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Less COVID in Japan than US: less obesity (barely mentions Vitamin D and K) - Feb 2022

Influence of Nutritional Intakes in Japan and the United States on COVID-19 Infection

Nutrients 2022,14, 633. https:// doi.org/10.3390/nu14030633
Yasuo Kagawa
Department of Medical Chemistry, Kagawa Nutrition University, Saitama 350-0288, Japan; kagawa at eiyo.ac.jp; Tel.: +81-492-82-3618

The U.S. and Japan are both democratic industrialized societies, but the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths per million people in the U.S. (including Japanese Americans) are 12.1-times and 17.4-times higher, respectively, than those in Japan. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of diet on preventing COVID-19 infection. An analysis of dietary intake and the prevalence of obesity in the populations of both countries was performed, and their effects on COVID-19 infection were examined. Approximately 1.5-times more saturated fat and less eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid are consumed in the U.S. than in Japan.

Intake - Note: Vitamin D and Vitamin K are low in the US vs Japan

Compared with food intakes in Japan (100%), those in the U.S. were as follows:

  • beef 396%,
  • sugar and sweeteners 235%,
  • fish 44.3%,
  • rice 11.5%,
  • soybeans 0.5%, and
  • tea 54.7%.

The last four of these foods contain functional substances that prevent COVID-19.
The prevalence of obesity is 7.4- and 10-times greater in the U.S. than in Japan for males and females, respectively

Mendelian randomization established a causal relationship between obesity and COVID-19 infection. Large differences in nutrient intakes and the prevalence of obesity, but not racial differences, may be partly responsible for differences in the incidence and mortality of COVID-19 between the U.S. and Japan.
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