Q & A

Q & A

This page as an open thread for reader questions, especially questions about personal health concerns.

I am putting this page up as a way to share knowledge — my knowledge with questioners, but also so that others with similar concerns can read the conversation, and readers with relevant knowledge can chip in with their own thoughts.

Please keep in mind that I can’t research questions in any depth, so my answers should be considered tentative, incomplete, and subject to later correction. Also, I am not a doctor, and nothing I say should be construed as a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. I am only sharing opinions about disease origins and general therapeutic strategies which may or may not be applicable in any given case.

To get the page started, I’ll put up a few questions from recent emails. Here is an index by disease, with clickable links:

And here are my answers.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)


Been following your work on the PHD before the publication of the book and commented on my CLL and the usefulness of Vitamin D once on your blog and you responded to keep an eye on my Vitamin K intake, which I do now.. Am fortunate in a way to have my form of CLL as it indolent which gives me the opportunity to experiment without the pressure of undergoing conventional treatment. The PHD, I think, is helpful in this regard.

Wonder if you could point anything out to me that may be useful. Anything at all. And I will be happy to share with you my results.

Surely you know of the helpfulness of green tea with CLL. You may not be familiar with research that points out that those with low levels of Vitamin D need treatment for CLL far sooner than those with elevated levels.

Feel strongly that your version of a ketogenic diet would be helpful but also feel I need some direction in this area. Do you have any suggestions?

Warmest Regards,


Hi A,

I remember your comment, thanks for writing back. I’m glad you’re enjoying our diet and wish you the best.

Thanks for the tips about green tea and vitamin D. Neither one surprises me.

Most likely CLL is caused by a viral infection. So enhancing viral immunity is probably a good idea. Good strategies may include: (1) low-protein dieting, which inhibits viral reproduction and can promote autophagy; (2) maintaining high vitamin D levels; and (3) intermittent fasting, which promotes autophagy.

Some food compounds have been reported to have antiviral effects. An example is green tea catechins, eg http://pmid.us/16137775, http://pmid.us/18313149, and http://pmid.us/18363746, and this could be why green tea is helpful against cancers, http://pmid.us/21595018, which are usually viral in origin.

I might search Pubmed for herbs and spices with antiviral effects, and use them abundantly in cooking, along with antiviral foods. Turmeric / curcumin is a good choice, this needs to be taken with black pepper to enter the body. See http://pmid.us/21299124, http://pmid.us/20434445, http://pmid.us/20026048.

Coconut oil / lauric acid also has some antiviral properties, so inducing ketosis with coconut oil could benefit you even aside from the ketosis. You could also try monolaurin supplements which may enter the body better and which some people have reported to help viral infections.

You might also try HDL-raising tactics as discussed in this series: HDL and Immunity, April 12; HDL: Higher is Good, But is Highest Best?, April 14; How to Raise HDL, April 20.

Another possible tactic is high-dose riboflavin with UV exposure on the eyes. This requires going outdoors at midday and not wearing glasses or contact lenses. Riboflavin+UV is toxic to blood-borne viruses, and the retina is a location where UV can reach circulating blood cells. Sun exposure will also help you optimize vitamin D.

That’s a few ideas, at some point I’ll do some research to come up with more and do a blog post. Do keep me posted on your results!

Best, Paul

Bloating, acid reflux, anxiety, depression, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, fatigue

Just came upon your website and had a question for you. I have had some health concerns for the last four years, bloating, acid reflux, anxiety, depression, hypoglycemia symptoms, female complaints (I am in my forties), thyroid antibodies at 333, weight gain around my middle and too tired to work out like I once did. I used to be fikiiled with energy and great health no depression or anxiety. My doctor thinks these symtoms are all from peri-menopause and wants to treat me with Zoloft.

Needless to say I have tried to avoid the Zoloft. I have tired every avenue out there to cure myself. Most recently the Primal type diet. When I eat no grains or dairy I get horrible hypoglycemia symptoms and don’t feel great like everyone else on a low carb diet. I feel weak and more anxious. Do you think your diet would be easier for me with the addition of rice and potatoes?


Hi G,

Yes, I do think our diet will be better for you. You should eat enough starches to avoid hypoglycemia.

The key thing for you is treating the infections which are consuming so much glucose and making you glucose-deficient if you don’t eat enough carbs. Whatever pathogen(s) this is, it seems to have infected your gut and caused the various gut problems; circulating pathogen-derived toxins and immune cytokines are probably responsible for the anxiety and depression. Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism may be either due to circulating toxins or a thyroid infection.

I would suspect some kind of protozoal or parasitic infection due to the hypoglycemia, but what I really recommend is getting your doctor to have a stool sample analyzed for pathogens. Metametrix has a good test. Once you know what pathogen to treat, and get on a better diet like ours, you should improve quickly.


I am writing on behalf of my mother … We live in Dhaka Bangladesh …

Before her illness, my mom was 105 lbs, 5 feet tall and always 10ft tall in spirit…. When she was diagnosed with Lupus at the age of 30, we were all overwhelmed and out of our depths. My beautiful, athletic mother was in a wheelchair and given 6 months to live….

The doctors has advised her to eat literally nothing, minimum protein (1 small piece of chicken/fish, limited to 20g protein per day), only 2-3 types of vegetable and 2-3 fruits and of course lots of carbs to apparently compensate for her failing KIDNEY and LUPUS. She is on tons of medication, no food except the wrong foods (carbs) and in chronic pain. She currently weighs 139 lbs.

Please advise. — S

Hi S,

I believe lupus is a catch-all diagnosis for a variety of conditions which are probably caused by undiagnosed infections. In the US the infections are usually bacterial. I’ve known several people with diagnosed lupus who were cured by antibiotic treatments – in one case the problem was Lyme disease (Borrelia). I have no idea what the likely pathogens would be in Bangladesh. If she does better on low carb and coconut oil, that indicates bacteria; if she does better on high-carb, that indicates protozoa.

A healthy diet is very important. It is very bad advice to “eat literally nothing,” it is essential to be well nourished. Protein is necessary for healing and immune function, and 20 g/day is too little. Fasting is good, but it should be intermittent – not starvation! She needs healthy fats, more protein, and lots of micronutrients. Eggs, shellfish, seafood, bone broth soups, vegetable soups, and fermented vegetables may all be helpful. Coconut milk is probably good for her. You should basically follow the program in our book.

I would try to put her on a good diet, give her a little time for kidneys and other tissues to heal, and then try antimicrobial medicines. Usually, if they’re not working, then you don’t notice an effect. Any strong effect, good or bad, means they are working. Bad effects mean that pathogens are dying and releasing a lot of toxins as they disintegrate. If this occurs, detox aids (salt, water, and one of cholestyramine/charcoal/bentonite clay; also glutathione supports and vitamin C) will help.

Please stay in touch and let me know how things go.

Best, Paul


Jersie wrote:

I’ve suffered from depression for decades. A few months ago, I decided to try the Dr. Kruse protocol for jumpstarting leptin sensitivity and 2 interesting things happened.

When I went very low carb – below 50 gm -. I had half-day periods where the depression suddenly lifted (something that has rarely happened otherwise). However, I also suffered from darker than normal periods.

I stopped the Dr. Kruse protocol after 6 weeks, and went back to regular paleo (approx. 200 – 300 gm. Carb/day). I’m now generally more depressed than usual, without the good periods.

These changes seem to indicate that I can have an influence on my depression with diet, but not sure what diet to try. Thoughts?

Hi Jersie,

I think your experience on very low carb is diagnostically telling.

