- The keto diet is a trendy, high-fat plan that many people swear by for weight loss and improved focus, but some experts caution that it may not be for everyone.
- There are very few rigorous studies of the keto diet in people, in part because it’s so difficult to adhere to.
- A new study performed in mice suggests that the keto diet changes the way that immune cells in the lungs perform, and may help boost a body’s response to the flu. More research is needed to know if the same is true in people.
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The keto diet is a trendy and exacting eating plan that involves almost entirely eliminating carbs, instead subsisting on high-fat foods like oils, avocados, cream, and bacon.
Now it appears there’s one more potential benefit: flu fighting-power.
Research released Friday from scientists at Yale University, and performed in mice, showed that rodents who were fed a ketogenic, high-fat, low-carb laboratory diet for one week before they were exposed to the flu were more likely to survive than mice on regular lab diets.
Keto mice may be slightly better flu-fighters because of how the immune cells in their lungs respond to running on fat.
In the study, researchers found that specific immune cells that help produce mucus in the linings of the lung are bolstered by being on a keto diet. More mucus production means more chances to trap the flu virus.
Mice on keto also maintained their weight better if they did get the flu, upping their chances of survival. The same wasn’t true of other mice, even if