Months after the global coronavirus outbreak, there is still no effective treatment for the disease. Hence, healthcare experts urge people to follow precautionary measures to avoid infection as much as possible. So far, Gilead Sciences' remdesivir is the only medication to have been granted emergency use approval by the United States FDA. As for vaccine candidates, renowned specialists project that it might not be available before 2020 ends. On the other hand, researchers are looking into the possibility of reducing the risk of death through certain diets.

Although the abstract has already been published by BioMed Central, it is still pending peer review. Nevertheless, scientists are considering the possible benefits of food like raw or fermented cabbage can offer against COVID-19. Early findings supposedly show a drop in the level of a specific compound that makes it easier for SARS-CoV-2 to infect the body. This means that dishes such as sauerkraut and kimchi might hold the key to protection against transmission.

As of this writing, data shows that there are approximately 606,000 deaths from COVID-19 with 140,000 of those in the U.S. The European team of experts highlighted countries such as South Korea and Germany, wherein cabbage is a major part of the national diet. The fatality rates were remarkably lower, whereas the rest of the world had recorded alarming numbers.

It is speculated that the abundance of dietary antioxidants brought about by probiotics helps the body defend against the 2019 novel coronavirus. "Little attention has been given to the spread and severity of the virus, and regional differences in diet, but diet changes may be of great benefit," explained Montpellier University professor of pulmonary medicine Dr. Jean Bousquet.

"Nutrition may play a role in the immune defense against COVID-19 and may explain some of the differences seen in COVID-19 across Europe," he added. "Understanding these differences, and protective factors, like diet, but many others too, is of paramount importance, and may eventually help to control these epidemics."

Studies claim cabbage could help against coronavirus
Palestinian children pose with makeshifts masks made of cabbage while cooking at home with their family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on April 16, 2020 amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. AFP / MOHAMMED ABED

The European countries that reported lower death rates include Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Finland, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Baltic States. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom France, Spain, Italy, and Belgium had higher numbers. Ultimately, prevention is the only way to control the outbreak until a cure or vaccine becomes available.