Getting colds more often While on Keto


Hey again :slight_smile:
Not recommending this because I haven’t done my research, but in case you want a lead to follow: when I was looking at Chris Masterjohn’s blog re: glycine, I saw his stuff on zinc and colds. Might be worth a look?


Will look. Thank you. With regard to zinc, I avoid it during colds because when it was first coming into vogue 25 years I would take supplemental zinc sometimes. Both times that I tried it my cold lasted much longer and was worse than usual. It seemed to delay the onset, I would have a mild cold for a week then would get absolutely blasted with a much worse cold. I am sure it is something peculiar to me


Another cold again! This one is minor and barely noticeable but it annoys me anyway. Using this thread to keep track. So annoying


Saphire, I work with one-on-one with kids and am probably exposed to every possible bacteria and virus in my community. Also there have been three illnesses in my immediate family this winter. Yet somehow I haven’t gotten anything, and that’s with a lot of stress and sometimes not enough sleep. I was thinking about this the other day and realized that since the fall I’ve been adding chaga mushroom powder to tea almost every day. It’s supposed to be an immune booster (I first found it when doing research for a friend who’s fighting cancer) and I have no idea if that’s why, or I’ve just been lucky, or … I don’t know. But when saw yesterday’s post about your recent cold I figured I would mention it.

(Brian) #25

I’ve actually noticed that I get sick less. I’ve been around some very sick people this winter and have felt little twinges of what feels like fighting stuff off. And that’s been the whole of it.

Maybe there are multiple factors. Maybe NOT eating the sugar helps. Maybe making an effort to eat really good quality food helps. Maybe making an effort to make sure I’m eating food that provides a wide array of nutrients helps. Maybe making an effort towards a balanced diet helps. Don’t know. Whatever it is, I don’t want to rock the boat!


Thanks @Madeleine and @Bellyman. As I said above, my best years for immunity 2011 - 13 were when I ate moderate carb no wheat flour and had daily smoothies. I worked in a school lunchroom 3 days a week and I started a few weeks after starting the smoothie regimen. I also did not get a rash duing those years, even in areas that rubbed. I did get a rash on keto but then seems mostly gone and does not seem to be returning

I even made some smoothies (although missing one ingredient I realized later) and froze them in ice cube trays although I only take them when I feel the twinge. It did help in December right before my big party but not recently. This week’s cold was pretty mild and shorter. Last month’s though was one of the worst ever. H got it too and he was a mess. H is LC although I know he does cheat but mostly in the form of minor carbs not meals.

I will try the mushrooms. I work from home now and other than family do not see a lot of people in average week beyond the grocery store. I am really not sure why I keep getting this

(Adrienne P.) #27

I’ve had a cold since Tuesday. I’ve been eating low carb but really craving sugar in chocolate. Sad to say that I’ve given in and had some chocolate which only makes me cough a lot. Hoping that I stay strong today. KCKO. I made myself a curry chicken cauliflower soup (made partly with bone broth) to satisfy me.

(Stacy) #28

I started in Sept and for three months was in perfect health. Then I got two killer colds back to back and was sick, almost better then very sick for five weeks. It was tough. I’m a bit sick again but I do feel like keto has helped me fight this one. No way to know for sure of course.

(Adrienne P.) #29

Do you think you are getting enough vitamin c to help the immune system? Idk if I am. I guess I’ll need to eat more kale and broccoli. Headbangers kitchen just posted a video of curry kale chips that I want to try :smiley_cat:


Thank you for the suggestion.

I do take a multivitamin and a few times a week take a chewable B complex that has added C. Plus I eat way more berries than I should. In the last week I have been having a couple of slices of clemintine a day. I also generally eat tomatoes and lettuce usually

I recovered from last week’s cold over the weekend. Last night I got another one. This is a new record for me. I feel great otherwise. No digestion problems, general backaches have decreased to being almost non existent

(Adrienne P.) #31

Oh no! I hope it goes away soon!!

(mark whittaker) #32

I’m on week 10 of keto and I am on my second cold since starting. I usually get 1 cold every 2 years. So I think keto has definitely lowered my immune system.

(Marta Loftfield) #33

@Saphire and @donjonson I have no colds on keto with IF but when I did feel one coming on I would take a teaspoon of Honey Gardens Elderberry Syrup. 3 g carbs but knocks it out! You might want to try it.


