British-Indian doctor pens ’21-Day Immunity Plan’ to get ‘healthier, more resilient to infection’ “The good news is that within weeks of making simple changes to what we eat, how we move and reducing stress through meditation, we can rapidly improve – both making us healthier and more resilient to infection,” says Dr Aseem Malhotra. (Photo: University of Edinburgh)
Eastern Eye Staff
A BRITISH-INDIAN doctor championing an anti-obesity drive to counter the impact of Covid-19 has released a book that offers a “simple, evidence-based” plan to help improve health parameters.
Dr Aseem Malhotra’s The 21-Day Immunity Plan: How to Rapidly Improve Your Metabolic Health and Resilience to Fight Infection is pegged as a tried-and-tested method of how people can prevent, and even potentially reverse, many of the underlying risk factors that exacerbate the impact of infections, including Covid-19.
“Poor metabolic health equals poor immune health,” said the NHS-trained cardiologist.
“The good news is that within weeks of making simple changes to what we eat, how we move and reducing stress through meditation, we can rapidly improve – both making us healthier and more resilient to infection.”
Dr Malhotra said he wrote the book in just six weeks, as he and the publishers wanted it out as soon as possible to help readers build resilience to infections.
Incidentally, Health Secretary Matt Hancock had consulted him, seeking evidence linking Covid-19 and obesity.
“I informed him, as I make the case in the book, that obesity is just the tip of the diet related disease iceberg,” said Dr Malhotra, who is also a visiting professor of Evidence Based Medicine at Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health in Brazil.
“In other words, we’re all vulnerable.”
Dr Malhotra added that he followed his own advice, and saw “rapid improvements” in health of patients who practised his plan.
“My metabolic parameters are all normal despite having a strong family history of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and a recent body composition scan revealed my metabolic age is 29 even though my actual age is 42,” he highlighted.
Among the many followers of Dr Malhotra’s health routine is filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, who is on course to reverse her type 2 diabetes.
“When lockdown happened, I was very worried about catching Covid-19. Being a type 2 diabetic with not great glucose control I knew I was at high risk for severe infection,” said Chadha, the maker of box-office hits such Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice.
“I finally decided to do something about my obesity and T2 [diabetes]. I immediately took Aseem’s lifestyle advice, specifically cutting out all sugar and refined carbs and within weeks I’ve come close to reversing my type 2 diabetes.
“The best part is I was still able to enjoy my food and felt mentally and physically better as my body became healthier. Read this book and follow the plan, it may well save your life.”
As the co-author of The Pioppi Diet, Dr Malhotra had made a mark as a pioneer of the lifestyle medicine movement in the UK. In 2018, he was ranked by software company Onalytica as the No. 1 doctor in the world influencing “obesity thinking”.
During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, he had issued a warning for Indians to urgently cut out ultra-processed foods from their diet to build resilience.
“India is particularly vulnerable, having a very high prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases,” he noted.
“Specifically, conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease are three of the major risk factors for death from Covid-19. This is rooted in excess body fat, a cluster of conditions known as a metabolic syndrome.”
Dr Malhotra also warned that the medications used for type 2 diabetes and many of the other conditions had “very, very marginal effects” in terms of improving lifespan or reducing risk of death, and they also came with side effects.