Can the ketogenic diet fight (influenza type) viruses?
This is what we know!
Everybody is talking about it: the coronavirus that has been spreading across the globe with an increasing number of cases. Although the situation has been on every headline during the last weeks, it is also clear how much we still do not know.
What do we know?
- Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning the initial transmission starts between animals and people.
- The coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms and in rare occasions more serious respiratory problems.
- Roughly 98% of people recover.
Health Organizations have given standard recommendations to prevent and limit further spreading. These includes to wash hands regularly and to cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. And maybe most importantly: to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
Immunity & Influenza
There are several factors that influence the way our immune system responds to different infections including weather, social interactions, our mood and… nutrition! At Lus Health Ingredients, we believe that nutrition plays a vital role in keeping up a good immune system.
Glucose itself or the glucose management in the body may be of great importance. On a cellular level flu-like viruses such as influenza depend on glucose to sustain the host cells and reproduce quickly. From a broader perspective, scientists found that the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, diabetes sufferers are at a much higher risk of getting severe complications (2-4 fold) (Hulme et al, 2017).
There is an alternative fuel to glucose, namely fat and ketones. Ketones have been linked to supporting a healthy immune system. The state in which your body relies on fat and ketones for energy (nutritional ketosis) has also been shown to stimulate cellular clean-ups and repair.
A recent study at Yale University (Goldberg et al, 2019) looked at the effect of the ketogenic diet on mice infected with the influenza virus. This study found that the ketogenic diet triggered the release of gamma delta T cells. These T cells are immune system cells that are produced mucus in the cell linings of the lung. As a result, the virus got trapped before it became worse. The ketogenic diet was compared to a high-carb diet, where this reaction was not found. This study shows a potential that “the way the body burns fat to produce ketone bodies from the food we eat can fuel the immune system to fight flu infection,” says Dixit, professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology.
Help your body create ketones
There are different ways to enhance ketone production and boost our immune system. One of those is implementing products into your diet that boost ketone levels. Think of products like palmfreeMCT™ oil, Ketosene®, and Veganergy ™ Palmfree MCT powder all containing MCTs that turn directly into ketones that your body and brain can use for energy. In addition, Ketosene® includes the antioxidant astaxanthin. This carotenoid has been shown to balance and strengthen the immune system while also helping to decrease free radicals.
We at Lus Health Ingredients believe in and provide clean ingredients to boost your immune system and that of your customers. We take great pride and responsibility in offering of ingredients and products. Our supply lines are carefully built up and we and our partners follow strict hygiene rules from ingredient production until the actual end product.