There is an old wives saying, feed a cold and starve a fever, but what does the latest science say?
Although eating less when we are ill can sometimes help us to recover faster. The loss of appetite when we have an infection is a biological "trick" that simply allows bacteria to spread. Eating nutritious food when we have an infection can reduce its severity and recover time say researchers.
Researchers have tracked the health of laboratory mice infected with the Salmonella bacteria and found that natural loss of appetite helped the bacteria spread from the intestines to other tissues. By comparison, mice fed extra calories lived longer.
This discovery could lead to new ways to tackle bacterial infections that don't rely on antibiotics.
Rao, Shelia et al, 2017, Pathogen-Mediated Inhibition of Anorexia Promotes Host Survival and Transmission, Cell, Volume 168, Issue 3, 503 - 516