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What do you you think of Paul Jaminets claim that ketosis makes candida worse?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Paul Jaminet from the perfect health diet claims that ketogenic dieting and fasting will actually make candida worse, and that some carbs are necessary for treating candida.

i always thought it was the opposite, but he does seem to provide a good case and ive even read a few anecdotes of paleohacks itself that seems to support the theory that VLC makes candida worse.

what do you think? do you have any personal experiences?

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on February 02, 2013
at 01:35 AM

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

0c1b326ffcf37b1174d64bb1db5ac95c

(419)

on January 30, 2013
at 04:35 AM

Hi Paul!! what carbs do you recommend then? thanks!!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 20, 2013
at 11:20 PM

I think he is right for a great majority of healthy people. But this Perfect Health Diet won't work for suffers from various diseases.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on January 20, 2013
at 11:20 PM

I'm guessing you haven't read what I've said about ketosis and candida.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 20, 2013
at 10:15 PM

I'm confused. Are you saying you think he is right, but your experience is the opposite?

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:42 PM

Candida symptoms are vast and sound a lot like adrenal fatigue. It's a cyclical problem: one causes the other. At least, that's been my experience and my naturopathic doc says so as well.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:19 PM

HA! Well, my guess is she was already diabetic/insulin resistant but didn't know it. All the carbs in her diet fed the candida, which was the reason she went to the doc...

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:46 PM

Agree 100%, PHD is what I'd eat if my metabolism wasn't broken.

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:46 PM

VB, well said. Eliminating starches from my has done wonders for my IBS. Holding down on fruits has eliminated my acid reflux. SIBO is nasty. The only way to beat it is through keeping down carb consumption. Having said this, I do hope to *slowly* reintroduce some starches to see if my gut can take it.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:45 PM

Compared to itchy genitals, diabetes is a breeze.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:42 PM

Very true -- my mother was diagnosed T2 by her gyno, believe it or not! She went in for an infection and crazy itching "down there" and found out she was diabetic!

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:34 PM

That's a darn good comparison, IMHO. I'm a big fan of PHD, but I do it "paleo style" -- i.e., no grains, not even rice, period.

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9 Answers

12
9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

on January 20, 2013
at 11:18 PM

There are two reasons why ketogenic diets may be risky for Candida sufferers.

First is that ketogenic diets can suppress leukocyte function and thus immunity. This was first observed in ketogenic diets for epilepsy, eg "Impaired neutrophil function in children with seizures treated with the ketogenic diet," http://pmid.us/2769501, and in diabetics with elevated ketone levels, eg "Neutrophil phagocytosis and killing in insulin-dependent diabetes," http://pmid.us/3084140, and in animals, eg http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10958241. In test tubes papers have shown that high levels of ketones can suppress leukocyte mobility and phagocytosis and other aspects of immune function, eg http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18411287, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17579249. So although there are many aspects to ketogenic diets and it is possible that other errors in the formulation of these diets or the pathologies that generate them may be responsible for some of the impaired immunity, there is test tube evidence that the mere presence of ketones may suppress immunity.

The second issue is that ketones are water soluble small molecules that cross lipid membranes and diffuse to mitochondria where they can be utilized for energy. A central part of the body's immune defense is that macronutrients require transport and transporter bodies (eg LDL and HDL particles) are usually also immune molecules, so Candida can only "eat" macronutrients by also exposing itself to immune attack. Ketones defeat this defense mechanism by feeding Candida (which have mitochondria) without carrying any immune molecules.

There is supporting anecdotal evidence: many people find that fungal infections on skin, oral cavity, sinuses, and other places outside the digestive tract flare on ketogenic diets, and regress when the diet includes more carbs.

In general I would say that high carb diets make people vulnerable to bacterial infections, very low-carb diets make them more vulnerable to fungal and protozoal infections. There are microbes which can exploit every "ecological niche" generated in the human body by different diets.

0c1b326ffcf37b1174d64bb1db5ac95c

(419)

on January 30, 2013
at 04:35 AM

Hi Paul!! what carbs do you recommend then? thanks!!

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on February 02, 2013
at 01:35 AM

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

4
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:33 PM

In my experience candida is a tell tale symptom of hyperglycemia, I know lots of male T2s that were diagnosed on the back of chronic balanitis. In my case I was having to rotate through all the local drugstores to get my hands on enough canestan to make my life bearable.

