How the Ketogenic Diet Protects Against Influenza & Supplements to Enhance the Immune System – High Intensity Health with Mike Mutzel

Check out the High Intensity Health Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • In animal models, the ketogenic diet upregulates innate immune system activity in lung tissue. Because of this:
    • The ketogenic diet may offer protection against influenza (and the coronavirus)
    • The ketogenic diet may be a viable treatment method for chronic Lyme disease
  • To further improve immune system health:


  • This is a solo episode with Mike Mutzel (@MikeMutzelMS) containing a lecture on how to improve immune system health and why the ketogenic diet may offer protection against influenza

Low-Carb, High-Fat Diets May Offer Protection Against Infectious Disease

  • What kind of infectious disease?
    • Chronic & lingering Lyme disease or something acute, like the coronavirus
  • New studies out of Yale University indicate a ketogenic-style diet may offer immunity against the influenza virus
    • Specifically, the ketogenic diet upregulates a critical type of T helper cell (gamma-delta T cells) in the mucosal barriers within lung tissue (i.e., the ketogenic diet upregulates innate immune system activity in lung tissue)
  • Mike cuts to some audio from his recent appearance at the Metabolic Health Summit, where he was on a panel with Robb Wolff, Dr. Dom D’Agostino, and other top scientists. One quote from the clip stands out:
    • “The LDL particle has a protein called LPS-binding protein. LPS is a bacterial fragment that can be very inflammatory when it makes its way into vertebrate circulatory systems … Somebody that has higher lipoproteins will be able to clear something like LPS out of the system much more effectively.” – Robb Wolff

How to Improve Immune System Health

1. Get Enough Sleep

  • Because your immune system is very active while sleeping:
    • “If you’re short-changing your body on sleep, you may not be getting the regenerative effects within your immune system”Mike Mutzel

2. Use the Sauna

  • Just one sauna session is enough to beneficently change your immune cell profile (e.g., monocytes, macrophages, T helper cells, etc.)

3. Expose Yourself to Cold Temperatures

  • In one study, daily cold showers were found to reduce the incidence of sick days

4. Use Supplements

  • Vitamin D and vitamin A—I can’t speak highly enough about these two nutrients for the immune system … I suggest somewhere around 2,500-5,000, upwards of 10,000, IU per day of each.”Mike Mutzel
    • Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so take it with fat to increase absorption
    • If you feel like you have a cold coming on, load up on both vitamin A & D (take between 50,000-100,000 IU of each on consecutive days)
  • Take 25-50 mg/day of zinc, a deficiency of which has been found to compromise the immune system
    • (Zinc is found in organ & muscle meats—if you’re eating high amounts of these, neglect this point)
    • If you’re stressed, running on little sleep, and traveling, Mike recommends taking upwards of 75-100 mg for a few consecutive days

Take a Strain-Specific Probiotic

  • Probiotics improve immune system health by upregulating phagocytosis (the ability of the immune systems to seek & destroy pathogens)
  • If you’re looking for a good brand, Mike speaks highly of Myxoscience’s Probio Supreme; some of its benefits include:
    • It’s encapsulated in acid-resistant vegetable capsules, enabling the probiotic strains to survive the caustic agents of the gastrointestinal tract
    • Shelf-stability
      • (Many probiotics are packaged in plastic bottles, allowing for exposure to moisture and oxygen, and over time, a loss of stability)
    • Exact individual strain quantifications
      • (Many probiotics bundle cheap and stable/expensive strains together in a “proprietary blend,” so you don’t know how much of each strain is included)