Can the keto diet help beat the flu?

Custom Keto Diet

Every year, many people around the world die from the flu and other viral diseases. About 9% of the world’s population suffers from the flu. The disease kills 300,000 to 500,000 people worldwide each year. The introduction of the flu vaccine has helped reduce the incidence of influenza and its deaths, However, no cure for influenza has yet been found. The results of a new study show that the body may be able to overcome the flu virus if it chooses the right diet (ketogenic diet). To learn more about the role of the ketogenic diet in fighting the flu virus and other such diseases, read on.

Effect of ketogenic diet on influenza virus

Health professionals and scientists are looking for ways to overcome the flu. However, there may be a key to overcoming the flu within our body and activating it with a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is based on the consumption of foods rich in protein and fat and the very low consumption of foods containing carbohydrates. In the ketogenic diet, most meals consist of red meat, fish, poultry, and unsaturated vegetables.

In a new study, mice infected with the flu virus were fed a ketogenic diet. According to the study, the mortality rate of mice during the ketogenic diet was significantly reduced compared to the time of feeding carbohydrate-rich foods. Researchers believe that the main reason for this is that the ketogenic diet prevents the formation of “inflammasomes”. These compounds are polyprotein oligomers that are activated by the immune system. Inflammasomes cause destructive reactions in the immune system. They have a negative effect on the release of “T-gamma delta” cells and reduce the production of these cells.

It’s good to know that T-gamma delta cells are responsible for producing mucus in the lung wall. Proper functioning of these cells helps to rid the body of infectious agents. Mucus containing infectious substances is excreted by coughing.

Study design and results

The study was designed to determine the effects of a ketogenic diet on the body’s ability to fight deadly infections such as the flu virus. Researchers fed a group of mice a ketogenic diet a week before they became infected with the flu virus. The mice were then examined for signs of infection and their immune system reactions. The researchers found that the ketogenic diet was able to help protect against the influenza virus by increasing the number of T gamma delta cells in the respiratory tract of mice.

This reaction in mice begins later than in humans because the mice are dependent on T cell receptors. But in humans, this reaction occurs more rapidly because T-gamma delta cells can spread independently.

In addition, another study in mice had previously shown that a subset of T-gamma delta cells in mice could effectively affect the killing of respiratory cells infected with the flu virus. In a new study, the proliferation of T-gamma delta cells was able to reduce the number of viruses in mice with ketogenic diets. The researchers also looked at the potential for changes in genetic activity with the RNA sequencing technique. This technique can measure the level of transcription in the genome.

This showed that although a keto diet could impact the expansion of gamma delta T cells, this was not associated with any changes in the activity of genes involved with cytotoxicity. Interestingly, when mice were bred without the gene that encodes for gamma delta T cells, the keto diet provided no protection against the flu virus.

Commenting on this result, Prof. Iwasaki says, “This was a totally unexpected finding.”

“This study shows 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.”

Prof. Vishwa Deep Dixit

How a Keto diet may affect the body’s defenses

How can T-gamma delta cells protect the body in response to a ketogenic diet? According to researchers, the current theory is that the proliferation of these cells (in response to the ketogenic diet) leads to a more effective killing of the flu virus. This was able to reduce the amount of virus and protect the cells of the respiratory.

Experts believe that T-gamma delta cells are stimulated by ketogenic diets; These cells then strengthen the immune system’s defenses and increase the number of respiratory cells, leading to a better response to the flu virus.


These results showed that the way to fight the flu virus is not only to use drugs to reduce the symptoms of the flu but also to change the diet can have a significant effect on the body’s response to infection. As a result, if you can react better to the flu virus by changing your diet, you can use the same method against other diseases and dangerous viruses. Of course, these kinds of studies are at the beginning of their journey. Further studies are needed to show the exact effect of the ketogenic diet on the fight against the influenza virus and other viruses.

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