UNIVERSITY of Glasgow researchers have been granted £1 million to investigate diet treatment for long Covid.
Researchers have been awarded the sum of cash from the National Institute for Health Research.
The research team led by Dr Emilie Combet and Dr David Blane will take charge on the Remote Diet Intervention to REduce long Covid symptoms Trial (ReDIRECT) to test whether an established weight management programme can improve symptoms for people with long covid.
ReDIRECT is just one of 15 emerging studies in the UK aimed at researching ways to support people who have been impacted by Covid.
Approximately 10 per cent of people infected with the virus have had symptoms for over 12 weeks, this has been termed as long covid, there are no established treatments for this.
Weight management programmes for adults with obesity can reduce symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness and pains which are also common with long Covid, but researchers are unaware if this will be effective.
Dr Blane, clinical research fellow in general practice and primary care said: “We’re delighted to be doing this research, working closely with people affected by long Covid. We know that people with long Covid are frustrated by the lack of treatment and support options currently available.”
Dr Combet, senior lecturer in nutrition, said: “People with long COVID have overweight/obesity to a similar extent than the rest of the population, which may worsen their symptoms. This project will tailor and test a well-established weight management programme, delivered and supported entirely remotely.”
The team of researchers aim to work closely with overweight people who are experiencing long Covid to adapt and evaluate the weight management programme which can be completed from home.
A trial of 200 people will be conducted, with a key feature to focus on patient-select key health outcomes and recognise the broad range of long Covid symptoms identified by patients.
Half of the participants will receive the personalised weight management programme and the other half will receive usual care with a goal to compare long Covid symptoms, weight loss and quality of life after six months.