It’s rare that I talk to you about findings from animal research. But, every now and again—for news that’s especially timely and exciting—I do make an exception. Like today.
Because while we’re all still tight in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also smack in the middle of allergy season, too. And asthmatics, especially, need all the extra protection they can get.
When immune cells go rogue
As you may already know, asthma is an autoimmune condition marked by severe reactions—in the form of extreme bronchial inflammation—even to low concentrations of allergens, like pollen.
Simply put, asthma attacks are the byproduct of an immune system gone haywire. They’re characterized by restricted airways and excessive mucous production, which makes breathing even harder. And among the main players behind this reaction are a group of cells called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs).
Under normal circumstances, ILCs play a key role in healing and regenerating mucous membranes. They trigger inflammatory messages that stimulate mucous production. This mucous then helps to remove pathogens from your airway and create a barrier against reinfection.
But in asthmatics, this reaction is so strong—marked by rapid ILC division and a tsunami of inflammatory cytokines—that it results in potentially life-threatening breathing difficulties.
In other words, spring is a pain for anyone with allergies. So you can see why the season can be downright deadly to asthmatics.
But a team of German researchers from the University of Bonn discovered that a high-fat, low carb, ketogenic diet might help to blunt this reaction and prevent lethal airway inflammation… in mice, at least.
Stop asthma attacks before they start
These scientists designed their experiment with a theory in mind: Since ILCs require an abundance of fatty acids in order to reproduce so rapidly, a ketogenic diet—which switches the body’s main source of fuel from sugar to fat—might force the body to use these fatty acids elsewhere and, as a result, cause this dangerous cell division to slow.
To investigate, they put asthmatic mice on a ketogenic diet comprised mainly of fat. And just as they predicted, it slowed the division of ILCs—pretty dramatically, too.
In fact, in most asthmatics, ILC counts in the airways will quadruple in response to allergen contact. But in these mice? ILC counts stayed virtually the same—reducing both mucous production and other hallmark symptoms of asthma.
According to the scientists, this wasn’t just because of a fatty acid shortage —it was also because the ILCs in these mice didn’t have any extra glucose to tap, either. Leading them to conclude that the sharp increase in asthma over the last few decades might actually be partly related to our growing sugar addiction. (Gee… you think?)
Again, we’re talking about mice, not people. These scientists plan to investigate whether a high-fat, low-carb diet can ward off asthma attacks in human patients next. But until then, all the usual caveats apply.
As I’ve explained here before, though, ketogenic diets—like my A-List Diet—deliver a long list of incredible benefits. And not just because it’s the most effective weight loss tool in your arsenal. But because it’s also a defense against everything from diabetes, to cancer, to Alzheimer’s disease. (Learn more in the May 2017 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives [“The controversial diet trick that could reverse America’s top killers—from cancer to diabetes…and more”]. Not yet a subscriber? All it takes is one click!)
So whether you struggle with asthma or not, with so many other reasons to give this strategy a try, you really have nothing to lose… except inches and pounds. I also encourage you to check out my book, Allergy and Asthma Cure. In it, I discuss ways to naturally liberate yourself from the effects of seasonal allergies and/or asthma through nutritional approaches. Browse the “books” tab of my website to order yourself a copy today.
“Researchers suggest a special diet against asthma.” Science Daily, 04/07/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200407131457.htm)