BREAKING! German Study Finds That Ketogenic Diets And Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Can Help In COVID-19 Especially In Boosting Immune Cells!
COVID-19 Ketogenic Diets
: A new study led by researchers from the University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn-Germany has found that ketogenic diets and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) can help in COVID-19 especially in boosting immune cells!
Thailand Medical News
had reported as early as September 2020 based on a study led by researchers from Yale University-USA, Washington University-USA and New York University Langone Health that keto diets could benefit the elderly in terms of clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/ketogenic-diet-and-covid-19-yale-led-study-advocates-keto-diet-for-elderly-covid-19-patients-due-to-possible-benefits-and-better-clinical-outcomes
Another study that Thailand Medical News
covered in November 2020 showed that keto diets could help prevent and mitigate COVID-19 severity based on research findings by scientist from University of Padua- Italy.
It has been found via previous studies that anorexia and fasting are host adaptations to acute infection, inducing a metabolic switch towards ketogenesis and the production of ketone bodies, including β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31959515/
Whether ketogenesis metabolically influences the immune response in pulmonary infections however remains unclear.
The study team surprisingly discovered impaired production of BHB in humans with SARS-CoV-2-induced but not influenza-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Typically, CD4+ T cell function is impaired in COVID-19 and BHB promotes both survival and production of Interferon-γ from CD4+ T cells.
The study team utilizing metabolic tracing analysis uncovered that BHB provides an alternative carbon source to fuel oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and the production of bioenergetic amino acids and glutathione, which is impo
rtant for maintaining the redox balance.
It was found that T cells from patients with SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS were exhausted and skewed towards glycolysis, but can be metabolically reprogrammed by BHB to perform OXPHOS, thereby increasing their functionality.
The study team also demonstrated that ketogenic diet (KD) and delivery of BHB as ketone ester drink restores CD4+ T cell metabolism and function in respiratory infections, ultimately reducing the mortality of SARS-CoV-2 infected mice.
The study findings reveal BHB as alternative carbon source promoting T cell responses in pulmonary viral infections, highlighting impaired ketogenesis as a potential confounder of severe COVID-19.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Nature
It has been found that in severe COVID-19 patients, metabolism produces insufficient amounts of certain energy-rich compounds called ketone bodies. However, these energy carriers are needed by two important cell types in the immune system in order to fight the virus effectively.
The study findings could explain why some people fall ill so much more severely than others and also gives rise to opportunities for the development of new therapeutics to treat COVID-19.
It has been found that appetite typically often declines during illness. This also has an effect on metabolism: Since it is no longer as well supplied with carbohydrates, it switches to burning fat. This creates energy-rich molecules called ketone bodies, which may help the body to cope better with viruses.
Corresponding author, Professor Dr Christoph Wilhelm from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn, who is also a member of the Immunosensation Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn explained, "Our study found that patients with influenza infections produce ketone bodies in considerable quantities. In contrast, we saw hardly any increase in COVID-19 patients, at least in those with a moderate or severe course."
He added, “Furthermore, it was striking that those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had lower levels of inflammatory messengers in their blood. This was particularly true for interferon-gamma. This is a cytokine secreted by a specific group of immune cells, the T-helper cells. These cells use it to summon the help of phagocytes and other defense troops of the immune system to fight viruses. For efficient production of IFN-gamma, however, the helper T cells apparently require an adequate supply of ketone bodies. If this is lacking, they produce less interferon-gamma. In addition, the helper T cells then die earlier.”
The COVID-19 Ketogenic Diets
study team also saw similar effects in another important group of immune cells, the killer T cells.
Co-researcher, Dr Christian Bode, lecturer at the Department of Anesthesiology and Surgical Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospital Bonn added, "The killer T cells too, need ketone bodies to function well and effectively eliminate the virus.”
Importantly, the ketone bodies promote the function of mitochondria, metabolic power houses fueling the immune cells. This not only ensures improved energy production, but also provides molecules that are needed for interferon production.
Dr Bode further explained, "Without an adequate supply of ketone bodies, on the other hand, the killer T cells and helper T cells show signs of exhaustion. In this depleted state, they can no longer perform their function adequately."
The study team was able to revive the immune cells by placing diseased mice on a ketogenic diet (a diet low in carbohydrates and protein) or by administering ketone bodies directly. The animals then succeeded better in eliminating the virus and also developed significantly less lung damage.
Professor Wilhelm further added, “The study findings therefore also raise hope for new treatment options. It may be possible to increase the power of the body's own defenses through a targeted change in diet or by supplementation. However, whether this really works must now be shown by further studies."
According to the study team, the new research findings could also be relevant for other infections. In the medium term, they may even contribute to new strategies to help the body fight tumors.
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