Can food kill flu viruses?

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Out: Julian Gutman

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Those following a ketogenic diet largely avoid carbohydrates. Can it be healthy? Scientists want to find an indication that says so.

  • Olive and canola oil, cream, meat, bacon, avocado, vegetables: all these foods belong to the keto diet menu.
  • Carbohydrates, such as those found in bread, bananas or sugar, are taboo.
  • In general, nutritionists recommend a balanced diet that does not exclude any food groups – the keto diet falls short here.
  • Nevertheless, in certain cases it should be an appropriate measure to reduce obesity or alleviate chronic diseases.
  • However, the attending physician must always decide whether the keto diet is a meaningful measure.

Like many diets, the keto diet is not well researched. One reason is that every body metabolizes food differently. They are too Nutrition studies poorly controlled. If, for example, questionnaires about eating habits need to be filled out, it cannot be ruled out that the test subjects fidget – and perhaps do not mention a bag of chips from the previous day.

High-fat flu diet: The keto diet stimulates mucus production

But in an experiment on mice, scientists from Yale University in the USA managed to demonstrate the effect of the keto diet, which could be an important aspect of fighting the flu. The results of the study published on the professional portal Science Immunology: Rodents were fed a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for a week and then exposed to influenza viruses, they had a better chance of survival than those mice that were not on a ketogenic diet.

Rolls are not among the foods that can protect against flu viruses – this is what American scientists want to find out. © Marc Mueller/dpa

research on the topic

Researchers around study author Vishwa Deep Dixit believe that the reason for the better defense against flu viruses is that the keto diet changes the response of immune cells in the lungs. A diet high in fat is said to stimulate the production of mucus in the inner walls of the lungs, which means more difficult conditions for influenza viruses. According to the study, mice that ate keto were able to maintain weight better, which is also an advantage in case of illness.

also read: Criticism of the Ketogenic Diet: Why a High-Fat Diet Could Promote the Development of Chronic Disease.

Keto diet: the effect was not very significant – more studies would have to follow

In order to transfer the study results to humans, more research needs to be done according to the authors of the study. Also on the background of the fact that the positive effects on the immune system were not very significant, further investigation would have to follow. Seven of 25 non-keto diet mice and 10 of 33 keto diet mice survived the flu, Business Insider reported.

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