Ketogenic Diet

Scientists Reveal 10 Ways Ketones Are Protective Against Viral Infections

by Mike Mutzel




A group of highly respected researchers recently put together a comprehensive summary of the 10 synergistic ways that ketones can be used as immunometabolic therapies in the context of viral diseases.


The paper features some of known mechanistic targets, here's a short list of the 10 main mechanisms discussed:


  1. Ketone metabolism can increase levels of NADPH which helps to decrease oxidative stress. Decreased NADPH activity is involved in lowered glutathione levels and increase susceptibility to infection.
  2. Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) has been shown to increase levels of Nrf2, and important transcription factor involved in activating genes that increase levels of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and phase II detoxification genes.
  3. Inhibiting the NLRP3 which is involved in preventing excessive inflammation. Bats have been shown to coexist with Coronaviruses by dampening their NLRP3 inflammasome activity
  4. Inhibiting HCAR2 and NF-kappa B activation; which has been shown to be up-regulated in diabetic patients.
  5. Affecting mitochondrial permeability which many viruses use to make cells more susceptible to apoptosis
  6. Ketones may inhibit glycolysis, which has been shown to inhibit viral replication
  7. Ketones preserve cardiac function, which has been shown to be a problem in infected patients.
  8. Ketones can improve tolerance to tissue hypoxia, Dominic D'Agostino’s lab has been studying this for years.
  9. Ketones have been shown to improve blood sugar control. We know from two different retrospective studies poor glycemic control is linked with poor outcomes amongst infected patients.
  10. Ketones have been shown to have anticatabolic properties and may preserve cognitive function in sub-optimal environment


REF: StStubbs et al., Investigating Ketone Bodies as Immunometabolic Countermeasures against Respiratory Viral Infections, Med (2020),





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