I would interpret it this way:

  1. Your depression is caused by an interferon-gamma mediated immune response in the brain, probably caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This leads to tryptophan being directed away from serotonin and toward the kynurenine pathway. So you have a serotonin deficiency and kynurenine excess.
  2. A ketogenic diet is both therapeutic (promotes immunity against bacterial and viral infections) and mood-improving (clears kynurenine).
  3. However, you are at risk for hypoglycemia in the brain (especially if the infection is bacterial) and hypoglycemia causes irritability/anxiety and can aggravate depression.

So the very low-carb diet had mixed effects (ketosis, hypoglycemia).

What I would do is follow our ketogenic diet advice. Eat at least 50 g/day carbs from starches to get sufficient glucose, plus sufficient protein to reach 600 calories/day protein+carb, but add in large amounts of MCT oil or coconut oil. Also, do intermittent fasting – eat all the carbs within an 8-hour window; eat at least half the MCT oil in the 16-hour fasting window.

Once on a good diet, I might experiment with antibiotics to see if they relieve symptoms.

Please let me know how things go.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hello and thank you for your book. It has been very helpful. I have a quick and impactful question (for me, anyway).

    Any time I take a spoonful of coconut oil without mixing it in cooked food, I get terrible GI discomfort and diarrhea (basically taking it like a pill).

    As I am on an operational U.S. naval warship, my diet options are limited and supplementing with lots of coconut oil would be very helpful if it didn’t cause this problem.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks again,

    • Hi Douglas,

      A few people have reported that problem but I’m still not sure what causes it.

      If you would like to play detective, try supplementing vitamin C and taurine (for bile creation) or taking the coconut oil along with an oxbile supplement.

      Also, I would try getting some MCT oil from Amazon and see if that gives the same problem.

      Best, Paul

    • Douglas I get that too. Sometimes it causes nausea. But I found a way to stop it.

      I hate the taste of virgin coconut oil in savory food, so I bought the cold-pressed organic REFINED version (no taste or smell) and mix a tablespoon of it into my dinner – the heat melts the coconut oil into my food, it doesn’t change the taste of the food and I don’t get GI discomfort from it.

      When I’m on the run, I mix it with a warm cup of tea (or any warm beverage like hot chocolate, coffee, etc etc) and drink that up. Drinking it with something also stops nausea, and it goes down better than a solid spoon of fat in my mouth 🙂

      • Thanks Syl. I’ve tried putting it in warm/hot liquid drinks without much help, but mixing it with food seems to do the trick. The difficulty is that I need to take 8-10tbsp per day to compensate for the lack of quality food I have access to. This makes putting it on food limiting.

  2. Here is my question. I went paleo, low carb, and got a bad taste in my mouth. I reversed it by adding in yams. Then I found your diet and found it to be so much more intriguing that I tried it. I am still staying ketogenic because I have Lyme’s disease, and the bad taste in my mouth has come back. Any way to get rid of this? Also, insomnia seems to follow along with it.

    • Have you checked your blood sugar when you have the bad taste in your mouth? I get a bad taste in my mouth when my blood sugar is low, or even the low end of normal sometimes(less than 75). For the bad taste itself, peppermint gum, candy, or peppermint water all work well.

      • Also- insomnia is a symptom of being in ketosis. Dr. Eades suggests having some carbs before bed to take you out of ketosis just enough to fall asleep. This works for me.

  3. Hi Paul and others,

    I was wondering if you had any knowledge of whether there is a link between ‘foamy urine’ and electrolyte/mineral balance?

    I’ve noticed for the past couple months that when i go for a number 1 the bowl of water, particularly first toilet trip in the morning, is really foamy and bubbly. I’ve had my urine tested once for protein, it apparantley was fine but i still have this. I am wondering whether it could be a sign of alkaline/acid balance or mineral/electrolyte balance issue. I noticed for the past 2 days i’ve been really trying to watch my intake of calcium, potassium and magnesium as i think i’m deficient in on or more and noticed on a couple occasions foam was reduced…

    I’ll be ordering your book sometime this week as i’d like to learn more on your take of what a healhty diet consists of.

  4. I have been diagnosed with H. Pylori. I tried the combination of antibiotics (Amoxicillan & Clarithromycin) and after 2 doses was violently ill and had to stop taking. Is there a natural remedy to clear up H. Pylori?

    • Mario Iwakura

      If they will clear up h pylori, I don’t know, but certanly there are some alternatives to control the infection, like:



      some herbs:


      And some condiments, like turmeric, cumin, ginger, etc:


    • Anne, cranberry capsules/tablets may help. Something in the berries prevents the adhesion of H. pylori in the stomach lining. And it works really well for urinary tract infections too.

      Cranberry juice may also help, but only if it’s just the juice without sugar (maybe try the sugar-free version). OceanSpray usually has sugar – and sugar will make your infection worse – I speak from experience.

      Here’s the study on H. pylori and cranberry: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15810945

      • George Henderson

        Further, hibiscus tea is cheaper than cranberry and has the same activity against adhesive bacteria.
        However, H. Pylori is also considered by some an “old friend” commensal with immune benefits, that becomes pathogenic in some conditions.

        Others are skeptical: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/1/1/24

        • Yah, I recall reading an article in the NY Times that referred to H. Pylori an old friend. Additionally, it related the eradication of H.Pylori with obesity because of decreased Ghrelin. I didn’t give it much thought until I read this thread. A quick search turned up a lot of papers speculating that Ghrelin and H.Pylori are in fact intertwined. Here is one such example: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/90/1/10.abstract

    • I have read that Mastic Gum helps, as well as berries containing ellagic acid (especially raspberries).

      • But then again, here’s a study that says that mastic gum didn’t help:


        • I tested positive for h pylori and used mastic gum. After one month to six weeks( can’t remember exactly, I tested negative on the breath test. If I feel symptoms , I take it for a month or so. Worked for me twice in 10 years .

          • Good to hear. I had read reports that mastic gum was effective against h. pylori, so was surprised to see the study indicating it didn’t help (though the study only had nine participants). Maybe it works on some strains but not others?

    • Iodine – http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/heli-pylori-eng.php

      Iodine kills most pathogens, a desirable outcome considering that h. pylori has been implicated in stomach cancer. Do not take the one from the pharmacy, which is in an alcohol suspension and intended for external use only. Take kelp tablets, Lugol’s or Iodoral instead. Or do like the Japanese do & eat seaweed. Start with a low dose (< 1mg/day) & work up gradually to 12 – 15 mg/day. You must take selenium with it. Paul has a terrific iodine post that I can't locate at the moment (sorry).

      • Note that Paul now recommends getting Selenium mostly from food and only work your way up to 1mg of Iodine. The reason as far as I could make out is the narrow plateau range of optimum Selenium intake and the problems you get when Iodine is too high or too low with inadequate Selenium status.
        He promised a blog post on it 🙂

        • I saw his comment above about selenium supplements. I’m looking forward to the post as I’m still getting his recommended 200 mcg/day from supps.

          Re: iodine – from everything I’ve read about it, here & elsewhere, it appears that something around 12.5 mg/day is needed to ensure full-body repletion for a 150-lb person. As with other nutrients, the RDA is only high enough to prevent severe disease, in iodine’s case, cretinism & goiter. It seems likely that humans need much higher doses, & certainly the Japanese experience of higher iodine intake & lower rates of disease seems to confirm that. Although, whether the two are related is unclear. Yikes, maybe it’s the natto!

          More study is needed, but because iodine isn’t patentable, the drug companies aren’t looking at it. A few doctors have conducted iodine studies in their patients with remarkable results, & they endorse higher doses. One of them, Dr. Guy Abraham, recommends up to 50 mg/day for 3 months, then dropping to 12.5 mg/day for maintenance.

          • 12.5 mg?! That seems incredibly high, no? As far as I understand the dose Paul recommends is equivalent to .225 mg. Do you have any links to the articles you have read in support of the higher dosage?

