What is the connection between fats and viruses?
I think this is an important connection to understand as we talk about fat metabolism.
Cell membranes are made of fats called a bi-lipid membrane. Viruses need to get into our cells through that cell membrane in order for them to survive and replicate.
There are two categories of fats called fatty acids and sterols. Fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms with negatively charged ends. While sterols are chains of carbon atoms with positively charged ends.
The fatty acids have a perpendicular orientation where the negatively charged ends face outward and inwards in the membrane structure. And sterols with its positive ends will have a parallel orientation.
If cell membrane are predominately made of fatty acid components then they are too permeable. Things are easily flow in and out of the cells. This is occur with people who take high amounts of fish oils or people whose diet is predominately animal proteins and not enough vegetables, because we get our sterols from vegetables and mainly get our fatty acids from animal proteins. We need a balance of animal fats from clean sources and vegetables, in order to make good, healthy cell membranes that have proper flexibility and proper permeability.
If you have a cell membrane that is predominately sterol components then the cell membranes are too impermeable. This means that when something gets into the cell, then it is difficult for it to get out of the cell, which makes it an excellent home for viruses to hide from the immune system. This is great environment for a virus, better protection from the immune system. Because these viruses are small, they are able to easily more into the cells and then hide in the cells. We can get a predominantly high sterol cell membrane by eating a predominantly vegetable-based diet without balancing it out with healthy fats.