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Healthy Through Winter: Does a Ketogenic Diet Really Help Against Flu?

A diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates helps against the flu virus. At least in mice.

The ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a diet that consumes a lot of fat, low protein and low in sugar. Although the ketogenic diet is currently in fashion because it should help with weight loss, it has now been shown that it brings with it other positive properties: New research in the journal Scientific immunology According to this diet it helps against influenza virus.

More T lymphocytes

Over seven days, scientists have a university Yale One group of mice was ketogenic fed and the other was normal. They then infected her with the flu virus A, the main source of the flu epidemic. After a week, ketogenic-fed rodents showed fewer lung viruses in the lungs than those fed normal and had a significantly higher survival rate.

According to scientists, this could be due to T-lymphocytes, the body's first defense against pathogens. They stimulate the production of mucus, which itself plays a major role in the fight against infections by trapping pollutants from the outside, especially viruses. It seems that more T-cells are activated in the ketogenic diet, which then produces more mucus, which ultimately makes the body more resistant to viruses.

"Nothing can replace the vaccine"

So far, it has not been proven that these results can be applied to humans. For him, the risk of the flu or dying depends on various environmental as well as genetic factors. However, the research team hopes that the results of the study will lead to a stronger study of the ketogenic diet.

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"Nothing can replace the benefits of vaccination because it provides strong immunity, especially against the flu," said Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunology and molecular biology and co-author of the study. "A ketogenic diet can help prevent infection, but it does not replace the vaccine!" So not only does Vitamin D, but also the flu virus vaccine really help to get fit and healthy in the winter.