  5. Hi Paul,

    Do you think that the HGH release that accompanies intermittent fasting would help those with receding hair at the forehead and crown? I’ve read that at the 24 hr point into a fast, HGH is boosted by up to 2000%. I’ve followed your advice, with daily 16 hr fasts for the last few weeks and feel great – should I extend the fast in the hopes more HGH to regrow some hair?


    • Hi Marc,

      No, I think a 16 hour fast is perfect. Once fasts get long enough to disrupt circadian rhythms — 24h or longer — then I think they do more harm than good.

      • Thanks, Paul.

        Following your fasting advice I’ve also noticed stubborn body fat melting off.

        BTW, following your diet for the last 8 months has gotten rid of my rosacea, a condition that I’ve battled for over 10 years. You have my eternal gratitude, and I pitch your book and blog to everyone who asks me what I’ve been doing. Thanks!

  6. Hello Paul,

    Thank you for all your research. I suffer from chronic yeast infections. I’ve been gluten-free and dairy-free for at least 3 years because of allergies. I’ve read your recommendations about starches and candida. I’ve tried prescriptions, the anti-candida diet, and a variety of natural treatments. I take oil of oregano with breakfast and lunch, and take probiotics at least four hours after my last oil of oregano.
    My average daily consumption now looks like this:
    carbs: 450 calories
    fats: 1070 calories
    protein: 260 calories
    I eat my starches mainly as white rice cooked in coconut milk, and as red potatoes. I’m confused because so many anti-candida protocols suggest avoiding rice and potatoes. I’m worried that I’ll just keep feeding the candida by eating 400 to 600 calories of rice or potato daily. Can you share more about your experience with candida, and how long it took you to see positive results? What anti-fungals did you use? Thank you.

    • I believe Paul would say to back away from coconut milk, so the generated ketones don’t feed the fungus. I guess that’s only if the fungus is outside the gut.

  7. Hi Paul,
    You mentioned in one of your comments “Stop the chlorella, it is toxic.” which alarmed me, because I take that daily.

    My friend and I started the PHD and both of us started getting constipation – despite eating sweet potatoes, vegies, bananas and white rice everyday. Rather than rely on psyllium husk every day, we started taking chlorella tablets, and the constipation have stopped.

    Now I’m confused why you’d say chlorella is toxic??

    PS. We supplement with magnesium citrate, so it can’t be a magnesium deficiency.

    Thanks Paul!

    • Hi Syl,

      Chlorella has lipopolysaccharides similar to the endotoxins in bacteria. You might do better with bentonite clay, activated charcoal, or just more fiber from white potatoes and berries.

      Also, see our Constipation post for more possibilities.

      Best, Paul

  8. Hello Paul, have you had some positive feedback on the practice of daily 16hr fasts for menopausal symptoms – especially hot flashes. Apart from the diet, getting enough sleep and exercise can you recommend some foods, which should be favoured and which supplements might be the most important. How do you feel about fenugreek sprouts – are they toxic or fine? Many thanks, Lindsay.

    • Hi Lindsay,

      I haven’t heard of a relationship between fasting and hot flashes. Possibly some readers can comment?

      All plants are toxic in large doses, so I would recommend eating normally – to taste – as far as herbs go.

      Hot flashes is a research item for me. A few other readers have asked but I don’t know much about them yet.

  9. I have recurrent, cold sores and recurrent fungal rashes. I am beginning to connect these problems to digestive issues. Natural anti-fungal and anti-microbial treatments (Kolorex, oregano, pau d’arco, etc) have not helped. I wonder if you could say what antibiotic varieties you recommend to try (or to avoid). You mentioned diflucan for fungal infections; what brand/kind might be good for viral infections like the cold sores? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The topic of antibiotics isn’t well covered in the mainstream-medical or naturopathic world. I would be grateful for any word.

    • Hi Katharine,

      I haven’t heard of any antibiotics that work against the HSV virus that causes cold sores.

      I would try vitamin C, intermittent fasting (daily 16 hours), and healthy diet and nutrition including coconut oil or milk in the diet (lauric acid may help).

      Best, Paul

      • Thank you very much for this helpful reply!

        I have been confused about what to do about a combined fungal/viral problem because recommendations for fungal infections and for viral infections seem to conflict somewhat. For instance, you advise against fasting if you have a fungal infection, but advise fasting to fight a viral infection.

        For now, I am going to try antifungal antibiotics like diflucan combined with fasting, vitamin C, and increased coconut milk. (I should have mentioned that my diet already conforms to the PHD recommendations and has for more than 5 months.)

        If that plan strikes you as misguided, I would appreciate a quick word. I very much appreciate all the information you share. I look forward to buying your book and cookbook.

        • Hi Katharine,

          I think fasting is OK with fungal infections as long as it isn’t too long and you eat sufficient carbs in the daily feeding window.

          Too much coconut milk could be a problem in a systemic fungal infection, so keep an eye on how you feel and whether you do better with more or less coconut milk.

          Best, Paul

    • Hi Katharine,

      From a fellow cold-sore sufferer to another:
      try L-Lysine supplements when you feel the cold-sores coming. Or when you know you’ve done something to trigger one (i.e., unprotected lips in the sunshine, let lips get too dry, etc). Check this out, not my website, just some info: http://coldsoreshomeremedies.ca/index.php/2009/03/lysine-cold-sores/

      These have worked worlds better than anything else for cold-sores out there for me…and I get them really bad, really big and aggressive!

      Good luck!

      • I’ve been taking L-Lysine for cold sores for many years with complete success and no ill effects that I can see.

        Every so often, I think I may not need it anymore, but as soon as I stop they come back.

        L-Lysine works very well for me.

        • Thank you for this helpful information. I do take lysine, but perhaps I should take more. I really appreciate your sharing your experience.

  10. If TSH trends up over ten years to 4.2, and T3 t4 are in the low but normal range, the two thyroid antibodies come back neg (low range, not zero)and the rT3 is also normal (25)
    Iron fine. Started 1/2 gr Armour, 2 mgm Iodine
    Was severly restricted / carbs for eight months, now doing about 100Gms rice or potato. Any thoughts anyone? I am over my head. (Gluten free for eight months)normal weight, no IR etc

    Paul, can’t wait for the cook book! I have listened to every podcast of yours I can find, you are number one. :mrgreen:

    • Hi Catharine,

      Well the likely causes are some sort of nutrient deficiency (iodine, selenium, magnesium, iron, etc) or infection/immune activity.

      Adding back the carbs is important. I would supplement iodine at maybe 1 mg/day, get selenium from food only (sources like beef, seafood/shellfish, eggs, nuts, and maybe kidney once in a while), magnesium at 200 mg/day.

      For the other likely causes be sure to optimize vitamins D/A/K2 and take some C.

      Then I would try circadian rhythm enhancing steps like physical activity outdoors in both early morning and afternoon (say, 10 minutes of jogging or warm-up exercises, that level of intensity, but do what you like), exposure to bright light during the day and low light levels at night.

      Eat and live healthily and give it some time! It’s good news you don’t have antibodies.

      • Paul,

        I’m curious as to why you advised getting selenium from food only. Is that specific to Catherine’s case or a general recommendation? I’ve been supplementing with 200 mcg selenium per the book (though not every single day), as well as iodine and the other supplements. I eat a couple of eggs every day and plenty of meat. Should I drop the selenium supplement?

        • Hi Frank,

          Yes, I’m going to be blogging about that very soon. We’re revising the supplement recommendations and I’m going to recommend getting the selenium from food from now on.

          • George Henderson

            Before writing that blog, consider this paper on viral gene sequences by Will Taylor. Many emergent viruses are able to sequester selenium.

