The Ketogenic Diet & Gut Health

how to improve your immune system

The real issue is that good health starts with a healthy gut. Over 70% of your immune system is in your gut. More than likely, yours has been compromised by a diet consisting of sugar, chemicals, additives, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics and pesticides.

These are only a few of the factors that work to destroy the good bacteria we need in our intestinal tract. Having a healthy gut is key to proper digestion, absorption of essential nutrients, and becoming a fat burning machine.

Many of us have taken antibiotics once or twice in our lifetime. Antibiotics not only destroy the bad bacteria, but they also destroy the good bacteria that protect you from illness and chronic disease. The Ketogenic Diet & Gut Health go together.

How Does This Affect Us?

When poor diet and antibiotics strip that good bacteria from your intestines, it gives bad bacteria an opportunity to thrive.

These bacteria can lead to inflammation and all sorts of health complications such as a weak immune system, food allergies, leaky gut, sluggish digestion, poor nutrient absorption, depression and chronic disease. Having a bad gut can also affect your transition to becoming fat adapted.

Some Symptoms Related To An Unhealthy Gut:

  • Bloating
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Food intolerance
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Brittle nails
  • Diarrhoea/constipation
  • Sugar cravings
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Malabsorption
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Migraines
  • Hypoglycaemia

If you have been experiencing at least a few of these symptoms for a while, you may want to address restoring your gut health. In doing so, most people find their cravings, especially for sugar, dramatically decrease.

Other benefits include: mental clarity, increased energy, better sleep, a stronger immune system, better digestion, weight loss, clearer skin and an easier time keto adapting.

For over 17 years now, we have been promoting the Ketogenic Diet and have witnessed massive changes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have made this lifestyle change.

How The Ketogenic Diet Works In Improving The Gut Flora

While much is said about the need for dietary fibre to feed the gut microbiome, the truth is there is a significant lack of research studies looking at how ketosis impacts it.

One such study that might give us a clue about this was published in the January 23, 2014 issue of the scientific journal Nature that found low-carb, high-fat ketogenic dieting increased microbes of the genus Bacteroides and decreased Firmicutes.

Why is this important? Because when Bacteroides are lower and Firmicutes are higher in a human gut, this is indicative of someone with obesity.

But ketosis produced exactly the opposite effect while simultaneously producing a reduction of inflammation levels – a positive overall health marker.

The fibre content of non-starchy vegetables provide a smorgasbord of food to feed the gut bugs without the insulin spike that accompanies such an approach.

While it is indeed resistant, upwards of half of the carbohydrate content still impacts the metabolism raising blood sugar and insulin levels – making it less-than-ideal for a ketogenic dieter to be consuming.

Instead, opt for the fibrous low-carb veggies to get the benefits of feeding the microbiota without the harmful blood sugar and insulin response.

The Ketogenic Diet Gut Connection & Autism:

Our gut microbiome can influence behaviour. One way in which our gut microbiome influences behaviour is by making us crave certain foods. This has a survival benefit to the specific bacteria that thrives off of that given food.

At the same time, the bacteria makes us crave sweet and starchy processed foods, it can suppress our appeal to eat foods such as fruits and vegetables.

This gives the species of bacteria a hand up in colonizing our body. They get plenty of food and suppress the food of competing bacteria.

A ketogenic diet would extremely limit the sweet and starchy processed foods. This deprives certain gut bacteria of the food they need and may be a way to help restore balance in the microbiome.

To further the argument of the role that the gut microbiota play on autism, the Journal of Ecology in Health and Disease, published an article referencing one child’s autism symptoms improving on a course of antibiotics.

One of the main benefits of the Ketogenic diet, besides dramatic weight loss, is mental clarity.

Scientists and doctors are currently unsure of the correlation between ketosis and the reduction of seizures with respect to Epilepsy. One hypothesis is that the brain prefers ketone bodies as a source of fuel over glucose.

As a result, people have reported less lethargy, increased alertness, greater mental clarity and sharpness, quicker thinking, improved mood, increased productivity, and a natural need for less sleep.

Biological anthropologists argue that these findings are not surprising, considering that the diets of earlier human beings were likely ketogenic and thus our bodies are better adapted for this lifestyle.

Starting The Healing Process & What To Expect:

The transition to healing your gut can be challenging, but the payoff could save your life. Depending on the amount of bad bacteria that has accumulated, food sensitivities present and length of time on antibiotics, the road to healing may come with a few speed bumps.

When your body is detoxifying and the bad bacteria begin to die off, you may experience headaches, flu-like symptoms, feeling “hungover”, intense cravings, fatigue, and increased hunger. However, once you pass this hurdle you will feel be feeling better than you have in years.

The Steps To Better Gut Flora:
Eliminate added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Supplement with a probiotic will help restore the good bacteria in your gut and boost your immunity.
Focus on eating high fat, moderate protein, and plenty of cruciferous veggies and leafy greens.
Eat quality Protein, grass-fed, pasture raised, antibiotic and hormone free.
Eat more coconut oil. It has antibacterial qualities and MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides foods) ie Coconut oil, Dairy Products.

You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.


Malcolm McLean – Ketosis Specialist

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  1. Researchers included normal-weight and overweight women in the study, noting that weight problems
    are common with the disorder, known as PCOS, and a source of mental health problems that
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