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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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March 12 2019

The Curious Phenomenon of “Keto Crotch”

By Mark Sisson
86 Comments

I have a confession to make: I, Mark Sisson, suffer from keto crotch.

It’s embarrassing, really. I thought maybe it was just the change in climate moving from Malibu to Miami—the humidity, the heat, the fact that I’m paddling and swimming more often now. There’s a whole lot of moisture down there. Perpetual steaminess.

But then I met up with my writing partner and good pal Brad Kearns, who’s been working with me on my upcoming book. Brad lives in Northern California, which is far from hot or humid right now. He’s also a staunch keto guy most of the time, and, well, let’s just say I could smell him before I could see him. We met up at a coffee shop and cleared out everyone in a fifteen foot radius. We sampled a new exogenous ketone product he’s been trying and not one, not two, but three separate individuals approached to inquire if we were salmon fishermen.

Okay, let’s get serious. (And, yes—to address some reader confusion there—the above is pure satire.) Does “keto crotch” really exist? And, if it does, what can you do to prevent it?

I’m writing this not because of overwhelming demand from loyal followers of the Keto Reset plan. In fact, I hadn’t ever heard of “keto crotch” before last week. There’s a good chance almost no one heard of it before March 2019, if Google Trend data for “keto crotch” searches is any indication. I’m writing this post because the barrage of news articles, Twitter hashtag campaigns, and extremely serious warnings from people with lots of acronyms after their name has led people to ask me if it’s a legitimate phenomenon. A few acquaintances have brought it up in social situations. Our marketing director found herself fielding keto crotch questions at a dinner for Expo West last week.

So, are women following a ketogenic diet experiencing an epidemic of stinky vaginas?

Probably not.

Is Keto Crotch Even Physiologically Plausible?

Vaginal odor does change. It fluctuates naturally, and sometimes it can get worse. The most common cause of unpleasant changes to vaginal odor is bacterial vaginosis, which occurs when something upsets the balance between the beneficial lactobacilli bacteria that normally live in the vagina and pathogenic bacteria. What can upset the balance?

The vagina is supposed to be an acidic environment; that’s how the healthy lactobacilli thrive. If something upsets that pH balance, tilting it toward alkalinity, unhealthy bacteria gain a foothold and become predominant, and begin producing unpleasant-smelling amines like putrescine, tyramine, and cadaverine. This is bacterial vaginosis. As it turns out, the lactobacilli bacteria normally present in the vagina are instrumental in maintaining an acidic pH. They consume glycogen, spit out lactic acid, and exert antimicrobial and antifungal effects that block common vaginal pathogens like candida, e. coli, and gardnerella from taking hold and causing trouble.

The interaction between diet and vaginal biome is understudied. To my knowledge, there exist no direct controlled trials that address the issue. It’d be great to have a study take a cohort of women, split them up into different dietary groups, and follow them for a year,  tracking their vaginal pH and bacterial levels. Alas, we do not.

We do have a study that provides a hint. In 2011, researchers looked for correlations between dietary patterns and bacterial vaginosis in a cohort of nearly 2000 non-pregnant mostly African-American women aged 15-44. While there probably weren’t many keto dieters, and the diets as a whole were of the standard American variety, glycemic load—which basically boils down to carb load—was the strongest predictor of bacterial vaginosis. Other markers of food quality, like a person’s adherence to “healthy eating guidelines,” initially seemed to reduce the chance of bacterial vaginosis, but those relationships were almost abolished after controlling for other factors. Only glycemic load remained highly significant.

This connection between dietary glycemic load and bacterial vaginosis starts looking more causal when you realize that diabetes—a disease where one’s “glycemic load” is perpetually elevated and exaggerated—is another risk factor for bacterial vaginosis.

There’s also a 2007 study that found “high” intakes of dietary fat, particularly saturated and monounsaturated fat, were a significant predictor of bacterial vaginosis. In this study, “high fat” meant around 39% of energy from fat. That leaves 61% of energy from carbohydrate and protein, the kind of “high-fat, high-carb” Standard American No-Man’s-Land that’s landed the country in the current metabolic predicament. High-fat intakes in the presence of high-carb intakes may very well be bad for your vagina, but it says nothing about the likelihood of keto crotch.

At any rate, neither study was a controlled trial, so we can’t say anything about causality.

What about a yeast infection? The most common offender is candida, which usually favors sugar for fuel, but there’s also evidence that it can metabolize ketones. Could keto make a latent yeast infection worse and lead to smelly “keto crotch”?

Perhaps keto can make candida worse (that’s for another day), but that’s not the cause of “keto crotch.” Candida vagina infections don’t smell very much, if at all, and they certainly don’t smell “fishy.” That’s only caused by bacteria and the aforementioned amines they can produce.

Free glycogen levels in vaginal fluid are a strong predictor of bacterial vaginosis. If ample glycogen is available, the good lactic acid bacteria have plenty of food and produce plenty of lactic acid to maintain the acidic pH conducive to vaginal health. If inadequate glycogen is present, the lactic acid bacteria have less food and produce less lactic acid, increasing the chances of the pH tilting toward alkalinity. An alkaline vagina is a vagina where pathogenic bacteria—the ones that produce stinky amines—can establish themselves.

The question then is if ketogenic diets lower free glycogen in the vaginal fluid. That’s a fair question. I wasn’t able to find any solid answers. I guess “ketosis effect on vaginal glycogen” isn’t the most lucrative avenue of scientific inquiry.

Should I Worry?

Even assuming this is a real phenomenon, it’s a rare one. The vast, vast majority of people following a ketogenic diet aren’t coming down with keto crotch. Other than a few Reddit posts from the past 5 years, I haven’t seen anyone at all in our neck of the woods complain.

Maybe people doing Primal keto are eating more nutrient-dense ketogenic diets than people doing conventional (or caricature) keto. Salads, steaks, eggs, and lots of non-starchy veggies are a great way to stay keto and obtain micronutrients. And there are links between micronutrient status and bacterial vaginosis. The most common relevant deficiencies include vitamin D (correcting the deficiency can cure the vaginosis) and folate. Hard to get adequate folate if your diet is based on salami and cream cheese.

We also know that the health of your skin biome tracks closely with that of your gut, and that eating plenty of non-starchy veggies, fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc), and colorful produce can provide prebiotic fiber, prebiotic polyphenols, and probiotic bacteria that nourish your gut biome. If the vaginal biome is also connected to the gut biome (and it is), tending to the latter should also have positive effects on the former.

The Primal brand of keto tends to emphasize micronutrients and gut health a bit more than some other types of keto I see floating around. If—and it’s a very big “if”—keto crotch is legit, that may explain some of the discrepancy.

Finally, be sure to check out this very interesting Twitter thread where the author lays out his suspicions that the whole “keto crotch” phenomenon might be a manufactured stunt designed to vilify the ascendant ketogenic diet. Nothing definitive, but it’s certainly food for thought.

If You’re Concerned…

Okay. Say you’ve recently gone keto and your vagina is smellier than usual. (And you’ve ruled out other, more obvious potential causes like changes in soaps, etc.) It’s hard to ignore, and I wouldn’t want you to. What can you do?

  • Confirm that you have bacterial vaginosis. Seriously, get it checked out.
  • Make sure you’re getting enough folate and vitamin D. Supplement if need be.
  • Eat prebiotics and probiotics. Fermented food and/or a good probiotic supplement.
  • Try a carb refeed. If ketosis depletes vaginal glycogen and increases pH, the occasional carb refeed could restore glycogen by 30-50 grams and should do the trick. Note that this is entirely theoretical; I’m not saying it’s a “problem” on keto.
  • Hang out in the keto zone. I’ve written about the keto zone—that metabolic state where you’ve reached full keto and fat-adaptation and find yourself shifting in and out of ketosis as you please due to increased metabolic flexibility. A few carbs here, a fasting day there, a few more days of keto. Again, if full keto is theoretically depleting vaginal glycogen, maybe relaxing your restrictions will solve the issue while maintaining your fat adaptation. This is actually where I hang out most of the time.

That’s it for today, folks. Do you have “keto crotch”? Do you know anyone who does? Or did your vaginal health improve on keto? I’m curious to hear what everyone’s experiences have been, so don’t be shy.