            “Potential selenoprotein genes in other viruses: Coxsackie B3, Ebola Zaire, M. contagiosum, and Hepatitis C Virus. A similar analysis has now been applied to a number of other viruses, yielding consistent and surprising results. There is strong theoretical evidence that similar Se-utilizing genes may exist in coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), the same strain studied by Beck et al. as a model for Keshan disease (section 2.8.2), and that one of these appears to encode a highly truncated glutathione peroxidase module. These theoretical results regarding CVB3 have been outlined in several papers.46,47 A striking example of potential selenoprotein genes in a virus is provided by the highly pathogenic Zaire strain of Ebola virus, where one such potential gene has 16 UGA selenocysteine codons, as well as structural features necessary to express this selenoprotein, which would require 16 Se atoms per molecule.48,49 This suggests that infection with Ebola Zaire may place an unprecedented demand for Se on the host, potentially causing a more drastic Se depletion in a matter of days than HIV infection can accomplish in 10 years.”

          • Thanks, George, one more for the how pathogens subvert immunity files.

          • Paul,

            I was wondering the same about iodine… Wouldn’t it be enough to find iodine and stimuate thyroid through seaweeds ? Can we suppose the body take the “perfect dosage” he needs, better from food than from sup ? 🙄 Thanks for all your research , Best Maya.

          • Hi Maya,

            Seaweeds like kelp collect toxic metals along with iodine, so they’re not good sources for high doses of iodine. At low doses they’re OK.

  11. Hi Paul,

    I don’t understand about the antibodies and different viruses and how it relates to preventing chronic diseases like MS. My understanding so far is that if you have a particular virus and it is not treated properly, it can cause you develop a serious chronic condition. So how can you find out if you have these particular antibodies? I’m assuming that you would need to look at blood work, What kind of doctor would perform this type of blood work necessary?

    A second question is what can you do about chronically swollen glands and what would cause that?


    • Hi Lauren,

      People with MS often have had viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus, and retain antibodies to these viruses. It’s likely the infections help cause the disease, but the precise mechanisms are not known.

      There is a lack of methods for treating viral infections, so it is not so much a lack of proper treatment, as personal vulnerability due to other health, dietary, and lifestyle issues.

      You can ask your doctor to test for various infections. Since most of these infections have no treatment, and there may be nothing to be done in response to any particular result, many doctors are reluctant to order tests. But I think it’s helpful to have some idea of what infections may be in play in your body.

      Your primary care physician would be the one to ask.

      Chronically swollen glands should definitely be looked into. It indicates immune activity and maybe a large population of damaged white blood cells. There are many possible causes. Press your doctor to help you figure this out.

      Best, Paul

      • Thanks Paul, I was just asking randomly about MS, but swollen glands do apply to me. I keep pressing my doctor but he says it’s nothing only due to having ulcerative colitis and allergies because my body is always “fighting.” I continue to search for a new doctor who will listen to me, but needless to say, this is hard to find. I also have a lot of white stuff in my throat that looks strange but they say they see nothing and that it’s fine. I made an appointment with a new doctor but I have to wait until october! Hopefully, there will be a cancellation.

        One person who did offer a possible explanation for my glands is an acupuncturist who said that, it may be a build up of toxins from years of my migraines due to gluten (my headaches are 80% better since giving up gluten). He said my c1 is not properly aligned and is in the similar place as where my headaches used to begin! I don’t know about that, but it’s better than saying it’s nothing!

        Thank you a million times over for your help!!

  12. Hi Paul,

    I’ve always had low cholesterol (less than 140). Even after switching to your diet for a year and significantly increasing my consumption of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, my total cholesterol hasn’t budged. I’ve also had significant mental health problems since I was 13 (I am 25 now). I remember reading somewhere that someone in my situation could have some kind of infection. I was hoping you could give me some information on this. Thank you!

    • Hi Nick,

      Low cholesterol on a high-fat diet indicates an infection with protozoa or worms. That would also account for your mental health problems. You need to find a doctor who will evaluate you for infections. Possible protozoal infections include malaria, Toxoplasmosis, Babesia, and others. You can search on nematode and trematode worms for other possibilities. You should do searches on various protozoal and parasitic worm diseases to see if you can find one that matches your symptoms.

      Best, Paul

  13. Oops, hit send. On my 3rd read. Question, I know the blood type diet typing, I know metabolic typing with blood ph, and homeopathic and Ayurvedic and endocrine typing methods as well… When the PHD is utilized is this typing unnecessary and will the patient intuitively gravitate toward a ratio of plant to animal material consumed that will naturally fit their constitutional type? I’m suspecting this to be true…that a lot of ‘typing’ is really an attempt to make up for the fact that the recommended diets sre full of toxins from grains and legumes, that they do not have enough short chain fats and that both patient and practitioner are fat phobic!

    • Hi Dr Thomas,

      I generally believe that the typing is unnecessary and that differences between people in the optimal diet are usually modest. Big differences are diagnostic and indicate some sort of pathology, eg celiac disease, food allergies, iron overload disorders, etc.

  14. Thank you!!!!
    So honored you take the time. God Bless.

  15. It just occurred to me that mustard is made from plant seeds, is that an exception to the plant seeds are toxic rule? There’s no mention of mustard in your book and a few of the recipes you’ve posted have dijon mustard in them so I’m guessing it’s okay?

    That’s been the cornerstone of my meat flavoring on this diet since it’s hard to find katsup and BBQ sauce without corn syrup in it.


    • Hi Isaac,

      I think it’s OK in moderation. I’m sure it has toxins, all plant seeds do. But low levels of some plant toxins may be good for us. I trust those that have been in use since the Paleolithic.

  16. I have high levels of mercury, and my doctor is treating this by having me supplement 200mcg selenium/day (in addition to the 200mcg in my multi). Is this safe? I’m also on synthroid and levothyroxine. Is there a better way to get selenium? I can’t eat brazil nuts or shellfish but I eat red meat daily.

    • Hi Rayna,

      It’s safe for a while. Watch for symptoms of selenium toxicity – brittle nails, skin lesions, reduced athleticism, neurological deficits (memory loss, difficulty focusing, poor balance), hypothyroid symptoms.

      The best source is beef or lamb kidney. Other good sources: red meat, eggs, shellfish, nuts, green plants.

      • Hi Paul, I seem to share some of those symptoms of selenium toxicity you described, namely recent dizziness, difficulty concentrating and hypothyroid symptoms (coldness and mild weight gain).

        Had my blood tested and it showed 1.36*H umol/l (with reference range being 0.75-1.35) so does that mean I’ve hit selenium toxicity?

        I eat only 1 brazil nut every day.

  17. Paul, I’m wondering what your thoughts are on low dose naltrexone for dealing with autoimmune thyroid healing? Does the ramping up of the immune system have benefits for fighting the infections you talk about? LDN is used for MS, Crohn’s and other problems with much anecdotal success. I am taking 1.5mg along with doing PHD, eating bone broth, and all the important eliminations for my Hashimoto’s (wheat, milk, most grains, etc). I only have TPO antibodies currently @101(top range 35), down from my high of 168. Prior to my diagnosis, I was taking iodine daily and felt pains in my throat after dosing. I finally stopped it when I found my anitbodies at 168. That was a year ago and I have stayed away from iodine since then. I’m a bit scared to start it again and I know you recommend it, your thoughts?



    • Hi Jan,

      I think LDN is a very promising therapy and I do encourage people to try it. I also recommend circadian rhythm enhancing steps generally – exercise/activity outdoors during the daytime, dim lights at night.

      I think it’s important to avoid iodine deficiency. Precisely what level of iodine intake is optimal is unclear. But I would support taking 225 mcg at a minimum.

