Over the past few years, out of the tens of thousands of discussions, there have been a few threads on Reddit’s various keto diet support communities where women complain about changing smells down under when transitioning into the ketogenic diet.[1-4]
Although these threads are not new, they’re causing quite a stir, as several women’s health and even business magazines have begun publishing articles about the phenomenon. It’s being called “keto crotch”.
Before we go any further, we have to give disclaimers:
I am not a doctor, and nothing I say here is medical advice.
Due to the agnostic nature of PricePlow’s business model, I have no financial conflicts of interest involved in this situation.
I don’t care what diet you’re on, although on a personal level, I of course want everyone to be happy, healthy, attractive, and take up one seat on an airplane.
Not a Doctor… but Dr. Ken is!
Now, if you do want a doctor’s take on the situation, I urge you to watch Dr. Ken Berry’s video on this. He has a ton of experience with his female patients and this “diet” strategy, which essentially involves utilizing a completely alternative and natural fuel source (ketone bodies!) that you possibly haven’t used since you were weaned off of breast milk.
Dr. Ken tells you all the great things about women getting off of the carbohydrate drug addition — such as reduced bacterial and fungal infections, not an increase. This is actually similar to my own personal experience, which we’ll get into.
A Weight Watchers (and MSM friends) driven conpsiracy?
Like many others in the low-carb community, Dr. Ken is sure to remind you that these articles all simultaneously appeared in publications where Weight Watchers advertises. This is noteworthy because Weight Watchers, now known as ww, is literally getting slaughtered by various low-carb interventions. We’re not going to get into that here, because that’s another story for another day (leave a comment if you’d like to hear my take on that).
This Twitter thread by John Zahorik explains how this looks to be a massive PR attack campaign setup by someone with money, and it’s one whose trap we’ve fallen into. Interestingly, he puts Ben Greenfield up there with the rest of the paid social media influencers helping this campaign.
Might I smell different if I change diets?
Anyway, Ken and I share very similar eating philosophies, so I of course admire him, but he doesn’t get into the crux of the question:
Might I smell different if I go on a ketogenic diet?
The answer is OF COURSE YOU MIGHT – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! I’m not going to sugar coat it – food often determines our smells. There’s a reason we joke about asparagus and brussels sprouts — because it’s true! There’s even research showing that men who eat more red meat smell more “intense” which correlates highly with masculinity!
Bacteria and yeast love sugar, not ketones
And we all know that if you eat pounds of pineapple, you’ll smell sweet. But guess what else happens to many of us with all that sugar: you become a bacterial and fungal breeding ground. Yeast and bacteria LOVE sugar. They do not love ketone bodies.
So what happens when you eliminate that sugar? There’s some cleaning of house to do.
This dietary intervention induces hormonal changes
Further, a dietary change this significant is going to lead to some hormonal changes. Especially when that diet significantly alters a most critical metabolic hormone in insulin. There’s a reason why these diets are working so well for fertility. Women with PCOS are literally reversing their symptoms when applying low-carb properly. And there’s a reason why numerous studies are showing increases in testosterone in men when in ketosis. It’s a hormonal shift!
When you remove carbohydrate from your diet, it signals to your body that you need to create your own glucose, something you’ve been able to do since before birth. Those “signals” are controlled by hormones. And hormonal changes, as all women know, do come some smell changes. No reason to lie about it, it’s something to be proud of. You’re finally a human again.
What else can it be? Enter Acetone.
So back to the topic at hand — if it’s not a yeast infection, and it’s not bacterial vaginosis, and it’s not typical food types of smells, what’s going on and is it going to last forever?
Here’s my THEORY. It’s acetone. Yes, the stuff in your nail polish remover.
Acetone is actually one of the ketone bodies mentioned above that most bacteria hate. It’s one of the products of beta-oxidation — or fat burning — and that’s something many people hardly experience much of after their 20s. And when some people (including myself) transition onto a ketogenic diet, we get some interesting effects with that acetone for a few weeks.
For whatever reason, acetone secretion seems to be higher for some of us for just a little while. Many people get more acetone out in the breath. This is how the breath-based ketone-meters work. But for some of us, it also comes out in the skin!
