With the ongoing health crisis due to COVID-19, it is important to discuss the relation between a keto diet and immune system. Let us find through this article whether the keto diet is good for the immune system. This article is based on the finding of the CDC, which investigates how the keto may affect your immune system.
Benefits of boosting the immune system with keto diet
1. Protects against Flu
A study published in the Science Immunology Journal revealed that mice feeding on low-carbohydrate and a high fat diet have less chance of having lethal influenza infection. The ketogenic diet promotes and helps in the growth of gamma -delta Tcellsin the windpipe. These cells produce mucus in the lung, which helps body to fight against infectious agents.
Researchers also showed that keto diet stopped the formation of inflammasomes which can lead to negative immune system responses. The study also demonstrated that the survival rate of mice consuming ketogenic diet was slightly higher than the mice who had a high carbohydrate diet.
2. Protects immune cells
A study published in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology revealed that the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation and also promotes metabolic activities. Researchers fed mice normal chow diet or the ketogenic diet for a week.
They study concluded that the frequency of γδ T cells significantly increased after having a ketogenic diet. γδ T cells are very important components of our immune system. The ketogenic diet has various research-based evidences which prove its immunity benefits.
3. Promotes maternal immune activation
A recent study published in the PLOS One journal showed that the keto diet improves overall behavior in the maternal immune activation models of autism spectrum disorder. ASD in children depends on prenatal aspects like maternal immune activation, which can happen due to bacterial or viral infection during the first trimesters.
A pregnant mouse was given viral mimic polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid. The offspring were given the keto diet for about 3 weeks. The control diet-fed male offspring were not social and showed higher levels of self-directed behaviors. The female offspring were not affected. But the keto diet reversed MIA-led behavioral abnormalities in males. The result of the study found that the ketogenic diet could be used in the treatment of ASD symptoms.
4. Boosts immunity against malignant glioma
A study revealed that the keto diet boosted immunity in the mouse models of malignant glioma. Researchers also showed that the mice living on ketogenic diet showed elevated tumor-reactive innate as well as adaptive immune responses, including increased cytokine production with the help of tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells.
Keto diet can act as an immune adjuvant, enhancing tumor-reactive immune responses in the microenvironment by inhibiting immune suppression.