Lepro / Getty
Lepro / Getty
If you've heard of the trendy ketogenic diet, you've probably heard of some side effects of the low-carbohydrate and high-fat nutritional strategy. At the "Keto flu" about bad breath, diarrhea or constipation is not lacking in them. But the last alleged side effect is in its own league. Some women claim that keto has led to a phenomenon called "keto-step" ̵
It is important to note that there is no scientific evidence to support the assumption that a woman's diet affects the vaginal odor, but it has been discussed for years in keto-centered forums at sites such as Reddit. And the fact that there is no evidence does not necessarily mean that female keto dieters can not experience something.
"Nobody knows if this is a real keto diet," Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, opposite Health . "Anecdotally, there have been many reports over the years that diet may affect vaginal odor, but it has never been studied."
Although there is no research supporting the existence of keto-step, diet can definitely influence how breath, puke, and piss affect the odor, if you anticipate it. That's because the entire diet aims to achieve ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates.
If you're in a ketosis, your body will produce more ketones (chemicals like acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone), so of course you'll expose more of them, according to Women's Health . It is the acetone that leaks through the mouth and causes the breath of keto dieticians to take on a nail polish remover-like odor as their body adapts to the diet.
Despite its side effects, the keto diet has been praised by numerous nutritionists and fitness authorities – including us – for their weight loss benefits, and there is no denying that if done properly and monitored by a doctor, done the job done. However, it is important that you discuss with your doctor if you have unusual side effects. And for a subject like the keto step, you should contact a gynecologist to make sure everything is healthy down there.
For more information about the Keto diet, see our explanation program and tips on how to do it right.