RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Between masks, social distancing and now vaccines there are more ways to limit the risk of catching COVID-19 than ever, but Dr. Aaron Hartman with the Virginia Research Center says there are even more things you can do to prevent death from the virus, and it may start with getting our bodies to think like a child.
Hartman just wrapped up a three-part series on Facebook breaking down research from the British Medical Journal about why COVID-19 is less severe in children versus adults.
“You can’t change your age, you can’t change your ethnicity, you can’t change other factors... but can you actually make yourself more child-like?” Hartman asked. “Can you kind of take on these attributes that lower the risks in kids? The answer is yes.”
Hartman says the research shows that adults can make their immune systems just as resilient as children by improving three factors. The first, improving vitamin D levels.
“Kids - their skin is young, it actually makes [vitamin] D better, their kidneys convert it better so [vitamin] D - that’s a pretty easy thing that people can take and that’s one of the reasons why kids don’t get COVID quite as severe as older adults,” Hartman said.
Hartman says adults can make their immune systems as efficient as it is in kids 18 and younger by eating a healthier diet with little to no processed foods.
“Diet affects your risks for COVID, and part of the way your diet affects it is not just nutrition, it’s actually that eating real food makes the bacteria in your gut more diverse,” Hartman said.
Finally, Hartman says adults who get more sleep can also limit inflammation in the body which can make it easier to fight off COVID-19.
“Kids who have no problem sleeping typically have robust melatonin levels, but older adults have less melatonin as they get older,” Hartman said.
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.