Friday , September 25 2020
Home / Miles Kimball / Wang, Huen, Luan, Yu, Zhang, Gallezot, Booth and Medzhitov: Fasting Helps Fight Bacterial Infections; Glucose Helps Fight Viral Infections

Wang, Huen, Luan, Yu, Zhang, Gallezot, Booth and Medzhitov: Fasting Helps Fight Bacterial Infections; Glucose Helps Fight Viral Infections

Summary:
The experiment about the effect of diet on fighting infection was only “performed on a single mouse strain (C57BL/6J) in one mouse facility,” but its results are striking. The three-minute video abstract is well done. (You can see it at the bottom of the image above.) The brief summary from that video is: When the mice are not fed, or glucose is blocked, the mice with the bacterial infection live, while those with the viral infection live. When the mice are fed glucose, the mice with the bacterial infection die, while those with the viral infection live. If I understand the discussion section at the end of the paper, the issue is not effectiveness at killing

Topics:
Miles Kimball considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Menzie Chinn writes Are Covid-19 Deaths Falling?

Menzie Chinn writes Enhanced Benefits and Outlook: Continuation vs. End

Scott Sumner writes Nick Rowe on long and variable leads

Scott Sumner writes Adam Tooze on the temptations facing a declining power

Wang, Huen, Luan, Yu, Zhang, Gallezot, Booth and Medzhitov: Fasting Helps Fight Bacterial Infections; Glucose Helps Fight Viral Infections

The experiment about the effect of diet on fighting infection was only “performed on a single mouse strain (C57BL/6J) in one mouse facility,” but its results are striking. The three-minute video abstract is well done. (You can see it at the bottom of the image above.) The brief summary from that video is:

  • When the mice are not fed, or glucose is blocked, the mice with the bacterial infection live, while those with the viral infection live.

  • When the mice are fed glucose, the mice with the bacterial infection die, while those with the viral infection live.

If I understand the discussion section at the end of the paper, the issue is not effectiveness at killing the bacteria or viruses, but rather the damage to one’s own cells of the immune response. Ketones seemed to help protect cells from collateral damage when fighting bacteria, while glucose seemed to help protect cells from collateral damage when fighting viruses.

Note that collateral damage of this sort is only likely to be occurring in a big way if one is feeling symptoms. But if one is feeling symptoms of a viral infection, it might be OK to have some carbs, while if one is feeling symptoms of a bacterial infection, fasting might be helpful.

Again, this is one study in one laboratory using one strain of mice, but this shred of evidence might be useful given our current state of ignorance.

For annotated links to other posts on diet and health, see:

Miles Kimball
Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *