Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 04 Mar 2019 Keto diet may affect ...

Keto diet may affect breath, body odour

Published Mar 4, 2019, 12:51 am IST
Updated Mar 4, 2019, 12:51 am IST
Leads to smelly urine, ammonia smelling gas, smelly vagina.
(Representational Image)
 (Representational Image)

Hyderabad: The keto diet is quite popular now due to the quick solution it offers in losing weight but the flip side is that it also leads to ‘ketosis breath’ or the smell of cat litter’ from the body that can put a person on edge.

Hollywood celebrities have been speaking about the benefits of a low-carb diet to lose weight to stay healthy. The fad is equally popular in the city and a random study carried out in November 2018 found 5,000 people opting for the diet of which 3,500 men and 1,500 women were on the diet. Incidence of bad breath, smelly urine, ammonia smelling gas and also smelly vagina have been reported to nutritionists which can be quite a challenge to deal with.


Dr. Shivali Gupta, consultant nutritionist, explained, “The smell comes after a few days of change in the diet when the body changes from a carbohydrate diet for fuel to high fat and protein or ketones for energy. This process is called ketosis.”

He said these ketone bodies have large quantities of acetone which are exhaled in the form of sweat and urine.

“During the changing metabolic process, the smell is a bit fruity and sweet. When there is a complete switch in the body, the smell changes to that of ammonia or cat litter.”

People usually come with complaints of fatigue, dizziness, chills and when pushed further, they talk about these bad smells that they have encountered and complaints of family members, friends or partners.

In a keto diet, during the first phase, when the body changes from low-carbohydrate to ketosis, it is a process of complete detoxification. In the second phase, there is a change in the metabolic rate in the body and the shift is complete when the body has no glucose to produce energy and is completely dependent on fats for fuel in the body.

clinical dietician M. Gayathri, at Apollo Hospitals explained, “The bad smell is the side effect of ketosis. This is because in a high protein diet, the breakdown of protein produces ammonia and this affects urine, stools and also the breath. The process of ketosis, where there is high protein in the diet, worsens oral bacteria and they accumulate in the oral cavity, leading to the pungent smell. In these cases, those on diet are advised to clean the tongue at least twice a day with a tooth brush to remove bad breath.”

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad