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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Oct 19, 2023

Long COVID Patients May Benefit from Carbohydrate-Rich, Plant-Based Diet

Researchers think they are closer to understanding how long COVID works, and a plant-based diet could be a way to combat it. A recent article suggests that a COVID infection could lower serotonin (sometimes called the “happy” chemical) levels for months after the infection.1 Previous research has shown that diets rich in carbohydrates help increase serotonin levels.2 Another review of studies has found that plant-based diets can improve symptoms associated with long COVID, including anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and musculoskeletal pain.3


  1. Wong A, Devason A, Umana I, et al. Serotonin reduction in post-acute sequelae of viral infection. Cell. 2023;186:1-17. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2023.09.013 
  2. Wurtman R, Wurtman J. Brain serotonin, carbohydrate-craving, obesity and depression. Obes Res. 1995;Suppl 4:477S-480S. doi: 10.1002/j.1550-8528.1995.tb00215.x 
  3. Storz M. Lifestyle adjustments in long-COVID management: potential benefits of plant-based diets. Curr Nutr Rep. 2021;10(4):352-363. doi:10.1007/s13668-021-00369-x

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