Take care and be well.

References:

Thoma ME, Klebanoff MA, Rovner AJ, et al. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with variation in dietary indices. J Nutr. 2011;141(9):1698-704.

Kalra B, Kalra S. Vulvovaginitis and diabetes. J Pak Med Assoc. 2017;67(1):143-145.

Taheri M, Baheiraei A, Foroushani AR, Nikmanesh B, Modarres M. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency is an effective method in the elimination of asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis: A placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Indian J Med Res. 2015;141(6):799-806.

Dunlop AL, Taylor RN, Tangpricha V, Fortunato S, Menon R. Maternal vitamin D, folate, and polyunsaturated fatty acid status and bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:216217.

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86 thoughts on “The Curious Phenomenon of “Keto Crotch””

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  1. I don’t think anyone should be getting their panties in a bunch over this.

  2. Bacterial vaginosis in a SAD setting doesn’t seem to explain so-called “keto crotch.” I am carnivore and was keto for a year before that, and my kid sometimes reports that my armpits smell like bacon. I think I do have more “meatiness” in my aroma. If I do go off carnivore/keto (looking at you, Nutella), my ‘pits smell horrifying, but no noticeable changes in the groin.

    An ex-bf tried keto for 6 weeks or so during which time I thought he smelled a lot like salami, but that was his breath.

    1. Your sweat glands are an avenue for getting rid of waste, but not your vagina. KC is nonsense.

  3. Megan, very interesting. I have encountered some (male) clients in my massage practice who are seriously keto and before I knew this about them, I noticed an odor that was very much like “salami”. Glad it wasn’t just some weird thing with my sense of smell (though I haven’t entirely ruled that out).

    1. So glad to hear other reports of this! I think I find this comforting because I have a very keen sense of smell and had thought it was just an olfactory hypersensitivity on my end; but it’s not just me!

    2. So, do you think it’s possible that someone who smells like salami…. Eats more salami? :). Just noting that, when switching to something like keto, some people actually *do* eat a whole lot more of things like processed meats because they’re convenient snacks in lieu of crackers and cookies. I don’t know if I have a salami-like odor, but I have probably eaten a lot more packaged meats and things since going keto.

      Just saying i’m pretty sure any “smelly” food one hikes ones intake of, can make them smell like it (onions? garlic? etc etc)

      1. You know, he wasn’t eating any salami. But he was eating a fair amount of bacon… Maybe that did it.

        When I was breastfeeding my kid, I increased my fish oil supplementation, and sometimes my milk smelled a little like fish. End result? Salmon is one of my kid’s absolute favorite foods.

  4. This doesn’t have any thing to do about “Keto crotch”, but could you answer a question for me? If you are an Insulin dependent , will the Keto diet. Be safe for you.?

    1. Yes! It is VERY good for your blood sugar levels. And will lower your sugar spikes and bring your A1C way down which will have you cut your insulin way back etc….

    2. Carol, thanks for your question. I can’t give medical advice here, so I’m afraid I can’t give a definitive answer. This article looks at some broad studies and trends – however – people are different. There are nuances to their health conditions and personal responses to a keto regimen. I wholeheartedly recommend that those who have diabetes and want to try keto do so with the knowledge and observation of their physicians.

    3. Read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. He recommends about 30 grams of carbs per day for diabetics. I would paleofy his recommended foods though.

  5. Dear Mark,
    I’ve been keto for one year and took a blood test.
    My cholesterol is 346. Never had high c before. Before keto I was vegetarian, lots of grains etc. so, at age 66? What’s a girl to do?
    Nancy Zi

    1. Get your thyroid checked. My cholesterol is inversely proportional to my FT3/FT4. If my thyroid function is low, my cholesterol is sky high. Also be sure you are getting enough calories. Restriction can suppress thyroid function.

    2. Nancy, some people are hyper-responders because of various genetic nuances. I talk more about that in this post, Is Keto Bad For Cholesterol? (as do commenters on the comment board for it). While keto is a great tool for most people, it’s not the best choice for everyone. I can’t give medical advice, so I’d suggest talking to your doctor about your concerns and requesting a more nuanced lipid panel to fill out the picture more.

