According to a study by researchers and experts at Yale School of Medicine, WUS (Washington University School of Medicine), and New York University Langone Health (NYU). Found that the keto diet (ketogenic Diet / low carbohydrate and high-fat diet) is very helpful for reducing clinical outcomes of COVID-19 elderly patients because it improves immune and metabolic functions and reduces inflammation. Complete research is available on bioRxiv.

It publishes scientific researches and reports which are not peer-reviewed and should not regard as conclusive, treated as established information, guided clinical practice, or health-related behavior.

Many studies have been conducted since the surge of coronavirus pandemics, which has shown that age is the strongest risk factor causing high mortality in mice with respiratory distress syndrome SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) infections. The death rate in people over 65 years old in the USA is about 85% associated with coronavirus

Older adults have a low active immune system because of age-related inequality in T cell and B cell activation against inflammation of cells, including low-grade systemic inflammation.

Study Outcomes

This study was done on a rat and murine beta virus infection that shows clinical outcomes of coronavirus in older people. Infection with rat hepatitis mouse coronavirus-A59 is most commonly used for the study of systemic infection, the scientists performed intranasal infection in old age mice with mouse coronavirus to mimic the coronavirus characteristics during this study 

Important Points to Consider

The researchers observed the mouse infected with the virus had a similar load of the virus on their lungs. The mice showed heavy bodyweight loss, anorexia, hypoxemia. And significantly decreased the T cells CD4+/CD8+ ratio. High levels of monocytes and neutrophils 

The mouse had severe edema formation, perivascular inflammation, pneumonia, fibrosis, hemorrhage, and pulmonary thrombosis as compared to the young one.

Same as elder patients of COVID-19, the old mouse showed heavy cardiac and systemic inflammation, as evidence the increased blood levels of tumor necrosis and interleukin factor-alpha and infiltration of CD68 increased in myeloid cells, accordingly 

Aging and obesity were both related to function alterations and structural alteration of the tissues, and the researchers also investigated the effect of the virus on adipose tissue metabolism. They found that RNA of the virus in the adipose tissues, which causes high inflammation and mediator to increase activation of the inflammasome, mostly in the old one.

How Keto Can Help Against Infection?

During the ketogenesis process, long-chain fatty acids are converted into short-chain fatty acids called is the primary source of energy during glucose deprivation and starvation conditions.

According to studies, the beta-hydroxybutyrate protects from influenza-related death in mouse and old age peoples.

A ketogenic diet, including elevation beta-hydroxybutyrate levels, prevents inflammasome complex assembly. Which prevents inflammasome and reduces inflammation. The model on the keto diet only showed mild ketosis signs along with preserving lipid metabolism. Keto diet keeps the mouse from infection-related weight loss, showed less inflammasome. 

According to an inflammatory response in the lungs, the mice fed on a keto diet showed very low inflammatory mediators and cardiac infiltration of myeloid cells. keto diet elevated the T cell level in the lungs by reducing monocytes and proliferative myeloid cells.

Anti-inflammatory gene expression was increased by ketogenic diet and mitochondrial function in T cells was shows the importance of the keto diet is providing protection against the virus 

These studies show that the keto diet should be used as an already affordable and intervention to improve coronavirus outcomes in older patients