The ketogenic diet works by starving your body from “quick fuel” carbohydrates so that it burns fat to use as energy. Known mostly as a weight-loss tool, the keto diet also boasts a number of additional benefits as well, including low inflammation and sharper mental and physical health to those who ascribe to the diet. But how is that a coronavirus cure?

While it’s definitely not a true cure for the coronavirus, a report released by the NIH found that the ketogenic diet can improve heart health and help control blood sugar for both diabetic and pre-diabetic patients.

Older patients with diabetes and heart disease do experience more adverse effects from coronavirus, including hospitalization and even death. It’s safe to assume that improving the degeneration of those diseases through diet can help the most at-risk patients mitigate their danger.

It turns out that there are even more benefits for ascribing to a ketogenic diet when it comes to a coronavirus cure. Recent research indicates that “going keto” may help your body defend itself from flu infections.

The Yale School of Medicine’s Akiko Iwasaki and colleagues previously found that the keto diet reduced inflammation in mice with gout. With inflammation being prevalent in both gout and flu, the team decided to explore the keto diet’s effects on flu-related inflammation.

Flu-related inflammation can severely damage the lungs. It’s worth mentioning that shortness of breath is a marker symptom of the coronavirus, as well as influenza A. Coronavirus patients in critical care are also struggling with lung damage and the inability to breathe without a respirator.

To test the keto diet’s effects on flu-related inflammation, the Yale team fed mice infected with influenza A – the most serious type flu– either a keto or standard diet for a week before infection. After four days, all seven of the mice fed a standard diet succumbed to the infection, compared to only five out of the 10 mice on the keto diet. Additionally, these keto diet mice also didn’t lose as much weight, which is usually a sign of flu infection in animals.

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