    3. Stay on Keto. but low fat. That’s what i do. You’ll still lose the weight. This high fat diet can kill you especially if your over 50.

    4. Stay on Keto. but low fat. That’s what i do. You’ll still lose the weight. This high fat diet can kill you especially if your over 50.

    5. Almost all studies done with regards to cholesterol and heart disease were done on men, and then assumed to apply to women. Those studies also only showed that people with high cholesterol die from heart disease more often…while ignoring the people died from everything else less often. The few studies done on women showed that higher cholesterol was a GOOD thing. Overall cholesterol number doesnt mean much, you need to look at your HDL and LDL, and really, though the test is never done, you need to test if you have large fluffy cholesterol (good) or small dense cholesterol (bad, it’s the stuff that gets stuck and clogs arteries). It’s not eating fat that leads to the bad small dense cholesterol, it’s sugar.

  6. PLEASE – Don’t buy into this CRUD- t”s
    RIDICULOUS- I’ve been around. TOO MANY. of us on KETO- doesn’t happen- The ONLY plausible
    Possibility is. FLU. KNOWN. AS KETO FLU-That I believe one in my family experienced- She doesn’t believe it, I haven’t I haven’t asked her, but she was down
    6 weeks- TOO LONG- Look up on Goole, Keto Flu-

  7. Hey, nothing to do with crotch stuff, but whatever happened to the “eat a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses” every day? I started that a few years ago. What gives?

  8. Hi Mark, no Keto crouch. But I have had this problem in the past. After every kind of research on line a douch with hydrogen peroxide 1 to 12 of spring water then the yoghurt pessary clears it up. The peroxide makes the environment acid again the yoghurt puts the good bacteria in. You need both.Sorry it was a while ago and I can’t remember the research paper.

    1. I got a series of infections from using yogurt this way (years ago now). Yogurt contains Staph and yes it can become a pathogen when directly applied to your lady parts. And it did. I had to have several rounds of silver sulfadiazine treatments to clear it up finally. Extremely painful. Don’t apply yogurt directly. There are probiotic pills without staph you can open if you absolutely must directly apply something. Where do these rumors get started?!

    2. That’s garden-variety vaginosis or trichomoniasis, no doubt. There’s no such thing as KC.

  9. Funny that I’ve been following you for many years Mark, and my first comment is on “Keto Crotch”! Ha ha – Anyway – Since switching to a Primal diet, and then to Keto, I’ve actually seen a decrease in “vaginal issues.” I used to have yeast infections a few times a year along with issues like urinary tract-infections and ovarian pain. (The doctors said I had cysts that were bursting, and they would “go away” on their own. OUCH!) I’m happy to say those issues have disappeared with the change in diet. I am now hanging out in “the zone” after being Keto for quite some time, and I continue to have ZERO issues.

  10. Could this be related to fishy smelling PENIS from keto/paleo?

    Seems that on days when breath smells of ketones, penis will often smell so fishy that washing with antibacterial soap is required to remove smell.

    Anyone else with the same experience, and perhaps better solutions?

  11. This whole thing is fake. It was started by a PR firm that represents weight watchers.

  12. This is not a thing. It’s just a scare tactic to try and keep people away from keto. Not sure why anyone goes out of their way to try and dissuade people from it, but articles like this make their way around the internet almost verbatim. Lazy ‘journalism’.

  13. Anyone that writes about this trash and those who believe it are gullible morons. This term was brought to you by the sugar dealers / weight watchers / paid Drs. This is not real.

  14. Or….just eat clean well balanced meals…and not worry about any of these fad diet problems….losing weight is not rocket science.

  15. I most assuredly have experienced the stinky nether region! I didn’t know what was happening to me. I stopped Keto it went away. I gained some weight, started Keto and it’s back!!!! It’s real. I’m 67 years old. I’m not sexually active. I haven’t had anything like this in at least a dozen or more years. I will follow your suggestions and add folate, vitamin D and probiotics.
    Please respond to me. Thank you.