  18. Paul,

    I am trying to learn how to judge the validity of medical papers. A friend sent me a link to the videos of Dr Greger of Nutrition Facts (well, they send me videos all the time thinking my new PHD diet will kill me) and I wonder: how can medical research be so split on the issue of animal fats? I love your book and your PHD diet is the first diet that is really helping me. But then I look around and read papers that claim veganism is the cure to ALL illnesses – this clashes with my experience but wanting to be objective how do I judge what is proper research and what is not?



    • Jo,

      It is not an easy question as to whether research is valid. There are studies (double blind randomized control trials) that produce results that most agree we can have “confidence” in the result. Even so, in any study, there could be something that was missed, some variable left out, etc.

      However, on a more positive note, even the “mainstream” researchers are coming around on the fats issue. Example:


      Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who codirects the program in cardiovascular epidemiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and is an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, was also there and said, “No randomized trial looking at weight change has shown that people did better on a low-fat diet. For many people, low-fat diets are even worse than moderate or high-fat diets because they’re often high in carbohydrates from rapidly digested foods such as white flour, white rice, potatoes, refined snacks, and sugary drinks.”

      At the same time, these are the same people who are still saying “red meat kills…” that’s just how it is. What I like about PHD is that it is not a one size fits all diet. It allows for individual variation.

    • Hi Jo,

      Well, it’s easy to get confused. I talk about the reasons why even scientists get confused in my talks, and in the new edition of our book. Biology is very complex and it’s easy to go astray.

      Research is also very specific so it is hard to step back from a tree (or a branch, or a leaf) and see the forest. If you don’t have a big picture view to orient you then you’ll get lost.

      I think evolutionary selection is the best guide. When you think about the composition of breast milk (majority fat), the composition of natural foods (everything has fat), the need to survive fasting and starvation (when we utilize our own fats), and other considerations, it’s hard to believe that fat is intrinsically bad.

      I think actually our new edition provides a pretty good framework for interpreting research.

      Best, Paul

  19. Any comments on the rrrarf diet proposed by Matt Stone? He is a strong critic of the paleo, gaps, scd diets or any low carb diet says they cause many health problems and are not as effective as we are led to believe . Particularily concerning are the assertions that dangerous electrolyte problems develop from these diets. Night leg cramps, clear urine, night time urination, etc. which can lead too cardiac issues.

    • Yes I’d like to know more about that too. I noticed that on paleo I kept waking up at night, and had leg cramps plus numbness. Since I’ve increased my carbs, they’ve gone, but the clear urine is still here. Even the first morning urine is clear.

  20. Thanks for your response to my previous question, Paul. My doctor wants me to limit eating seafood to only 3x week while I have high mercury toxicity. If chicken is bad because of PUFA, is it ok if I eat 10oz of red meat a day for protein? I’m allergic to dairy and egg protein so those aren’t options, but I also don’t want to develop high cholesterol or heart problems.

  21. Paul, Kevin,

    Thank you for your reply. I look forward to learning more on this issue (and reading the new book, Paul!). My own experimentation tells me that fats have a very beneficial effect on me and also reconnected me to traditional cooking. It’s like my body was craving and missing the cream-texture of certain fats! And I like how the PHD book looks at both traditional diets and what is less toxic for us now.


  22. George Henderson

    Paul, do you strictures against chlorella apply to spirulina?
    This suggests not.

  23. George Henderson

    Is there any hsard science around the “chelates heavy metals” claim for chlorella? I’ve always suspected it was exaggerated, or if true, probably not unique.

    I always loved John Yudkin’s saying about chlorella as an alternative protein source, after it turned out that no-one liked the taste.
    “Food that is not eaten has a nutritional value of zero”

  24. George Henderson

    There is just the one study by Uchikawa


    How would this compare with, say, NAC, selenium or other chelating agents?
    And this is a very high exposure (5mg/Kg) to Hg – equivalent to 350mg in a human.
    And a high level of BP – 5 and 10% of diet.
    Would lower levels of mercury be affected in any significant way?

    Also, look at Fig 2.
    Chlorella cleared mercury a bit faster
    by 21 days clearance was much the same, with and without chlorella.

  25. Hi Paul, I don’t see any reference to brown rice. Isn’t it more nutritious than white rice?

  26. I have a question about potatoes. It seems that my husband and I remember reading SOMEWHERE that russet potatoes are preferable to red, but we can’t locate the reference. We just received some fresh garden red potatoes from friends and are wondering whether to go ahead and eat them!

  27. Thank you so much! I was hoping for that answer!

  28. Hi Paul,

    Finally got a blood test done that included T3 and T4 instead of just TSH. Is there a place on the site that talks about ideal ranges for these values? If so please point me in that direction.


  29. Paul,

    Also, not sure if this should be of concern, but since my last test the TSH has crept up from 1.18 to 1.27… and 6 months before that it had been even lower than 1.18. This seems like a bad trend overall. Additionally, my LDL dropped from 133 to 102. That could be because I stopped fasting and started eating a lot more carbs, but on a general basis I am moving in the wrong direction. Would you agree?

    At this point would you say it is a good idea to supplement Iodine?

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Lindsay,

      The TSH change is in the noise and both are good readings. So I wouldn’t worry about that.

      The LDL drop is big enough to be meaningful but again, both readings are within the normal range. If LDL is calculated rather than measured it may be inaccurate. A possible reason for the drop could be the higher carb consumption. Other possible causes I know about are higher thyroid hormone levels (perhaps contradicted by the TSH change, but consistent with the increased carb consumption), certain infections, or a lipid deficient diet (I don’t think that’s the case for you).

      I think it’s generally a good idea to supplement at least enough iodine to avoid a deficiency condition. But I don’t consider these test results to be signs of iodine deficiency.

  30. Paul,

    What test results would you consider to be a sign of iodine deficiency?

    One school of thought is not to supplement with iodine if thyroid antibodies are high and to work to get them down before starting.My TPO is 107 others are normal. Free t4 is 1.01(.82-1.77). I take 50mcgs t4 and separate t3. Do you think adding iodine, 225mcgs, and say a brazil nut or two every day will help Hashis healing? I do also take LDN 1.5. I started PHD about a month ago from pretty strict paleo. I do feel more balanced and don’t want to create a flare. If I knew I needed the iodine I would absolutely do it. What will tell me that?



    • Hi Jan,

      Yes, I think taking 225 mcg iodine will support thyroid function. You don’t know how much of your hypothyroidism is due to Hashi’s and how much to deficiency conditions, so make sure you are not deficient. Also, high or low selenium will cause more trouble if iodine is low, and it’s hard to control selenium intake, so it’s just better to have some iodine available.

      Give the iodine a month before you try to judge whether it’s working. Ideally, it may permit you to reduce your T4/T3 intake. Regular testing of thyroid hormone levels can help you judge what’s going on.

  31. Thanks Paul. I will check back with you after a month!

  32. Hi Paul,

    I have been following the Paleo diet for a little over a year now, and while it has improved my dental health (among many other health issues) significantly- my teeth feel stronger and cleaner than ever and my breath has improved- I have noticed over the past 3 or so months that my teeth have taken on a gray-ish tint (which I’ve read could be harmless and simply indicative of a change in gut flora) and my gums have become quite irritated and also started bleeding significantly while brushing (they have always bled while brushing, it has just worsened over the past couple months). My top incisors also took on a yellow/gray tint on the top half of the teeth about three months ago. I can’t tell if the yellow staining indicates a sort of wearing away of my enamel, or if it is just a stain. In order to attempt to remedy the problem, I began supplementing with 1-2 g of vitamin C/day about 2 months ago, and it seemed to help with the gum irritation and staining, but not completely. I also began supplementing with 300mg magnesium and 1/2 tsp. of fermented cod liver oil/day about two months ago. These two supplements seemed to help as well, but the problem is still not completely gone. My gums are still irritated/red along my top four incisors and they still bleed while brushing, although they are bleeding less than before. I also drink about 1 c. bone broth on most days when I can get bones, but I may not be drinking enough since I sometimes go a couple weeks without drinking any. I also do not really eat fermented foods because I can’t always get raw milk (to make yogurt/kefir) and fermented vegetables seem to aggravate my seasonal allergies (I also avoid FODMAPS), but for the past year, I have been taking a probiotic supplement (30 billion) daily.

