This article is about detoxification and the GAPS diet, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet.

I’m referencing a book written in 2004 about it, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Right on the cover it says the diet is designed for and helps with central nervous system disorders including autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia (numbers and letters get crossed when you look at them), dyspraxia (gross motor skills are altered), depression, and schizophrenia.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

To give you some background, Dr. Campbell-McBride neurology doctor with an autistic son. She discovered a particular diet and altered it a bit to create this diet, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, and it has helped many families to improve the lives of those living with autism!

For example, there was a woman who gave a lecture five or six years ago that I attended, and she had done pre and post testing of mercury in an autistic kid. There was a lot of mercury in the body to start, then they did the GAPS diet for a year. After that year, the autism was pretty well, resolved, and the testing showed that the mercury was gone. The child didn’t take any detoxification pills or take part in any treatment during that time other than the diet. This datum took me by surprise that day at the seminar—I’ve never forgotten it. How did that detoxification occur without any pills? What mechanism was at work to make that happen? Well here’s what I’ve since figured out:

I’ve evaluated the GAPS diet using an app called Cronometer, which is my favorite app, perfect to input your food and drinks to calculate grams of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The diet is very healing and sometimes ketogenic. That’s the key. The GAPS diet is unintentionally ketogenic, and I can imagine when somebody’s doing it, he or she may be in ketosis at least once a week for a few hours accidentally, at the very minimum. If they’re doing the diet hard core, they’re probably in ketosis multiple times a week. [More on calculating your macros]

Ketosis is where the body’s using fat as fuel, so fat cells in the body get smaller. When the fat cells get smaller, they push out toxins, which are stored in fat cells in your viscera, your abdomen, your brain, etc. Know this: your central nervous system is nearly all fat.

I had a patient a long time ago who lived in an old house. In the part of Michigan where she was, there’s a lot of arsenic in the ground. The basement had a dirt floor instead of having a concrete floor and she had an acute arsenic poisoning situation from her basement in this old house. Originally, she was a very thin, small woman. From the arsenic poisoning, she gained five pounds within a few days, and the reason for it was her body was trying to create a location to store the arsenic—it put it in her fat cells! I met a doctor back in the ’90s who was a holistic cardiologist. He did what’s called Chelation therapy on his patients. Chelation means “to grab,” or “to bind.” It acts like a claw: basically, these nutrients or medications will grab on to toxins and pull them out of the body. It may take four or six months to do one round of Chelation therapy. He would do testing of heavy metals before and after Chelation therapy, and the levels would drop, then the patient would leave. The problem was that five or six years later, he would retest his patients and their metals would be back up again in their body, and he says to me, “It seems like they need to get detoxified every five years,” and we didn’t know why that was. Well, now I know why: in the years following the treatment, those people weren’t ever getting into ketosis.

After twenty years of clinical experience and trying to solve this puzzle known as chronic disease, here’s my statement: Ketosis is the basis of detoxification.

Everybody should be burning fat at least sometimes.

Now if you want to burn fat five days a week, that’s your choice. It depends on your goals and your state of health. You might want to do it five days a month, you might want to do it five days a year. But you got to do it sometimes. It kills cancer cells, it helps reverse diabetes, it prevents heart problems, etc., etc. I have videos on this.

Now you can be thin and, without ketosis, become more and more toxic because you’re only burning sugar. In a sugar-burning state, the fat sits in your fat cells and so do the toxins, and the toxins accumulate over time. Once you get into ketosis, not necessarily for weight loss, but just for health and prevention of disease and to kill cancer cells, etc., in someone who doesn’t need to lose weight, those fat cells will stay the same size, but you’re consuming new, clean fat to replace the old, toxic fat. The healthy fat comes in, the unhealthy fat and the toxins go out. In summary, regardless of weight, you want to get in ketosis for the detoxification benefits.

If you’ve ever tried ketosis, you may have experienced what’s called the keto flu. It’s my idea that the keto flu happens as a result of detoxification. When starting ketosis, suddenly the liver and the kidneys and the lymphatic system have to deal with all these toxins as your body mobilizes the fat, shrinks the fat cells, and pushes toxins to be removed from the body, and if those organs aren’t ready, then you’ll feel bad. You might have a funky rash appearing on the skin, weird breath, or cloudy brain operation. Consuming 2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt per day could prevent this.

There are other people online who say that the keto flu is not from toxicity, rather that it could be from a deficiency of a polysaccharide called mucin. Mucin, or mucus, is the moisture of the nasal passages, the moisture of the skin. I can see this being true. If you have a mucin deficiency in ketosis, it means you need to eat more vegetables. You’ll want to eat them in a short window of time, like four hours in a day. Load up on the vegetables because they’re filled with what’s called “structured water,” which is ten percent denser than regular water. The structured water can replenish the dryness caused by deficiency of vegetables.

The GAPS Diet is Ketogenic

Getting back to the GAPS diet: the point is that it’s ketogenic, which makes a lot of sense, given the other health problems ketosis has been known to help with and get rid of. The GAPS diet also has a lot going for it in terms of promoting a healthy gut, hence the name “Gut and Psychology Syndrome.” The diet includes fermented vegetables, which are probiotics and help your microbiome, aka the living organisms in your gut. Another component of the diet is putting animal parts like bones, muscle, ligaments, joints, etc. in water, boiling them, and then drinking the water or using it as a soup. The minerals are leached from the bones and into the water in the boiling process, the proteins breaking down. In this way, the diet is very healing for collagen tissue, or connective tissue, along with ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones. Because our small intestines are all muscular and connective tissue, when you’re healing the muscular and connective tissue of the gut, you’re healing the microbiome. Additionally, GAPS is ketogenic, which means that there’s so little sugar in the body that inflammation is reduced tremendously in the gut. (This is a huge problem for a lot of kids, whether their diagnosis is autism, ADD or what. Inflammation of the gut from sugar, processed food, garbage food, grains, wheat, etc.… it’s a big problem).

So there’s reduction of inflammation, probiotics, and collagen healing. Now THAT combination will make a healthy gut! With a healthy gut, the membranes of the small intestine and the large intestine become smart. The intestines have to take waste from the body and bring it into the intestines to excrete it out, and then take nutrients from within the intestines and push it into the body. The intestines don’t just digest food, they detoxify the entire body. When you have a healthy gut, you’re detoxifying.

Thanks for reading! If you have any experience with ketosis as detoxification or the GAPS diet, please share that with us. I’ll learn from your statements and I appreciate this team effort. We’re trying to figure out chronic disease.

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