The weight loss benefits of adopting a keto diet have been well known for many years now, and the popularity of keto continues to grow across the globe. According to a new study from the University of Bronn, though, a keto diet is also able to help with certain cases of asthma as well.
In order to remove pathogens and other harmful substances from the lungs, the immune system produces inflammatory messengers that promote mucus production in the lungs. For people that have asthma, though, this inflammatory reaction is much stronger and longer lasting than it should be, resulting in restricted airways that cause breathing difficulty that can range from minor to life threatening.
In order to produce these inflammatory messengers, the immune system relies on Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs) that divide and multiply to release large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines. If the division of these cells could be slowed, therefore, the inflammation in the lungs that they cause would be slowed as well – and one primary metabolic pathway that ILCs use to divide is by absorbing fatty acids.
If you’ve researched the keto diet before, you know that the keto diet is designed to change a person’s cell metabolism into a fat-burning metabolism, eliminating fatty acids in the cells. Upon discovering that fatty acids were key in producing the inflammatory messengers responsible for asthma, researchers at the University of Bronn placed asthmatic mice on a keto diet and monitored their symptoms. Dr. Wilhelm summarized the results of this study by saying, “Normally, contact with allergens increases the number of ILCs in the bronchi four-fold. In our experimental animals, however, it remained almost unchanged. Both mucus production and other asthma symptoms decreased accordingly.”
Now, researchers are busy looking into whether or not a keto diet can offer the same benefits to human beings who suffer from asthma. The early results, however, are certainly promising. Given the wide range of other health benefits offered by the keto diet as well as the initial evidence suggesting its ability to alleviate asthma symptoms, anyone looking for a natural way to treat their asthma would do well to consider giving keto a try.