    I am wondering if I have a collagen deficiency, and that that is why the vitamin C supplementation has helped my gums, but not completely cured them, or if I have a vitamin D deficiency and that it is affecting my mineral absorption (although I get at least 30 minutes of sun/day and take FCLO daily and was taking a multivitamin and 2-3,000 IU of vitamin D per day, for the past 6 months or so, up until about a month ago). I was just wondering if you could give me any advice on these thoughts, as well as on other supplements that I should add in, or whether I just need to give my teeth/gums more time to heal.

    Other information that may be useful:
    -Over the past year, I have switched from conventional toothpaste to brushing with coconut oil/baking soda, then just coconut oil, then just diluted baking soda, then salt water, and eventually resorted, about 6 months ago, to just brushing with water because the baking soda and salt eventually began irritating my gums. About two weeks ago, I began brushing with a mixture of coconut oil, xylitol, and baking soda and an electric toothbrush to attempt to get rid of the staining. I can’t tell if this new routine has made a difference in reducing the staining, but so far it has not seemed to irritate my gums.

    -I moved to a new apartment about 3 months ago, when the problem began to worsen significantly, so I’m wondering if there is something in my water that is causing the problem (infection?). I began brushing with filtered water about a month ago in case chlorine was the issue, but I also can’t tell if that made any sort of difference.

    -I do not take any other supplements aside from the ones I mentioned earlier.

    -I am currently VLC because I do not digest starch well, and it seems to aggravate the problem. This makes me think that I have a gut issue (even though all health problems start in the gut). I mainly eat cooked kale, beef, occasional salmon, very ripe bananas, coconut oil, avocados, some chocolate, bone broth, and tallow on a daily basis.

    Any advice that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Sara,

      I don’t think you have a vitamin D deficiency, especially if you get sun. You might have too much A and not enough K2. Try supplementing K2 and cutting out the FCLO and the multivitamin.

      I’d also try to get some carbs. Is your mouth dry? Lack of saliva could be a problem. That leads to oral infections and lack of self-cleaning of teeth and gums.

    • my gums tend to bleed when i use a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and salt toothpaste.
      But when i use a more ‘normal’ toothpaste (still flouride & sls free) my gums do not bleed.
      So i’m thinking it may just the abrasive effect of the salt/bicarb that causes the bleeding?

      • Darrin,

        That’s interesting. Which brand do you use? I thought I read somewhere that baking soda is less abrasive than conventional toothpaste, but like I said, I have experienced irritation from it before too, so I think that could be true. Maybe I’ll play with my toothpaste routine a bit more or go back to just brushing with water.

      • There is evidence that flouride is good for one’s tooth enamel. There shouldn’t be a problem with using a flouride toothpaste if you are not swallowing it.

        That being said, I predominantly use non flouridated tooth pastes.

        Another way to cut the ‘toxicity out of toothpaste is to use just a smidgen of it…”the poison is in the dose”. It’s the brush that’s probably doing most of the work anyways.

        Or what?

        • For dentists that say there’s only a little flouride in toothpaste and not to worry about it I ask them if I can dilute a small tab of LSD in a glass of water, dilute it and have them take just a sip and go to work, each day! It’s not just the dose but the daily frequency of the dose!

          • Daily micro doses of LSD are extremely beneficial actually.

          • It doesn’t negate the intent of your analogy though if you just used “asbestos” in place of LSD

          • For the past several weeks, I’ve been using a 50/50 mixture of coconut oil and baking soda for toothpaste. It doesn’t taste great, but after I rinse, it feels so clean and good. No irritation. And no complaints from my fiance! Also been using just straight coconut oil for deodorant and have been very happy with the effectiveness – even during this heat. And no complaints about that either. I love coconut oil!

          • Flouride in the water and in tea didn’t stop my teeth becoming chalky and crumbling. On a paleo diet I live in an unflouridated area and have had no problems with what remains.
            Flouride is just a partial antidote to sugar and a poor substitute for remineralization IMO.
            If it is really a medicine the recommended dose should be written on the tap.

          • Connie, if you can find food grade peppermint essential oil, it will make your toothpaste mixture taste great! Can’t go overboard with it, as essential oils can also be irritating.

            George, I totally agree that ingesting flouride is not working at all. It is Poison with a capitol P. I was talking about applying it topically.

            I use a flouridated toothpaste a couple of times a week. I’m just saying there may be benefit to using it – with care.

          • Forgot to say that I used to have a problem w/ bleeding gums when I was doing very low/low carb. A periodontist told me when you see blood, attack! He said that I had been brushing my gums too gently and not brushing them at a 45 degree angle. Between that and daily flossing and eating safe starches, I’m having no problems now.

            Heidi: Thanks! Yes, I’ve seen that about adding peppermint oil and even xylitol (sp?) too to make it taste better, but the 50/50 is so easy and I’m used to it now. I actually love using my homemade toothpaste and look forward to brushing my teeth!

    • Hi Sara,

      I just wanted to add something about the electric toothbrush. I don’t know what style/brand you are using, but they can irritate gums.
      I used one for maybe 15 years…they make your mouth feel incredible/my dental visits were always great too, but just this last year I had to back off because my gums started to recede. It wasn’t due to plaque since I hardly ever had any. You might consider alternating the electric (and don’t press hard at all) with a soft manual brush. Also, baking soda is harsh on your enamel, so maybe leave it out of the recipe sometimes. Flossing works great for bleeding gums, followed by a non alcoholic mouth rinse
      I hope you find your solution to this dilemma!

      • Heidi,

        Thank you for the advice! I’ll switch between electric and manual. I really just wanted to try to get rid of the staining with the electric brush, but I definitely don’t want to harm my enamel or gums any further. I’m looking into making a homemade mouthwash now, so thanks for that tip too!

    • Sara, you really should try more carbs. I know you said it causes digestion problems but going VLC can have bleeding gums as a consequence.

      And I asked a friend who is a dentist, she said the lack of toothpaste may be an additional problem because it might not be getting rid of germs properly.

      So maybe try adding some carbs that you can tolerate (not all carbs are bad since our brains need it to work) and give normal toothpaste a try and see if the bleeding reduces.

  33. Buried in a recent post, Anthony Colpo wrote the following two paragraphs. The National Cancer Institute also has a page on this (linked below). Should we attempt to cook our meats rare, medium and medium rare only? Thanks!

    Don’t get me wrong – epidemiology does sometimes have great value in the nutritional arena (smoking and contagious diseases are two non-nutritional examples where epidemiology has been deployed with great success). For example, a number of studies looking at the effect of HCA ingestion (from overcooked red meats) and cancer incidence have indeed returned triple-digit RRs. I believe the HCA-cancer hypothesis has great merit, based on animal studies and the robust epidemiological correlations. But would it be ethical to conduct a long term dietary intervention trial where some folks are assigned to consume a high-HCA diet?

    That’s why I advise anyone who will listen to avoid overcooking their meats (please avoid under-cooking also; cancer might kill you later in life, a vicious case of food poisoning could kill you within days), to cut away any blackened or charred bits on their meats, to use marinates like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and onion, to drink green tea, to turn meat frequently when cooking, and to mix berries in with hamburger mince (all of been shown to prevent or reduce HCA formation).


