Nutrition, Ketones & Immunity: Coronavirus Implications and Natural Immune Support

by Mike Mutzel


In this video Robb Wolf discusses how having a higher LDL-cholesterol can support immunity via pathogen neutralization. 

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Fear over the emerging Coronavirus pandemic is concern for many nowadays.

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Cholesterol (i.e. lipoproteins, LDL, HDL etc..) are not just transport vehicles for lipids designed to destroy your heart and blood vessels! As shocking as it may sound, at least initially to some, lipoproteins actually have protective roles within your immune system (innate). To quote one researcher, lipoproteins play, “…broad preventive effects against bacterial, viral and parasitic infections.” It’s a fascinating area of research that, sadly, gets ignored because LDL-C has been vilified as the harbinger of heart disease and it’s seemingly hard for folks to recognize it has beneficial properties within the body. If you want to read more about the nexus between metabolism and immunity and how lipoprotein participate in the neutralization of inflammation (e.g. endotoxin) in the body, check out, I wrote about it extensively in my book Belly Fat Effect back in 2014. How about them apples, Coronavirus?? #coronavirüs #ldl #cholesterol #highfat #lchf #keto #ketodiet #ketogenicdiet #ketogenic #carnivorediet #carnivore #fattymeat #lchf

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I’m no immunologist, but have spent a decade researching, interviewing and corresponding with leaders in the gut-immune field and wanted to share some resources that may help bolster your immune system during these uncertain times.

As an aside, the strategies outlined below help me stay sick-free despite taking 30+ flights a year.  

#1: Daily Cold Plunges (or showers): it may sound whacky at first, but brown adipose tissue activation (via cold thermogenesis by way of cold showers and/or plunges) has been shown to enhance innate immunity.

More cold thermogenesis research:

#2: Probiotics: although they’ve been wrongly marketed as ‘cure all tummy aids’ probiotics actually work by communicating with our immune system.

If you don’t ferment your own foods or live on a farm, it’s wise to supplement with a strain-specific probiotic with proven immune-supportive strains—especially during times of stress or travel.

Probio Supreme

#3: Vitamin D and A: these ‘fatty’ nutrients are involved in a host of immune reactions; unless you’re vigilant about eating organ meats on the regular, it’s wise to supplement these two affordable nutrients.

High-quality vitamin D and A blend

#4: Ketones: research is emerging, at least in animals, suggesting that ketones can offer some immune support at our susceptible barriers—the lungs and gut.

Here’s more on that:

Stubbs, B. J., & Newman, J. C. (2020). Ketogenic diet and adipose tissue inflammation—a simple story? Fat chance! Nature Metabolism, 1–2.

Hayday, A. C. (2009). Gamma Delta T Cells and the Lymphoid Stress-Surveillance Response. Immunity, 31(2), 184–196.

Goldberg, E. L., Molony, R. D., Kudo, E., Sidorov, S., Kong, Y., Dixit, V. D., & Iwasaki, A. (2019). Ketogenic diet activates protective γδ T cell responses against influenza virus infection. Science Immunology, 4(41), eaav2026.

#5: Zinc: zinc-deficiency has is linked with immune dysfunction. Interventional studies have found zinc to reduce the incidence acute lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children.

Since it’s affordable, again it seems worthwhile to add to the arsenal.

Prasad AS. Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells. Mol Med. 2008;14(5-6):353-357. doi:10.2119/2008-00033.Prasad.

#6: Sauna: the research on sauna use and cardiovascular disease protection is impressive, additionally sauna therapy has been shown to exert many favorable changes within the immune system. Aim for 20 minutes several days a week at 180 degrees or more!

Pilch W, Pokora I, Szyguła Z, et al. Effect of a Single Finnish Sauna Session on White Blood Cell Profile and Cortisol Levels in Athletes and Non-Athletes. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2013;39(1):127-135. doi:10.2478/hukin-2013-0075.

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