Thanks but was pounding the elderberry syrup not that brand. Usually it helps a little, clearly did not help or maybe would have gotten even more colds although I do not know how that is possible


Colds are NO FUN, you poor thing.

I’ve not had a bad cold catch me in several years now - and they have been rare since I started an oral hygiene regimen with antibacterial essential oils (Ora MD) with brushing and with twice daily gargling. It really helps keep good front line defense going in the throat where a lot of bacteria/viruses are harbored. I’d never been much of a gargler before, but apparently it goes far in keeping the viruses/bacteria populations lower, and keeping them from travelling further into the body.

The thing about Vit. C is that the typical kind in multis or other supplements isn’t absorbed nearly as much as the amount it says it is. Could be that your smoothies had a C that was more absorbable for you - the pomegranate or berries. There are some in the LCHF/keto world that point to the value of regular small amounts of berries for Vit. C., and to the fact that some folks can be terribly deficient in it - as it generally comes from berries, citrus, garlic, and garlic & ginger combined together.

I take liposomal C whenever I take collagen (it is necessary for collagen uptake) a few times a week.

There’s also a weird thing with Vit. D3 supplementation - that if you stop taking it certain old dormant viruses surge.

In eastern traditional culture, Ginger was considered a panacea for many. I know that since taking it to help with recomposition & cortisol management I’ve felt STRONGER than usual. The gut absorption that Ginger facilitates is also relevant to immunity strength - as a strong digestion (enzyme health, non-sluggish digestion helps the immune system fight things off).

Another thing to consider is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV or herpesvirus 4) - which is apparently an epidemic at the root of a variety of conditions that are being called ‘auto immune disorders’ etc. The book the Medical Medium by Anthony William goes into this a lot - I haven’t read it - but a friend was telling me about it recently.



I definitely find I have gotten sick more often than prior to starting keto- I had a rock solid immune system! If I got a cold, I would eat fresh oranges and grapefruit and believed the vitamin C and citric acid helped me get over it quicker. I find since starting keto I get hit more often with respiratory illnesses.
I take supplemental vitamin C and D and zinc, and a B12 vitamin.

If anyone has any ideas of a key mineral or nutrient I am missing, do share!

(Brian) #37

A few tools we like to have available for cold and flu season…




Apple Cider Vinegar

For the first two, I like tinctures. They’re little tiny bottles of stuff that you use in drops from a dropper, not pills or capsules or tablets. I find tinctures to be way more effective, at least for me. Yes, they’re expensive.

I use lemons all the time. Real lemons, not the stuff in a bottle that says “Real Lemon” on it. I like them in my water. Along with other veggies that I eat, they provide some vitamin C, as well as a few other goodies. (Ever wonder what part of ascorbic acid contains the actual vitamin C? It still puzzles me that they put Vit C on bottles that don’t have any Vit C in them.? Maybe I’m missing something.)

I’ve been told that the apple cider vinegar is more powerful at helping to fight off colds / flu than the typical Vit C / ascorbic acid. And it’s good for a person in general, for lots of different things.

I’m sure others could add lots of good thoughts but those are things we try to keep around our house all of the time. Over the past couple years, neither of us have actually been sick. We had a few instances where we didn’t feel the best, the most recent being we think we may have gotten a hold of some lettuce that upset the lower end for a week or so. Not sure whether that kind of thing is entirely preventable. Could have gotten a bad egg, even. Stuff happens. But none has had a knock down drag out cold or flu. Hoping we can keep it that way.



Someone on here suggested this type of Vitamin C LivOn vitamin C I think you can also get it on Amazon. I do not take it that often only when I feel a cold coming on or other stress. I did get a cold in early July but I had flown internationally. It was not severe, simply annoying. We are heading into cold season so hoping it is not a bad one. Supposedly LDL helps prevent infection, not sure what that means that I keep getting infections? Maybe keto is driving my LDL too low although I doubt that and have not had it checked


Thanks @Saphire and @Bellyman for the feedback.
I’ll try the lemon juice and ACV and look into the elderberry and goldenseal!


Hello i was wondering if you have lived in 2 different places? I have a friend who was living in what seemed a nice place. Turns out it had an awful mold problem. If the colds are increasing it seems maybe you’re getting exposed to something. I live in the southern US and have never had an allergy problem until the last couple of years. Now I do get the symptoms of a cold when ragweed and pollen increase. I’m not as bad off as other allergy sufferers but it is noticeable for myself.