    • On the other hand, there are two studies showing no relation between HCAs and liver cancer. Which you would think would be connected as HCAs are metabolized by hepatocytes.
      Barbecue culture has other elements that might contribute to cancer.
      Our ancestors would have eaten plenty of charred meat since discovering fire.
      None of which is any reason to eat it in large quantities!

  34. Real Food Eater

    Hey Paul, how practical do you think it would be to feed the world on a Perfect Health Diet?


    Real Food Eater

  35. Any suggestions for gas pains that are sometimes debilitating? Much less frequent now since I’ve been following the diet better. I do take a good probiotic supplement and daily eat homemade sauerkraut. Thank you.

    • Get a stool test and see if you have an infection that needs treatment. Otherwise, continue what you’re doing and hope it keeps improving. You could try things like eating low-calorie berries (eg cranberries, bilberries).

  36. We were wondering whether, in the interest of saving a little money, half-and-half could be used in place of cream. Would there be too many carbs? Thank you.

  37. Thanks so much!

  38. Hi Paul,

    I remember asking you about winter squashes as a safe carb source. 🙂 It seems I can tolerate them better than other carbs source.
    You told winter squashes were great and I can remember having read one of your answer telling someone “eat as much as you want”.
    My question is : as a vegetable source, do you think we have to count calories coing from winter squashes ? And as a carb source how much can be eaten to get in the carbs plateau range ? ‘ I can’t find the exact amount of carbs contained in winter squashes..maybe,one of yours can help ?:) ) I wonder as well if a large amount of winter squashes (without counting them as carb source) can be eaten added to the plateau range recommended of 200 or 400 cal. carbs coming from safe starches” ?
    About coconut flakes, is it the same use of coconut oil, for example during the non feeding window of the IF, can it be added to coffee or eaten with sauerkraut while keeping the same ketogenic effect ?

    I’ve read coconut was great for thyroid thanks to its high level of iodine .?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wpsik0W4NU&feature=relmfu
    I do not know which credit you add to this study..

    Thanks again, Best ,


    • Hi Maya,

      Try this. Look up the carb content at nutritiondata.com, and subtract 50 carb calories per pound (~10 calories per 100 g).

      I’d say the carb plateau range extends up to at least 600 calories/day, maybe 800 calories/day, so that would probably be quite a bit more winter squash than you would want to eat (maybe 3-4 pounds per day? check nutritiondata for your particular squash).

      • 😛 wow, thanks for this site !Ok,ok.. 4-5 pounds winter squashes seems a little bit huge… ❗
        So as per you,winter squashes are to be classified like “safe starches” ,and I should count them in my calorie table (I was not counting them, because I consider it was vegetables.. ^^) ?.

        It’s been 3 months I’ve been following your diet, as closely as possible, and I feel so much better ! Some white points on the tongue appear..and some acne comes back.But generally speaking it’s so incedibly much better than when I was following a VLC diet ! Thanks for all !Best,Maya

  39. Hi Paul

    I had gastritis, constipation,heavy menstrual bleeding and weightloss
    I went to a naturopath. He said I have candida infection causing me all the distress. I am taking homeopathic medicines for candida and thyroid now. Still I am loosing weight drastically 🙁 I am terribly worried as I have lost 15 lbs in say 9 weeks approx.

    He ordered a blood work and the results show some issues. I am just writing down the numbers that were not in normal range
    Hemoglobin 11.4 low
    Hematocrit 34.8 low
    Neutrophils% 37 low
    EOS% 20 High
    Absolute eosinophils 1.13 high

    And for thyroid check the blood work shows
    Thyroid peroxidase ab 8.2
    TSH 0.88
    T3 uptake 44 High
    Thyroxine 7.7

    I was already in PHD before these issues, but the doc me off dairy completely plus fermented foods too

    He wants me to add more calories and good fat to see if that helps with weight loss.but I am afraid that adding more starches and calories should not help candidaflourish

    Please advise.

    • I was 125 lbs last morning and 124 lbs today morning I was absolutely shocked …. this was the fastest loss in the last 9 weeks…

    • Hi Koki,

      If it is Candida, eating starches will support immune function. You must not be in ketosis if you have a fungal infection. Healthy fats will be good for you too, as long as you are getting enough carbs.

      I am surprised that Candida would produce such an effect. Candida generally produces a slow-developing parasitic infection. Did they test for fungemia? Did you get a stool test to see what is in your gut?

      Is your naturopath an MD? I think it would be wise to see an MD if you haven’t already.

      • Paul
        The naturopath i go to is not a MD.
        Dr. Eric M. DeYoung

        I had been to a gastroentrologist MD before I went to the naturopath … he just dismissed the case as gastritis and wanted me to take PPIs for long term. He said my case does not need stool test

        • Paul even the naturopath said that i dont have to do a stool test instead I can spend the money on treatmebt 🙁

          I am not sure which way to go now . I have already spend 500$ for naturopsthy n the medicines. I am worried abt the weight loss 🙁

          • Paul

            I was thinking the weight lloss was due to hyperthyroidism. What made you feel that it could be fungemia?

            I am still hunting for the root cause for all the troubles ? Could it be long term usage of metformin for PCOS?

          • Hi Koki,

            Ah, sorry, I misread you and thought the naturopath had attributed the weight loss to the Candida.

            Based on the numbers any hyperthyroidism is pretty mild. And hyperthyroidism doesn’t necessarily cause weight loss. Do you have other symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

            I am confused about the weight loss. Are you losing strength? Is your weight abnormally low (what is your weight and height)? Are you taking vitamin C?

  40. A new theory about statins, vitamin K2, and memory loss. The last link is especially interesting.

    • Hi George,

      Good post. Have you looked into whether K2 has any trouble crossing the blood-brain barrier?

    • Paul

      I have weight loss.I was 139 lbs during last week of May
      July last week I was 126 lbs. yesterday I was 125.4 lbs.
      Today I am 124.2 lbs. I am 5 feet 2 inches tall.

      I have fatigue , heavy menstrual periods last couple of monthsand at times anxiety. I am not sure If I am losing strength I can still carry my 20 lbs toddler and jog around the tennis court.
      I have some bodyaches but still i t could b due to tsking care of two boys 24 x 7

      The naturopath says my anemia is parasitic anemia.
      I dont take vitamin csupplement. Plus i have been off citrus due to gastritis for 2+ months now. But i eat lot of other fruits . Do u think vit c cud help ? What dosage wud be safer?

      Once again thanks for your time and patience Paul.

      Will ur new edition of ur book have kindle version too wheb it gets released. I am waiting for it


      • Hi Koki,

        I think it’s prudent to take some vitamin C, up to 1 g/day, just to make sure there is no deficiency. C deficiency can cause weight loss.

        It’s not clear how to interpret the weight loss since 124 pounds at 5’2″ is not an abnormally low weight. If you’re not losing strength, then weight loss could be a sign of improving health. So I would focus on the GI symptoms, since they may also be responsible for fatigue and anxiety.

        • Thanks Paul will get my vit c supplement tomorrow. Hoping the weight loss is for good.
          I am on PHD but off dairy n yeast fermented products. I am on honeopathy for candida cure and thyroid issues. Plus herbal prental vitamins and digest pro herbal supplement. Is there anything specific you want me to do to address GI issues?

          • Hi Koki,

            Usually a good diet will sort it out over a few months. Sometimes eating fermented vegetables will speed up the process. If diet doesn’t work, I recommend a stool test to see if treatable pathogens are present.

