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  • Pedro D. Wendel Garcia

Nature: "Deficit in ketone body production leads to impaired immune response against SARS-CoV-2"

The team around PD Dr. Christian Bode and Prof. Dr. Christoph Wilhelm of the University Hospital Bonn has just published a breaktrough article in Nature suggesting that a failure to switch to ketogenic metabolism could be one of the main causes of an impaired immune response against SARS-CoV-2.

The team could show that a deficit in ketone body production was associated with an impaired immune reponse, especially through a reduced production of Interferon-gamma by helper T cells and a less efficient elimination of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells by killer T cells.

"Patients with influenza infections produce ketone bodies in considerable quantities, by contrast COVID-19 patients, at least those with a moderate or severe course, hardly show any increase in ketone bodies." - Prof. Dr. Christoph Wilhelm

Astoundingly, by placing mice on a ketogenic diet or directly administering ketone bodies, mice cleared the virus in a faster and more efficient fashion leading to a reduced lung inflammation.

"Without an adequate supply of ketone bodies killer T cells and helper T cells show signs of exhaustion and can no longer perform their function adequately." - PD Dr. Christian Bode

This study might just have opened the door for a new dietary therapeutic approach to treat systemic infections and even tumours.

Read the full article here and the original press release by the University of Bonn here.

Congratulations Christian, Christoph and of course your whole team on this incredible achievement!
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