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Does Losing Weight Affect Your Immune System and Risk COVID-19?

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Health, Weight Loss | 0 comments

With the risk of COVID-19 flooding our minds, it’s easy to wonder if losing weight will affect your immune system strength.  Moreover, you might wonder if it is impacted, is it in a positive way or a negative one.

Losing Weight can Affect Your Immune System in a Positive Way

Research consistently shows that excessive amounts of fat around your middle can reduce your body’s defense system’s capacity to work for you.  In fact, in certain ways, it can do the opposite.  Too much excess body fat can promote heart disease and other diseases.

Researchers in Australia discovered that losing weight can promote better immune system health.  They found that losing even 10 pounds can help to resolve immune issues. This means that if you’re worried about the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, you can add to the things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

Certainly, losing weight won’t stop you from being able to catch a virus.  That’s simply not how things work.  However, it can help you to give your immune system all the fighting power it can have.  That way, if you are infected, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of any severe symptoms. You’ll make it more likely that your symptoms will be mild so that you can self-isolate, heal up and move on with your life.

Why Does Excess Body Fat Impact Your Body’s Defenses?

Your immune system is made up of a number of organs, tissues, cells and proteins.  It is what protects your body against all sorts of invaders, including viruses.  You’re the cells involved in this process must remain in a healthy balance in order to keep your defenses in top shape. There are many factors that can throw off that balance, including excess body fat.

In fact, some researchers have found that carrying too much body weight can lead to the formation of immune cells that are harmful instead of protective. Those called “pro-inflammatory” immune cells. Their production is triggered by issues such as excessive body fat, particularly when it is present around the abdomen.  Those cells circulate throughout the body in the blood and promote inflammation.  When this becomes chronic inflammation, the body is susceptible to a spectrum of additional health struggles.

Therefore, as we add proactive activities such as hand washing and social distancing to our habits to slow the spread of the virus, there is more we can do for ourselves, our families and our communities.  We can work on eating nutritious foods, keeping up our physical activity levels, getting sleep and losing weight (if needed) in order to support immune system strength.

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