It’s March 27th, 2020 and many people are awash in confusion (and hand sanitizer). With the COVID pandemic progressing so quickly and the deluge of advice hitting your news feed, it’s hard to know what advice IS helpful and what advice is not.
Certainly, hoarding toilet paper and chugging gallons of orange juice (in the hopes that it’s meager vitamin C contents will boost immune function and shield you from the virus) isn’t going to save lives. In fact, a fair number of people are now experiencing weight gain as a result of being cooped up inside without access to gyms and unrelenting proximity to their fridges and pantries.
We’re not criticizing the responsible choice to stay at home and prevent viral spread, but what we are saying is that now, more than ever, it’s important to be conscious of our health choices so we don’t end up damaging our overall health, exacerbating problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and impairing our immune systems to boot!
As experts in ketogenic nutrition, we here at KetoSwiss thought we’d share some thoughts on the relationship between ketones and COVID.
First, let’s look at the demographic characteristics of people presenting the most severe COVID infections. Age, heart disease and diabetes. Can ketones do anything there? Sure, they can!
Age? Ketogenic diet increased lifespan and health span Heart disease? The heart L-O-V-E-S ketones (particularly a diseased heart). Diabetes? Ketones lower blood glucose and people following a ketogenic diet can reverse it.
Second, it’s important to note that it’s not the COVID virus that kills people, it’s the body’s response to the virus. When the body is overwhelmed (more likely in elderly and immunocompromised people), it freaks out and responds with what is known as a “cytokine storm”. This is a fancy way of saying, the body releases tons of inflammatory factors (cytokines) that induce hyperinflammation, which ultimately, can lead to death. Ketones are known to be potent inhibitors of inflammation (by increasing levels of an important molecule called NADPH, inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome, and other mechanisms). Therefore, ketones could protect against the cytokine storm that leads to death in severe cases of COVID.
At this time, the relationship between ketones and COVID is still within the realm of speculation (although researchers are hard at work to change that). However, it’s notable that there have been numerous clinical reports of individuals (including the elderly) who are in ketosis and have presented with mild respiratory symptoms – runny noses, scratchy throats, and mild coughs – as well as other COVID-associated symptoms – conjunctivitis and diarrhea – but who are otherwise fine. Is it possible that they are infected and that their diets are blunting the impact of the virus?
In summary, we argue that you’re better off eating healthily than chugging orange juice while hidden inside your fortress made of toiler paper.
No medical advice
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.