Personal experience and the “keto rash”
Right now I’m on my ‘third attempt’ at ketosis. The first and second times I was doing this, I got what’s known as “keto rash“. It was only about a week long, but when I’d workout and sweat, it would itch and it would smell… nearly exactly like nail polish remover!
I’m not going to sugar-coat it, but you have to trust me when I say it is TEMPORARY. Keto rash kinda sucks, and most people not get it, but it does go away. We’ve been inundated with carbohydrate for so long, that when you remove them, the ship turns slowly at first. It’s almost as if your body is “knocking off the rust”, as it ramps up its ‘fat adaptation’.
Point is, changes like these are temporary as you clean house. So if this argument — a couple weeks of altered smells before you acclimate — is the strongest attack that these poison-pushing crooks have, then that means we’re winning.
One diet leads to disease. The other leads to freedom. Choice is yours.
Look at it this way — you have one kind of diet that’s leading you towards a lifelong metabolic crisis, starting with insulin resistance and ranging from diabetes to cancer to kidney failure to liver disease to joint pain to obesity. I believe it’s also partially behind our serious infertility problem, both for men and women.
People who are buying into this high-carb, plant-based, toxic processed seed oil driven, obesogenic, processed food madness are literally amputating their limbs off because of the damage caused by their diets – and that’s after they’ve taken the ever-increasing dosages of medication. That’s literally the path MANY of you are heading down right now.
And then you have another diet that’s helping people to control their appetites, balance their hormones, bring back their fertility, drop body fat (which includes cellulite and water retention), and has thousands of people kicking their blood sugar, psoriasis, and anti-depressant medications to the curb (all with a doctor’s guidance and plenty of blood work, of course).
But yeah, a few of you might smell different for a couple of weeks while you transition into a state your body is adapted to be in for most of the year in the first place! Poor you!
That’s seriously the best argument they’ve got. They are losing and they know it.
Low-Carb Paleo Saved My Skin
My personal story reflects what Dr. Ken experienced with his patients – FAR less fungal and bacterial infections. I obviously can’t attest to his female patient claims, but I can tell you that when I went low-carb paleo in 2008 thanks to finding Mark Sisson (it was this article on insulin resistance that convinced me I had a problem and possibly saved my life), my 6 year fight with both athlete’s foot and jock itch went away seemingly overnight. Ladies, I may not know your kind of yeast infections, but I know what a pain fungus can be. And now I don’t ever even have to think about it.
There’s still cause for concern: your “butter-chugging” keto diets kind of suck
Meanwhile, in those Reddit threads, there is some friendly advice, and you should always go to your gyno for regular appointments and tell them about your new diet. If they disapprove, you may want to find a more low-carb friendly doctor, but understand why they may be disapproving. Because the fact is, many people have HORRIBLE keto diets. Do you really expect a doctor to support you in drinking butter and eating coconut oil?! Where do you get your nutrition from? Are you an epileptic child’s keto diet, or are you trying to lose fat?!
And sadly, doctors who support low-carb interventions and de-prescribe these ridiculous drugs open themselves up to legal problems, which is why you sometimes have to learn from doctors online like Dr. Berry, Doctor Tro, Ted Naiman, and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon. Dr. Jay Wrigley is also a specialist in women’s issues.
The system has put us in a terrible predicament, and if this nonsense of 6-11 “heart healthy” grains per day is making you miserable and fat, then it’s time to join us off the reservation. Thankfully there’s more doctors unshackling from the brainwashing every year who are finally figuring it out, so hopefully you can find one near you.
Back to the Reddit Threads: The Numbers Don’t Lie
We also have to note that those Reddit threads have maybe four or five women chiming in with their similar stories, whereas other threads have hundreds of people congratulating each other and sharing their success stories. The numbers tell the real story, don’t be fooled by the mainstream media (and paid influencer) sensationalism going on here.
The choice is yours folks. We are now to a point where we know exactly how to destroy food cravings and the accompanying addiction. This is truly a battle over appetite. Most keto dieters are still doing it wrong, but we’re going to get there together. The knowledge is now out there should you choose to find it.
I don’t really care what you do — but I do want you to look and feel good without being a burden on society. If you want to eat pizza and ice cream all day long while your body screams for real nutrition and protein, then so be it… but at least understand that you’ve been lied to your entire life, and have the common courtesy to buy two airplane seats.