Within days of going very-low-carb it cleared up for good.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:45 PM

Compared to itchy genitals, diabetes is a breeze.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:19 PM

HA! Well, my guess is she was already diabetic/insulin resistant but didn't know it. All the carbs in her diet fed the candida, which was the reason she went to the doc...

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:42 PM

Very true -- my mother was diagnosed T2 by her gyno, believe it or not! She went in for an infection and crazy itching "down there" and found out she was diabetic!

3
1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:36 PM

I had a similar experience as Paul Jaminet. I went VLC and things went downhill to the point that it was worse than before I started. I'm now doing really well following PHD.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 18, 2013
at 01:57 PM

I would say he is right, but it depends on a person.

Basically, Paleo is good for 100% healthy people as well as insulin sensitive who don't have SIBO or autoimmune disorders.

PHD is good for 100% healthy people as well as people who are insulin sensitive and don't have SIBO or autoimmune and many other problems but do not do well on high protein/high fat diet. PHD is also good for people with hypothyroids, etc. It is a well-balanced diet, but it is not for everyone.

In my understanding, PHD would not work for SIBO patients or people with diabetes type II. Those people will do better on low-carb.

For me personally, my candida thrives on starch and the more carbs I consume the worse it gets.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:46 PM

Agree 100%, PHD is what I'd eat if my metabolism wasn't broken.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:34 PM

That's a darn good comparison, IMHO. I'm a big fan of PHD, but I do it "paleo style" -- i.e., no grains, not even rice, period.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 20, 2013
at 10:15 PM

I'm confused. Are you saying you think he is right, but your experience is the opposite?

75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:46 PM

VB, well said. Eliminating starches from my has done wonders for my IBS. Holding down on fruits has eliminated my acid reflux. SIBO is nasty. The only way to beat it is through keeping down carb consumption. Having said this, I do hope to *slowly* reintroduce some starches to see if my gut can take it.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 20, 2013
at 11:20 PM

I think he is right for a great majority of healthy people. But this Perfect Health Diet won't work for suffers from various diseases.

2
7e13e284a1bafd7b4de14a50ee96140c

on January 20, 2013
at 05:54 PM

from my experience i agree with him

whenever i go on keto my toenail fungus comes back, off keto and it goes away thats just one minor example though, in general i can feel that keto is not optimal

2
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on January 18, 2013
at 05:32 PM

Candida is a symptom of a bigger issue, potentially hormone imbalances, or adrenal fatigue. Or both.

Been there, done that.

My candida was worse when I was VLC. But everybody is different, and every body is different!

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:22 PM

Ray Peat says something similar- essentially that they send out feelers towards the blood stream in order to get food. So, feed them a little. Personally, I think introducing a lot of competition (probiotics, fermented foods) would be helpful, if candida is really the problem.

I don't know. I watched my mom try some candida protocols. She felt some of her symptoms get better, but others didn't. It was too easy for me to look at the protocols and figure that, to the extent that it helped, it helped because it was closer to low carb paleo- much like you see people get better at first if they adopt a whole food vegan diet. Getting the bad stuff out makes vegans feel a lot better, and it takes a while for the nutritional deficiencies to start being obvious. The same thing can be happening with candida therapies- do you feel better because you've gotten your candida under control, or do you feel better because you've got your chronic inflammation under control because your diet is better?

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:42 PM

Candida symptoms are vast and sound a lot like adrenal fatigue. It's a cyclical problem: one causes the other. At least, that's been my experience and my naturopathic doc says so as well.

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on January 20, 2013
at 09:17 PM

I can surely believe that Candida overgrowth is just a symptom of some other problem(s). However I do believe in the mantra of depriving Candida of carbohydrates in order to tamp down on their numbers. Dr. William Crook wrote many books on how to battle Candida. In short: go VLC for several weeks, take antifungal meds/herbs, and then slowly reintroduce carbs into your diet. Makes sense to me. However of course if underlying problems, such as gut dysbosis, are not resolved Candida overgrowth is likely to reoccur. ... in my opinion.

_Lazza

0
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on January 18, 2013
at 05:28 PM

I haven't read what Dr. Jaminet says about ketosis and candida, but I'm guessing that he either found some anecdotes of candida getting worse following a ketogenic diet and came up with a theory, or came up with a theory then went in search of some anecdotes to "prove" it.

I would be surprised if he actually had any direct evidence that ketosis exacerbates candidiasis.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on January 20, 2013
at 11:20 PM

I'm guessing you haven't read what I've said about ketosis and candida.

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