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The Nutrition Examination Research Digest (NERD) aims to provide rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies. Click here to subscribe or login if already a subscriber .

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Issue #65 (March 2020)

From the Editor

In this issue of NERD, we’ve introduced two new article formats that I hope you’ll find useful, and that you’ll see occasionally in the future.

The first, “NERD News,” covers recent happenings that touch upon the world of nutrition and supplementation. The NERD News installment in this issue covers a new drug that helps prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts.

The second, “Safety Spotlight,” highlights the safety aspects of recent nutrition research. Safety Spotlight’s premiere entry tackles two observational studies related to breast cancer.

While I initially wanted to use this space to dive into the motivation for these new formats, I think it may be more useful to address one huge non-NERD change that has impacted our lives recently—one that I’m much less enthusiastic about—COVID-19.

Examine.com is in the business of evidence-based nutrition and supplementation, not infectious diseases. But since a lot of people turn to us for science-based information in a sea of misinformation, we decided to put together some resources for our readers:

  • Here is our general overview of COVID-19, where you’ll find the basics.

  • If you’re looking for even more information, we’ve put together a list of resources we use ourselves to help you separate the signal from the noise.

  • Finally, we’ve also put together a list of myths about the novel coronavirus.

We also mention COVID-19 briefly in the FAQs of one article in this volume reviewing a meta-analysis of the effect of synbiotics on respiratory disease. We chose this article to review before COVID-19 hit North America, but thought it’d be useful to add a FAQ on COVID-19 given current events.

The take-home is that the meta-analysis didn’t explore any respiratory diseases that strongly resemble COVID-19, so extrapolating from this meta-analysis to that disease is a massive gamble. The best way to avoid COVID-19 isn’t to take supplements, but to follow the advice of health authorities like the World Health Organization, which means practicing good hygiene, minimizing physical interactions, and staying home if you feel sick. If you have the main symptoms of COVID-19—fever, cough, and especially trouble breathing—seek medical attention.

I hope you stay healthy and safe during this trying time.


Gregory Lopez, MA, PharmD
Editor-in-chief, Nutrition Examination Research Digest

See other articles in Issue #65 (March 2020) of Nutrition Examination Research Digest.