    1. Joyce, see how the full list of suggestions here work for you (including scaling back carb restriction while you work on balancing things out), but also be sure to check in with your physician. Best to you — M

  16. Mark, you mention a great deal about keto crotch in women. What about men?

  17. Not sure if this is happening to some Keto dieters, but ppeople with trimethylaminuria often smell “fishy”, because they can’t process trimethylamine correctly. Perhaps the Keto diet is high in foods containing it?

  18. These “keto crotch” articles have proven to be a hoax to discredit the ketogenic lifestyle as it’s taking business away from long-standing diet giants. I’ve been on the keto journey for 6 months now. If anything, I smell better. 🙂

  19. Hi there ~

    Read this with some interested and amusement. The focus on vaginosis does not seem to address the experience of Mark and Brad apparently reeking to high heaven of old fish. Would love to see a broader discussion of this admittedly fringe topic, rather than one that continues the dominant cultural meme of making women feel uncomfortable about their bodies! Thank you!

    1. I’m a woman and at no time did I feel uncomfortable with this article. In today’s internet, a person has to be able to spot a hoax and that’s what I think this is.

    2. lulu, the beginning section was only for purposes of satire. Neither Brad or I have experienced any negative changes from keto. As for the rest, I can’t say for certain (although I have my suspicions) whether this “keto crotch” hype was purposely manufactured, but if it was…it’s particularly unfortunate that women’s physical self-confidence has been the target.

    3. If Mark and Brad are reeking, it’s nothing to do with so-called keto crotch. Sometimes eating particular foods makes you smell, but that’s coming out of your pores or your breath. The vagina isn’t a conduit for releasing toxins (menstrual blood isn’t a toxin, just unused tissue), it is not a site of sweat glands. If something is coming out in crotch sweat, that would apply equally to men and women. All the KC articles are targeting women and their vaginas, and it’s bogus.

      1. “All the KC articles are targeting women and their vaginas, and it’s bogus.”

        Aaaaand just wait for 2-3 more months and:
        “EUREKA! There’s now a DRUG REGIMEN for KC!!! Just $420 a YEAR for women (men CAN take it, but may not “need” to)”…

        So: roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour!!

  20. I have been on the keto diet for nearly three years, and have had Type 1, insulin dependent diabetes for over forty years. From my own experience, going keto was the best thing I’ve ever done. My blood glucose levels are now stable instead of yoyo-ing constantly. I’m able to do things now that I haven’t been able to in years (long drives alone, hiking, skiing, etc.) because I no longer have to worry about sudden low blood sugar. As for keto crotch, I have not experienced anything of the sort. I do notice that my urine occasionally smells stronger than usual, so that may be why some people are confused. With proper hygiene, this shouldn’t be an issue.

  21. LOL best laugh I’ve had in a while. It’s a hoax. I’m pretty sure it’s part of the general desperate fight to keep control of the narrative that cholesterol causes heart disease and therefore you should take your statins. If so it’s a malevolent trick because so many people feel much better and even cure diseases (like I cured PCOS) with the keto diet. If something heretofore unknown helps people, the correct response is to study it, not to smear it with foolishness.

  22. I am a Keto eater and I am truly sick of seeing this. I makes people look at you funny now when you say that you eat keto. Doesn’t anyone keep anything private anymore?! If you are eating asparagus that is what it is. Don’t you know that asparagus makes even a man smell funky! Seriously, get over it and move on with yourself.

    1. Tonya, asparagus contains sulphur compounds that can briefly give the urine a peculiar but not fishy odor. It doesn’t make the crotch smell fishy on a continuing basis. This is apparently a real occurrence for some people and has nothing to do with asparagus.

  23. How on earth did a post about two men with smelly crotches turn into a post about vaginosis? They don’t have vaginas…………..

  24. Wow! how did keto crotch, which is mostly experienced by men, as reported and noticed by my friends who are on the diet and have spouses on the diet, become about women in this article. I think you missed the point here Mark. Keto Krotch is the distinct odor that comes off of men on the keto diet who btw have croch odor just like women do. Hmm? How about starting there Mr. Stinky Pants. P.S. it is not a new phenomenon either… time to get a whiff of reality.

    1. Haha, something in this comment stinks, that’s for sure. So now it’s only men who get it… stay tuned for the evolving story. Rats, they saw through our stinky vagina story.. quick, switch it to men!

