Genetics, Obesity, Diabetes, And Risk Of COVID: A Functional Medicine Perspective

Episode 192 1h 5m


Did you know that 63% of Covid-19 hospitalizations can be linked back to at least one of four pre-existing conditions, all of which are largely preventable through diet and lifestyle choices? Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure are strongly linked to more severe Covid outcomes. These cardiometabolic diseases represented a different type of pandemic, long before Covid-19 hit.

We can make incredible reductions to our risk of these health problems, and even reverse them, using the power of food. Even people with genetic predispositions can significantly reduce the risk of any of these diagnoses and the Covid consequences that can come with them.

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I talk to Dr. Ronesh Sinha.

Dr. Sinha and I dive into all the nuances of genetics and culture regarding wellness, specifically for the South Asian population. Many of his patients from this community struggle with insulin resistance, diabetes, and other metabolic issues. We talk about the differences in lean body mass index among people of different backgrounds and the problem of visceral fat, even in those who may look thin on the outside.

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Sinha has collected some interesting anecdotal evidence from his patients who wear continuous glucose monitors. Most of those who got Covid-19 show long-term changes in their insulin management. We discuss what this might mean for treating Covid patients in the future and why it’s more important than ever to double down on diet and lifestyle strategies that protect our metabolic health.

We also get into the misconceptions about LDL cholesterol, the connection between visceral fat and cytokine load, and how to create metabolic flexibility to enjoy traditional foods mindfully.


This episode is brought to you by Kettle & Fire, Beekeeper's Naturals, and Thrive Market. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Why South Asians are at uniquely high risk of developing insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease


  • The dangers of a high starch and sugar vegetarian diet


  • Designing a healthy pregnancy


  • The importance of muscle in metabolic health and aging


  • The dietary framework Dr. Sinha uses with his patients


  • Dr. Sinha’s approach to understanding cholesterol, metabolic disease, statins, and lipid panels


  • Cooking with ghee and coconut oil vs. vegetable and seed oils


  • Thinking of Covid-19 as a lifestyle disease


  • The link between body fat, diet, and Covid-19 outcomes


  • Simple lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19


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Ep. 192 - Genetics, Obesity, Diabetes, And Risk Of COVID: A Functional Medicine Perspective