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The Immune System - How the Keto Diet Affects Immunity: Modern Research, My Experience, and Tips

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  • The Immune System - How the Keto Diet Affects Immunity: Modern Research, My Experience, and Tips

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    How does the keto diet affect the immune system and does it affect it at all? What research is there on this topic?

    Research, experience, and tips for those who have decided to start the keto diet and are thinking about their immunity.







    The effect of the keto diet on viral diseases. Research by scientists

    Keto as a means of fighting viruses

    In this part of the article, I will talk about the latest research. It was published in the medical journal on November 15, 2019.

    Emily L. Goldberg and a team of scientists injected mice with the flu virus in lethal doses. The mice were divided into two groups.

    In the first one, the food was preserved as usual for rodents – carbohydrate. In the second, the mice were put on the keto diet.

    On the fourth day, all mice in the carbohydrate-fed group died.

    In the second group, only half of the mice died. The second finding was that in the early days, mice on ketogenic nutrition lost almost no weight, while mice from the carbohydrate-fed group lost significantly in weight.


    Further research by Emily Goldberg showed that there were significantly fewer virus particles in the keto-fed mice than in the second group.


    At the same time, as such, the immunity, namely the increase in interferons in mice did not differ from each other in both groups. In other words, the ketogenic diet triggered other mechanisms of the immune system's fight against the flu virus. Not the ones we're used to.

    The mice on the ketogenic diet had increased γδ T-lymphocytes, the rest was within the deviations with the first group of mice.

    The experiment was continued, suggesting that the increased survival rate was due to high-calorie food, and not the keto diet.

    Now, in the new group, the mice were fed high-fat and high-carb foods, maximizing their caloric intake. The result was the same - weight loss and death of rodents.

    Conclusion: the increase in calories and fat did not affect the increase in immunity.


    Scientists were not satisfied. They brought in a new group of mice and put them on a high-calorie diet - they began to feed mice breakdown products of fats.


    Scientists suggested that immunity was increased by the breakdown products of fats on the keto diet. But again, the result was disastrous: mice died.


    That is, the conclusion is the following: increased immunity was caused by the process of the keto diet itself, and not calories, fats, or breakdown products of fats.


    By the way! This study is very important for those who take drugs for the formation of ketone bodies on a regular basis! This is at least not useful, and in most cases also makes no sense.







    My experience with the keto diet's effects on the immune system

    My immunity on the keto diet or how I stopped being sick.


    I've been on keto for years. However, I'm not always on strict keto. After achieving my weight goals and avoiding health risks, I try to follow the lchf principles.

    Sometimes I get out of keto on big holidays and when traveling, I return to hard keto when I need to mobilize forces to achieve goals and work.

    At the same time, during the cold period of the year, I am mostly on the keto diet. That is, it is during the period of colds and diseases.






    How did the keto diet affect my seasonal illnesses?

    I've had a cold twice in the last few years - while leaving the keto regime for the holidays. I have never, for all the time I was on keto, had a cold or flu.




    What was it like before the keto diet?

    I used to get colds at least 3-4 times a season. Usually in spring and autumn, and sometimes in winter. At the same time, I was ill at least once a year with a fever.

    In principle, this is normal, except that now the frequency of colds has decreased by about 8 times. Not a bad result, right?

    I do not know why it happens this way, I just state the fact of my experience. At the same time, I do not know whether I do not get sick at all or whether there are pathogens, but it is easier for the immune system to cope with them. It is interesting to listen to your experience! Write about it in the comments.







    Tips for improving immunity on the keto diet



    The first thing you need to avoid getting sick

    As the above-mentioned experiment with mice showed, a high-fat diet with carbohydrates did not work. So, we should exclude carbs.



    The second is to exclude allergens from your diet

    You should know what you have allergic reactions to, even if they are not explicitly expressed. The fact is that with sluggish allergic reactions, you damage the mucous membrane of the mouth, nose, and intestines.

    This is our protection against the penetration of pathogens. It is important.

    There are two ways to know which products should be excluded. The first is analysis, which is more convenient. The second one is experimental, and I will tell you about it in the following articles. Don't forget to subscribe to us so you don't miss out!




    The third is physical activity and rest

    Get enough sleep and move. I do not mean sleeping for 15 hours and pulling dumbbells. I'm talking about balance and a healthy approach to yourself. Go to bed before 10-11 PM.

    Wake up early in the morning and move around during the day.

    Do not play sports with extra loads once a week, but distribute the load constantly and comfortably - be sure to move daily and throughout the day! Movement is life and immunity too.

    The fourth is to support the immune system at the beginning of the keto diet. Know that there is keto adaptation. It is better to choose a time to start keto when you are not very busy and full of stress.

    Also, the food for entering the ketogenic diet should be selected and thought out thoroughly to shorten your adaptation period and avoid "keto flu".
    Last edited by Maria Bates; 11-07-2020, 09:14 AM.

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