This diet can help fight flu infections

This diet can help fight flu infections

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Keto diet helps fight the flu virus

The so-called keto diet has become increasingly popular in recent years. This trend is a very low-carbohydrate but high-fat diet. This diet can not only help you lose weight, it can also help tame the flu virus. This is shown by a new study from the USA.

Mice fed the ketogenic diet were better at fighting the flu virus than mice fed high-carbohydrate food. This is the result of a new study by Yale University in New Haven (Connecticut), which was published in the journal "Science Immunology".

Totally unexpected discovery

"Ketogenic diets are very high-fat, low-carbohydrate, diets that mimic the metabolic state of fasting," explains the Society for Neuropediatrics in an older guideline published by the Working Group of the Scientific Medical Societies. V. (AWMF) was published. Such diets are used not only for weight loss, but also for various diseases.

According to the new study, this diet also helps against the flu virus. As the university wrote in a statement, the ketogenic diet activates a subset of T cells in the lungs that have not previously been linked to the immune system's response to influenza, and improves mucus production from airway cells that effectively intercept the virus can.

"This was a totally unexpected discovery," said co-author Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University and principal investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Higher survival rate

The research project was the brainchild of two trainees: Ryan Molony worked in Iwasaki's laboratory, which found that inflammasomes can cause harmful immune system reactions in their host. And Emily Goldberg worked in the lab of co-senior author Visha Deep Dixit from Yale University. There it was shown that the ketogenic diet blocked the formation of inflammasomes.

The two wondered if diet could affect the immune system's response to pathogens like the flu virus. The researchers showed that mice that received a ketogenic diet and were infected with the influenza virus had a higher survival rate than mice who received a carbohydrate-rich normal diet.

Fight flu infection

In particular, the researchers found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma-delta T cells, cells of the immune system that produce mucus in the cell lining of the lungs - while the carbohydrate-rich diet did not. When mice were bred without the gene encoding gamma delta T cells, the ketogenic diet offered no protection against the influenza virus.

"This study shows that the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can boost the immune system to fight a flu infection," said Dixit. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: 5 Foods to eat that will help prevent the flu (September 2022).


  1. Suzu

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  2. Nikogar

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