          • Paul
            I added a lil more rice and good fats and last 3 days I have started gaining weight. I have belly like 4 month pregnant woman even a year after my second c section. This belly size seems to be fluctuating. It was 34.5 inches 5 days before when I was 124 lbs. today i am 127 lbs and belly measures 39 inches. I am really worried if this is a serious issue of fluid retention. The naturopath said couple of weeks before that the belly is filled with toxins released by pathogenic parasites. Please advise

          • Hi Koki,

            If the belly is distending and weight fluctuates rapidly up and down then it’s probably inflammatory reaction to food or gut microbe particles, with a leaky gut perhaps caused by an infection. There could also be endocrine issues, eg thyroid-adrenal.

            I think your naturopath or other doctors are best placed to help you, but the main cure is a good diet and time.

          • Thnks Paul.
            I will certainly discuss with my doc as even the acid reflux n gastritis seem to be hit back again a little.

            Paul is it ok to take vit c supplement while nursing?
            What is your opinion abt shelf stable probiotics? Will they be gud even if they pass thru airport security x rays?


          • I think it’s fine to take vitamin C while nursing.

            I don’t think probiotics are all that helpful for chronic conditions in any form. (They’re great for acute food poisoning.) Fermented vegetables have a better chance of helping.

          • Paul

            Thanks for ur response. My naturopath is totally against fermented foods in the treatment especially if yeast is involved. He wants me to take probiotics instead:(
            Paul the metametrix tests that you recommend is it the complete profile for 400 dollars or just the mycology or pathology which is less than 200? I am asking because Insurance might not cover it so I want to know I get the right one before spending on it.

          • Hi Koki,

            The one I would recommend has the pathogen detection but none of the chemistry. http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/gi-effects-microbial-ecology

            But if you think the symptoms are characteristic of a parasitic infection, and money is scarce, then maybe just the parasite part: http://www.metametrix.com/test-menu/profiles/gastrointestinal-function/gi-effects-parasitology

  41. For which I must thank the commentor earlier with the interesting reaction to LEF vit K!

  42. This pdf says they do

    And that vit K protects brain from glutathione depletion! Yet more value for money.

    So the K1 conversion is probably an adapation to vegetable diets?

  43. Owing to the chatter on LEF K, I started taking it about 10 days ago. I’ve seen
    lovely changes to my skin — it’s softer and actinic keratoses are disappearing. I’m thinking of looking for a topical cream with K, maybe to help with rosacea. Anybody know of such a thing?

  44. I would mix one of the LEF tabs in a pre-existing product. look at this; scroll half-way down the page

    “Almost no cosmetic companies are selling products with vitamin K in nearly the amounts used in these studies. The Peter Thomas Roth line sells two pricey products with scant amounts of vitamin K, so even a minor benefit to skin, if at all possible, is unlikely with this miniscule amount. If you’re curious to try a topical product with more than a dusting of vitamin K, consider Donnel Super Skin K-Derm Cream ($50 for 2.5 ounces). Keep in mind that the studies did not look at vitamin K alone, but if you were curious if a good amount of vitamin K could make a difference, this product at least includes enough to prove that conjecture decidedly for yourself.

    What is truly lacking is any research concerning vitamin K’s effectiveness when used topically, at least in terms of affecting surface capillaries.”
    (however the stuff about blood clotting is outdated – the benefits will come from decalcification, plus an antioxidant effect).

    • Thanks! For $50 I certainly would rather mix up my own concoction!
      I think you are right about the decalcification and antioxidant effects. I like to think the same good things are happening inside my body as are appearing on my skin.

  45. PUFAs and the thyroid – anyone seen this?
    Graves disease and flaxseed oil.

      • What interests me is that there’s an n=1 self-experiment on PubMed.
        The difference between linolenic acid and fish oil is the Cox-2 inhibiting effect that ALA (and GLA) can have, decreasing conversion of LA to Arachadonic acid.
        But she didn’t try fish oil, so was the effect due to more DHA (in which case fish oil would be better) or less AA?
        Or both? In which case LA restriction plus DHA would be ideal?

        • Considering that Graves is know as a Th2 mediated autoimmune disease (while Hashimoto’s is a Th1 driven disease) and omega 3 downregulate Th1 and stimulate Th2 (see, for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2883112/?tool=pubmed), I don’t know what to think.

          • So maybe fish oil wouldn’t have worked, and this the result of some effect particular to linolenic acid in this individual?
            Th1 and Th2 influence each other; and then there’s Th17 and Treg. And complement.
            The immune system just goes down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass whenever I think I’ve got it sussed.

  46. Paul,

    What do you think “white points” on the tongue can be ? They appeared after a big stress,despite the fact I follow PHD as closely as possible. Candida ? Fungemia or hypochloridia ? (I ‘ve been supplementing with the recommended ones since 10 days, addind Betaine HCL ) : digestion has improved but those “white points” on the tongue are still there and bowel movement is “off”, the same way it was before following PHD . Any advise would be welcome.. Thanks ,Best Maya

    • It’s usually either leukoplakia due to nutrient deficiencies or a fungal infection. I would try things like eating liver and egg yolks (for vitamin A) and taking a B-complex a few times a week, and continue with PHD. Be sure to get enough safe starches.

      • Thanks so much Paul, for your so quick and helpful answer !
        Have you ever thought write a post for a specific PHD for women :Do we need less or more carb or prot as women ? Same question for menopause,and all its issues (weight gain,osteoporosis,…),or menstrual pains (mastosis, and so on..) For example, I’ve read along that diet could help for mastosis problem. What’s your wise advice on this ? Or maybe, you think one menopause woman can follow the same PHD than a non menopause one,whatever its specific condition ? Many thanks,Maya

        • I’m afraid I’m not that knowledgeable about women’s issues, nor is Shou-Ching really, not compared to many other experts on the web or in doctor’s offices. It’s not that easy to become an expert either.

          Stefani Ruper has been doing some good posts at Paleo for Women, though she’s younger so nothing on menopause. I will keep an eye out for other good sources.

          Here, I’m going to start a forum soon so hopefully PHD readers can share knowledge and we can crowd-source some expertise. There’s nothing like personal experience to give insight.

          Best, Paul

  47. I think your diet sounds awesome. But, a lot of recipes call for Mayonnaise. And I frequently use it a lot. Wondering if you have any recommendations? Maybe a Mayo made with an acceptable fat, or any brands that you recommend? Or just the acceptable oils? Thanks for your help, I appreciate your input.


    • Hi Caleb,

      Try a homemade mayonnaise made from egg yolk, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and coconut oil.

      • Hi Paul,

        in Belgium coconut oil is solid for most of the year. Is mayonnaise made with coconut oil solid when you put it in the fridge?

        I make my mayonnaise with a whole egg, the lightest-tasting olive oil I can find and some lemon juice. I don’t use vinegar because I find it brings out the bitter in the olive oil. This results in a creamy mayonnaise but it’s still quite strong for many people due to the olive oil.

        I’ve also made it with macadamia oil which tastes awesome but is very pricey.

  48. Homemade mayo is surprisingly easy to make. And I have yet to find a pre-made mayo made entirely with good oils. Even mayo “made with olive oil” is mostly soybean oil. I also recommend adding some dijon mustard to homemade mayo.

  49. Nah. The kind in my fridge is olive oil and hi oleic sunflower and is low in pufas, high in mufas.

  50. It says:

    I’ve heard that Canola Oil is bad for you. Why do you use it in your product?

    We have thoroughly researched canola oil, both before our decision to use this oil as an ingredient 😯 :mrgreen:

    • If I had to use a crap seed oil it would be canola. Low PUFA and 1/3 of it omega 3. But still way too high at 20% (these figures probably vary a lot by strain). Also, historical use by Chinese peasants (lords ate lard). Fortunately I need never use it.

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