When you're sick, you probably have the same diet that everyone else has: chicken noodle soup, dry toast, ginger ale, and maybe a banana.
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Scientists have found that isn't the best idea actually. There is a link between changes in your diet and recovery time. The findings, which have been demonstrated in mice, show that eating more when combating a viral infection like the flu could help you heal. When you are battling something like a bacterial infection, like food poisoning, you might be making things worse.
"When animals are infected, they stop eating, and they switch to a fasting metabolic mode," team leader Ruslan Medzhitov from Yale University told Ziba Kashef of YaleNews. "The question was whether fasting metabolism is protective or detrimental [in humans]."
They went off the basis of starving the disease to reduce inflammation, which is a sauna for the infections.
The team looked at mice, injecting them with bacterial and viral molecules that triggered the same inflammatory responses that infections do. They then allowed one to feast and the other one to fast through a glucose injection.
They found that both types of infections caused the mice to lose their appetites, but that mice in the viral group recovered faster than those who ate with bacterial infections.
The glucose actually caused all of the mice with bacterial infections to have seizures and die.
Still, it shows that eating with a bacterial infection might not be the smartest thing to do.
So the cure for the common cold? It might depend what you have, but listen to your body for now - at least until there is more extensive testing on the human body.
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The team’s findings were published in Cell.