  25. The keto diet began as a medical diet. It also happens to be good for weight loss as well as various health issues. For people who are healthy, with no real issues, and are of normal weight, keto is a FAD. It also doesn’t always work as advertised, particularly for women. That’s because people aren’t all alike.

    If it works for you, fine, but anyone experiencing keto crotch or any other adverse affects would probably do well to take the hint your body is giving you and BACK OFF a little. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a more moderate approach, such as 80/20 or 90/10 Paleo (which is what this website started out to be before it got hijacked by keto).

    It isn’t necessarily a terrific idea to spend the rest of one’s life solidly in ketosis just because it’s the in thing to do.

    1. Lol, I still cant stop laughing!!!! I know lots of people on keto and have yet to hear them talk about fake keto crotch.
      I can’t stand the daily fake agenda of these greedy corporations. This one was good for a laugh though.

  26. keto crouch, thats funny…has anyone considered the obvious…the huge amount of liguid intake for those who fast increases bathroom trips…so.if your not being. hygienically.. is that a word…careful each trip you might find yourself a little funky over time.

  27. Hi! Ive been practising keto and if for the last 2 months and i am having a problem with my vagina so smell stinky and i went to the doctor and she said it was uti. Then i took medicine for a week now and it just minimal the pain and smell. Now i read this blog. I remember last last year i practice keto i had bacterial vagionasis back then. Now i realised maybe this is true! Because of keto thingy.

  28. Wait. So let me see if I have this straight. People are suggesting that going Keto is bad because it might make a woman’s, er, hoo-hah smell bad? Is that really the crux of it? (Please say no.) I think we may have reached the point where the desperation of those married to the high-carb way of life has crested. Next week: Citations from a lost book of the Bible will proclaim, “Keto was invented by Satan!”

  29. I did follow a strict Keto diet (20 grams of carbs per day max) for over two years. During that time I enjoyed many benefits including lower blood sugar, good blood lipids, weight loss & more. But I was plagued with debilitating muscle cramps, difficulty sleeping and Keto Crotch. I did see a doc about the latter with no findings supporting bacteria, yeast or anything of that nature. I eventually quit Keto and all the negative symptoms ended, but all the positive benefits ended also. I am just back into Keto again and eating more of the non starchy veggies to see how that goes? My one possible theory is something to do with the ph of urine and possibly even skin? I’d like to understand the cause because itching can be very annoying to say the least!

    1. If you had muscle cramps, you probably weren’t getting enough salt, magnesium, or other electrolytes. Please read The Salt Fix; it will cure you of thinking you should ever cut back on salt.

      If you’re experiencing itching and odor from your vagina, that sounds like candidiasis or some kind of vaginosis. If your doctor can’t find that, something’s wrong with the doctor. “Keto Crotch” was made up by Edelman PR and launched to the world in February one big blitz of paid-for informercial-type “articles” by fake journalists. See the chart on John Zahori’s twitter feed. I’ll try to link it here:
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D066rAZVsAAhkkT.png

  30. I have been keto for over a year, I feel that my body odors have changed. I am self conscious about it and shower twice a day. I think Keto Crotch is a thing for some people. My sweat smells differently as well.

  31. Hi Mark
    I’m 69 and have been on a keto eating plan for two years. Prior I had been having frequent uti’s which I was told happened to older women (!!!)
    Once I restricted carbs and fruit I initially had more urinary tract infections. I self diagnosed and decided all the latent bacteria was being flushed out. Since then I’ve not had a hint of infection. Older (which I don’t consider myself) women do not have to have uti’s frequently.
    As for Keto Crotch -no. Only thing I notice is on full ketogenic days my urine certainly has a different smell.
    I love reading your articles and insights. You are balanced and you enjoy your morning coffee?

  32. One explanation I’ve heard is that the popularity of Keto is denting the bottom lines of the processed food industry, big agra and the grain and industrial seed lobbies (many of whom are behind the new Vegan agenda). Keto crotch is therefore a manufactured scare story designed to push people back to their degenerative, high-profit foods.

