If You Have This in Your Blood, You May Be Safe From COVID, Study Says

New research suggests that this one thing could be protective against severe COVID.

It's not antibodies alone that could protect you from developing a serious case of COVID. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers of Los Angeles and Orange County, having adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your blood could keep you from developing severe COVID. Read on to discover what this means in terms of protecting yourself and others. And for more factors that increase your risk, find out why Lacking This Vitamin Is Putting You at Severe COVID Risk, Study Says.

The study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, found that, among a group of 100 individuals hospitalized with COVID, those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were at a reduced risk of dying from COVID. In fact, they were 75 percent less likely to die than patients with lower circulating omega-3 levels. Overall, patients with lower omega-3 levels in their bloodstream were four times likelier to die than those with higher omega-3 levels.

The pilot study "strongly suggests that these nutritionally available marine fatty acids may help reduce risk for adverse outcomes in COVID-19 patients," lead author, Arash Asher, MD, said in a statement.

While omega-3 levels may be associated a lower risk of COVID-related mortality, that doesn't necessarily mean you should go out and grab a bottle of fish oil just yet. While an Aug. 2020 study published in Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection found that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can reduce systemic inflammation that could lead to more severe COVID, the study's authors concluded that additional studies should be performed before omega-3 supplementation was recommended as a panacea for COVID patients.

Omega-3s levels aren't alone in offering protection against the virus, of course. Read on to find out what habits you could put into practice today to make you less susceptible to the virus. And for more on what your blood type means for your COVID risk, check out If You Have One of These Blood Types, You May Be Safe From COVID.

1
Wearing two masks

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While wearing a single mask may help you avoid spreading potentially contaminated respiratory droplets, wearing two will protect you even more, experts say. "If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on—it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective," Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical adviser to the White House, said during a Jan. 25 interview on Today. And for more means of curbing the COVID outbreak, Dr. Fauci Just Said This One Thing Could Turn the Pandemic Around.

2
Disinfecting your toothbrush

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Cutting your COVID risk could be as easy as disinfecting your toothbrush. According to a Dec. 2020 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, "disinfection of toothbrushes and hygiene of the oral cavity are important to control the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, especially in asymptomatic individuals or in those who await the test result for COVID-19." And for more ways to protect yourself, know that If You're Doing This to Your Mask, the CDC Says You Need a New One.

3
Keeping the windows open in your car

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Want to ensure that you're making those car rides with others as safe as humanly possible? Then make sure you're keeping the correct windows open in your car while you take a ride. According to a Dec. 2020 study published in the journal Science Advances, in addition to having all passengers wear masks, opening the windows farthest away from you is a successful way to improve airflow and reduce your risk of contracting COVID from a fellow passenger. And for the latest COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

4
Getting a HEPA filter

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In a recent interview, Fauci also endorsed purchasing high-efficiency particulate air systems—also known as HEPA filters—to remove COVID particles from the air in your home. "Good air flow and HEPA filters can work," he said in a January interview with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. Fauci added that he purchased "a couple" filters to purify the air in his own home, and encouraged others to do the same, noting, "It was $49 on Amazon.com, you know? It was not a big deal." And for more signs you may be OK, know that If This Is Your Only Symptom, You Might Be Safe From COVID.

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