We have one more nutrition deficiency cytokine connection to add to the list, this makes the sixth such connection. A French Chief Epidemiologist says obesity is a major COVID-19 risk factor. He stated that even the young obese are at risk from this virus. He expressed his concern for his friends in America who have a known obesity epidemic.
Here is the connection, and why I believe these people to be succumbing to fatal cytokine storms. People who experience obesity are often found to be deficient in micronutrients as well as vitamin D. It may be hard to believe but many who are obese are also malnourished. This is due to the fact that many of the foods they eat lack vital micronutrients. This problem is compounded in places that are food deserts where a lack of fresh foods are available. Often the only available foods are high calorie processed foods that lack vital nutrients. Here is a study that discusses this issue. Sadly more than 23 million Americans live in food deserts.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in obese people. It is thought if a person is obese it is likely they are deficient. As of yet the reasons for this are widely studied, but still unclear. There are many hypothesis from lack of sun exposure to genetic factors. Here is a link to an open access peer reviewed chapter that goes into great detail.
Those who are deficient in micronutrients are at greater risk of infection, and disease. Specifically regarding COVID-19 they are at greater risk of not overcoming the virus and experiencing a cytokine storm. A healthy functioning immune system is necessary for the body to be able to fight this virus, as well as put the brakes on the cytokines when they get carried away. These are just basic functions of the immune system. In several categories of people a pattern seems to be emerging of a compromised immune response leading to death.
When a person is low in micronutrients it can lead to a lower white blood cell count, this can impair the way your cells function. Low vitamin D levels can also negatively effect your white blood cell count. Your immune system consists of these white blood cells, they are what protects the body against infection, and viruses.
Micronutrients are the underlying condition for proper immune function. Those who are obese are more likely to be nutrient deficient. Repletion of those nutrients can greatly improve immune function.
I have completed another article, that has five other possible cytokine connections stemming from immune system failure, due to underlying causes, that may be preventable. To see that article please click here.