  33. You’re usually pretty on it, Mark. But, giving this story anymore legs is a big mistake when it was an obvious hit job on keto and low-carb communities. The way to fight back against these sham problems is to ridicule them. They are clearly trying to body shame women into joining Weight Watchers or stay on their diabetes meds. Please learn to see through this garbage and don’t dignify it with analysis. That is their goal!

    1. “You’re usually pretty on it, Mark. … this story … was an obvious hit job on keto and low-carb communities. The way to fight back against these sham problems is to ridicule them.”

      Uh, did you not actually read Mark’s blog entry?! He IS ridiculing it! And brilliantly too!

  34. BV (bacterial vaginosis) is one of the top reasons women visit their GYN. It’s a big problem and a lot of women don’t talk about it due to embarrassment and a lack of understanding as to why it’s happening. Most women who suffer, get it repeatedly. Western docs answer is to load you up with antibiotics which may give temporary relief, but don’t solve the problem (and obviously can make things worse by killing off good bacteria). And back to back courses of antibiotics (as everyone knows) can wreak tremendous havoc on your body. An extremely effective homeopathic remedy is to use boric acid, which you can buy in bulk on amazon. Fill a supplement-sized capsule (you can also buy the empty capsules on Amazon), insert overnight into the vagina, and your problem will be gone by morning. Some severe cases may take two nights of dosing, but one night typically does the trick. Works like a charm in returning vaginas back to a healthy acidic PH and all odor will be gone. You may notice a watery (neutral-smelling) discharge the following day, as the offending bacteria leave the body. A panty liner may be a good idea.

    Regardless of the cause of BV, it’s a real problem that many women have great angst over (who can have any sexual confidence if you’re always worrying about how you smell “down there?”). And the BV syndrome/cycle can go on for years (new sexual partners are a common culprit for some reason). There are homeopathic OTC products for BV whose sole ingredient is boric acid, but they are wildly expensive (about $25 for just two vaginal suppositories). Much easier and cheaper to make at home and use as needed. A bottle of boric acid will set you back about $7 (and will provide hundreds of doses to kill that nasty BV).

    This is a tried and true home remedy that is very safe and highly effective.

    Safety tip: Be sure to mark an “X” on your boric acid capsules with a sharpie. They can easily be confused with a regular supplement (i.e. magnesium) and you don’t want to get them mixed up.

  35. Never heard of it. Been on keto since 2013. Vj smells you got other problems. My main issues are muscle cramps. The tweet thread was a telling story.

    1. If you are getting muscle cramps, try adding salt to your diet, and some magnesium. If the cramping continues, back off the keto a bit for now, and then move back to it more gradually, letting your body adjust.

  36. This so called phenomenon is ridiculous! This is simply an overgrowth yeast infection. Most Americans are addicted to sugar, and when doing a “Keto Diet”, the overgrowth is due simply because of the extra sugar stored in the kidneys, and liver. When all of that fungus dies, due to lack of eating sugar, because that’s what they eat to keep alive they will die off. If this condition persists see a health care provider for treatment. Incidentally, Cancer it’s distant cousin also eats the sugar in the body. As gross as that sounds people still shove the sugar in through processed foods. As a nutritionist, witnessing people die of a “sweet death is disturbing to say the least. Stay away from the sugar…

  37. Hey Mark,
    I am near completion of a keto diet survey. Of the over 600 responses, less than 4% said they had experienced ‘keto crotch.’ I added the.question to the survey after it blew up in the media a couple weeks ago.

    Here’s a link to the survey if others would like to further our knowledge about keto. https://ucachbs.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_er1FCXN8LF6GSOx

    JJ Mayo, PhD, RDN

  38. Grapefruit and the seeds of a grapefruit can kill fungas in that area.
    As well as clove oil in that area or just adding Clive spice to some drinks will make the body smell nice especially in the crotch area

  39. I agree with those who think this whole keto crotch is bs and fake. It’s just another example of someone, somewhere, trying to throw negative agitprop to derail a trend they don’t like for whatever reason. I remember reading a book by Dean Ornish back in the 1980s, and he claimed that people who eat meat have an off-putting smell about them.. Then there was the “news” a few years ago that men who have beards also have fecal matter in their beards. This keto crotch myth is similar agitprop in my opinion. Disregard.

