Keywords: COVID-19, spices and herbs, Indo-Chinese cousin, ginger, black pepper, coconut oil, fermented shrimp paste


The study aims to review the involvement of different dietary habits in Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese populations in reducing COVID19 impact.

Materials and Methods. The methods of collection, systematization, analysis and generalization of information data have been used. The analysis of literature in scientific databases and analytical platforms by the listed keywords has been performed; all relevant references in the found sources have also been reviewed.

Results and Discussion. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is an ongoing pandemic caused by a highly pathogenic human coronavirus known as SARS-CoV2. Current epidemiology reported that more than 500 million cases of COVID-19 occurred in more than 180 countries worldwide. When the upper respiratory tract gets infected by low pathogenetic HCoVs, it typically triggers a mild respiratory disease. In contrast, when the lower airways get infected by highly pathogenic HCoVs, such as SARS-CoV2, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) may occur and even fatal pneumonia. Such a situation causes the need for an urgent search of effective treatment measures. A very low incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in Laos and Cambodia, as well as low mortality rate due to COVID-19 in Vietnam and Laos, are extremely interesting, especially because of their early exposure to the virus, continuing ties to China, relative poverty, and high population density. The use of several spices and aromatic herbs as natural treatments for several illnesses, including viral infections, has been reported since a long time ago. The research reviewed three integral elements of Laotian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese diets, such as special culinary spices and herbs, coconut oil, and palm oil-rich for saturated fatty acids as well as fermented shrimp paste. Environmental and population genetic causes may be forwarded but moreover local dietary habits may have even a role in this evidence. Therefore, all these items highlight the possibility of a significant contribution of local cuisine and diet into the impact on appropriate anti-inflammatory and immune-resistant mechanisms of the human population.

Conclusions. The review on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos inhabitants' diet helped to suggest the dietary factors having the contributing potential of reducing the severity of SARS-CoV-2 symptoms.


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How to Cite
Bjorklund, G., Lysiuk, R., Butnariu, M., Lenchyk, L., Sharma, V., Sharma, R., & Martins, N. (2022). LOW PREVALENCE OF COVID-19 IN LAOS AND CAMBODIA: DOES DIET PLAY A ROLE?. Acta Medica Leopoliensia, 28(1-2), 161-180. https://doi.org/10.25040/aml2022.1-2.161