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Inflammasomes can also induce harmful immune system responses in the host, triggering gamma delta T cells. These cells produce mucus in the lungs, aiding the body to expunge infectious agents via coughing them out through the airways. The study found that T gamma cells, which expand more rapidly in humans than in mice, resulted in lowered presence of the flu virus in mice who ate the keto diet.
Still, an instance arose when the keto diet offered no protection against the flu. Researchers found when mice were reproduced without the gene that produces gamma delta T cells, keto didn’t shield them from influenza.
“This was a totally unexpected finding,” Iwasaki said.
But researchers expect that the rise in T gamma cells may improve the barrier and natural defense line of airway-lining cells, which promotes an enhanced response to the flu. Although more studies are needed, this indicates that a change in diet, not taking prescription drugs, could be the key to combating the virus, which the AJC previously reported has been steadily rising.
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