  40. What about high protein keto? A lot of people that frequent the gym or have busy life styles eat a lot of chicken and fish(cheap, easy, full of protein). The research that my wife has done, seems to lean towards micronutrients. Neither has the micronutrients that beef has and a high diet of chicken/fish could potentially lead to deficiencies if one is not supplementing. I mostly just listen to whatever video my wife is watching and discuss it with her, I’m by no means a professional.

    I’m down 100lbs in 10 months and feeling much better overall and I’m not even strict keto(Paleo I guess is the term. Red/Sweet potatoes are my downfall) I need to be more strict. My wife lost 125lbs in a little over a year. She maintained keto during pregnancy and breast feeding. Very smooth pregnancy and he literally fell out before the doctor could make it to the hospital. She pushed 3 times and was told to stop. He came anyhow. 9lbs 8ounces. He has mostly ate the same diet as I have and he is healthy. 14 months and nearly out of 3T.

    Her feet smell a little funky when she hits ketosis, but not once has her lady parts smelled off. She has been keto for 3 years(Not always strict). I’ve had to lean towards it due to her diet at home, but I’m on the move for work and wasn’t sticking to anything resembling healthy away from home. I only went strong the last 10 months and it has whatever you call eggs/meat and potatoes.

  41. Exactly the opposite.
    Candida overgrowth, repetitive UTIs, and vaginosis – was extremely uncomfortable and debilitating – was the very reason I started eating paleo 11 years ago. And it helped immensely! I have tested a few times over the years if it b want just me imagining things, by doing back to SAD diet, and all the ailments immediately come back.
    I have thought about writing one of those Friday sizes stories about it, but, you know, writing about your crotch health for the world to google…

  42. Mark,
    As a long term Miamian you’re in for a surprise if you’ve got a moist nether region now. Wait till August. You can barley peel the underwear off and going commando isn’t much better. You’ll get used to it or not. The people who don’t usually leave. To put a positive on it the water is warmer here and the high humidity keeps the skin looking young. You can easily shave off a good 10 years on age appearance by moving from CA or CO to FL.

  43. Wow! Such absolute nonsense!! If anything, a ketogenic diet protects against yeast infections. The SAD diet, with high sugar/high carbs encourages yeast like crazy. I think this is just a reaction against the popularity of the keto diet.
    And as to smelliness, and the soap change comment, soap should NOT be used on mucosa! Sure, use gentle, unscented soap on all the bits on the outer surfaces. But for the mucosa, rinse well with warm water, and rub the warm water between all the creases to wash away old discharge and dead skin (which is what causes smelliness). And if you are prone to yeast, use lightly salted warm water (~1 tsp. salt to a quart of warm water) Salt discourages yeast.

  44. I would have to agree that Keto crotch sounds far-fetched.
    I am commenting because of another odor issue, and it’s one I and some friends have experienced.
    Taking higher than RDA doses of vitamin B-12 can contribute to being a bit on the stinky side in the panty area.
    I bought an “over 55” women’s multi-vitamin/mineral supplement when the regular women’s vitamins weren’t available.
    After about a week of taking them, I noticed enough of a smell that I went to see my gynecologist. While she said everything seemed fine, I was quite bothered by the smell and was changing underwear several times a day at work.
    It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later when I was suggesting to a client that she take vitamin B-12 to cut down on the number of mosquito bites she tends to suffer when camping, which is a trick that I learned years before, that I thought of the new vitamin supplement I was taking.
    I checked the bottle and, yes, there was a very high dose in the mix.
    Within a few days of discontinuing the vitamins, everything went back to a very pleasant fragrance free condition.
    I’m writing this in hopes that any ladies experiencing concern over odors might check out any supplements they’re taking.

  45. Is it possible the odor is coming from a breakdown of excess dietary amino acids into amines or ammonia in the kidneys? Amines have a terrible fishy odor.

    1. When I say excess protein I am thinking maybe 2x the recommended amount? How easy it would be to consume twice as much protein as needed for months on end… Maybe eventually
      overwhelms the liver and kidneys and body can’t convert to urea and excretes in the form of ammonia/amines. Just a thought….