. BANT would like to take this opportunity to remind people that there is no scientific evidence currently regarding dietary or supplement recommendations that would prevent a person from catching COVID-19. BANT is aware that some clinical trials, including intravenous vitamin C for treatment of severe COVID-19 respiratory symptoms, are being undertaken globally but reiterates that not only are these trials incomplete but they are not in any way measuring potential relating to prevention. Social distancing and other measures currently being enforced by the UK government are the only valid prevention strategies at this time and should be adhered to – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
We are aware that BANT members are being approached by members of the public for advice on how to support their health during these testing times. BANT and its members advise members of the public to continue eating as they would for general wellness and wellbeing. In 2016 BANT published its Wellbeing Guidelines with some general recommendations as follows.
- General Health and Wellbeing: Everyone is unique, but whatever your goal, similar nutritional principles and health and wellbeing guidelines will apply.
- Eat a Rainbow: a varied diet of 7 differently coloured fruit and vegetables per day.
- Stay hydrated with water, herbal teas. Avoid alcohol, sugary drinks and too much caffeine.
- Ensure protein is lean: fish, poultry, eggs and vegetable sources. Limit red and processed meat.
- Include healthy fats: avocados, nuts, olive oil. Cook with healthy saturated fats such as butter.
- Choose root vegetables and whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates and grains.
- Sleep and Exercise are an important aspect in overall Health and Wellbeing.
BANT is also aware that some of our members have been contacted by their clients with regards to COVID-19 diagnostic testing. BANT and its members confirm that whilst tests are becoming available, these will only be available for use in laboratories or by healthcare workers at point-of-care (e.g. hospitals) and not via BANT members.
COVID-19 is a fast-evolving virus that is still incompletely understood by the scientific and medical community. BANT and its Nutrition Practitioners advise the public to continue to follow Government recommendations as linked above. The risk of being told false information is on the increase via the internet and social media. To combat this the Government has also launched a helpful site to help members of the public differentiate between helpful and fake advice: https://sharechecklist.gov.uk