#218: Grace Liu, PharmD: Gut Bacteria On Low-Carb Keto Diet & Immune Balancing Strategies

by Deanna Mutzel, DC



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About Grace Liu, PharmD

While Grace's expertise is in the pharmaceutical world, she explores the various scientific, nutritional, and pharmacological ins and outs of optimal health. My training includes 4 years in plant biology, bachelor in nutritional science and food science, doctorate in pharmacy, and Crossfit Nutrition Certified by Robb Wolf (and Nicki Violetti). Like Orwell discovered, writing can fuse together favorite purposes. In this case, it melds medicine and music.

Connect with Grace

23 and Me

Sterling’s App

Books & Products Mentioned Herein

Great Plains Testing

Sleep Strips by SomniFix – Advanced Gentle Mouth Tape for Better Nose Breathing, Improved Nighttime Sleeping, Less Mouth Breathing, and Instant Snoring Relief – Pack of 28

Belly Fat Effect: The Real Secret About How Your Diet, Intestinal Health, and Gut Bacteria Help You Burn Fat

Berberine HCL + ALA Complex | 500 mg of Berberine Per Serving

Show Notes


02:02 High levels of LPS/Lipopolysaccharide in the blood correlate with diseases like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmunity and many neurologic symptoms. We do not have good techniques to measure LPS.

03:20 Probiotics have a killing effect upon LPS. Dr Liu has a probiotic which contains anti-parasitic, anti-pathogenic and anti-fungal effects.

03:56 The LPS from enterobacter and gammaproteobacteria are 10,000 fold more pro-inflammatory than our good gut flora. When they die off, it is very impactful. Gammaproteobacteria family includes citrobacter, E.coli and klebsiella, often associated with autoimmunity (Hashimoto’s and ankylosing spondylitis).  We need the good versions, Alpha and beta, to offset them.

05:26 There is also a beneficial form of E.coli, which is a probiotic. It cannot be purchased in the U.S. It is safe and effective in preventing diarrhea in children. Even in bifido, there is beneficial and non-beneficial. Non-beneficial eats sugar and starches. Good bifido only eats fiber.

08:57 Some gene mutations influence gut bacteria. NOD2 and FUT2 are IBD mutations. Because they cause there to be less intestinal “soil”, less grows on the epithelial lining. They are associated with less akkermansia, bifidobacterium longum and other beneficial strains. If you have FUT2, you are less likely to be HIV progressers and will not contract norovirus. Losing the ability to make our own fiber was probably an adaptation to having a very fibrous diet.

13:34 Dr. Liu uses 23 and Me for genetic testing and then uses Sterling Hill’s Sterling’s App, which segments different categories of health and what the mutations are.

14:16 Genetic Pattern Groups: Her elite athlete clients have few mutations, except perhaps the ones that influence higher steroids or iron overload. Iron carries oxygen.

15:07 SIBO/small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can be triggered in infancy by not receiving proper seeding through the birth canal, through breast feeding or mom got blasted by antibiotics at birth. SIBO can be triggered in childhood by antibiotics, which makes you more susceptible to more infections. When the beneficial bacteria are killed by antibiotics, you lose their protection in your small intestine. This causes permeability.

16:25 Antibiotics cause fungal/yeast overgrowth in our guts. They are silent and challenging to diagnose. Yeast and pathogenic bacteria learn to eat sugar and carbs. By going keto, you lower these populations.

16:53 To make permanent changes in your gut, you need to change the terrain. Rebuild immunity with medicinal mushrooms and polyphenols. Polyphenols feed akkermansia and bifido longum.

17:29 The ABC bacterium are an anchor: akkermansia, bifidobacterium longum, and clostridiales bacterium. Centenarians have these. They carry our lives through to longevity.

18:04 Anything bitter and barky feeds our gut flora. Polyphenols for gut health include elderberry and pycnogenol.

19:02 Dr. Liu’s SIBO protocols are very low dose and combined with antifungals, and possibly anti-viral for those with autoimmunity.

20:25 Bifidobacterium longum has a monosaccharide shunt. It turns fructose into EPS/exopolysaccharide as a special food for the rest of your gut flora. When bifidobacterium longum and other bifidos are missing, we are susceptible to NASH/non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When fructose and other monosaccharides in the gut not being digested and assimilated go to the liver and make fat.

24:38 We should strive to have the digestion of our ancestors. Studies show that the gut flora of common day centenarians contains large amounts of bifidobacterium longum, akkermansia and great diversity. These folks were poor, had a poor diet, had poor healthcare and received few antibiotics. Yet, they had no cancer, chronic disease, asthma, allergies or autism.

27:11 Moms with celiac have children with celiac. Their breastmilk is devoid of bifidobacterium longum and there is no diversity in lactobacilli. There is only diversity in pathogenic diversity.  Our gut bacteria are nutrition factories, if we feed them well.

29:59 Glyphosate is an oxalate. At a cellular level when they crystalize they damage mitochondria, organelles, and soft tissue. Mammography is used to find calcium oxalate in the breast. It is the pre-stage of cancer and lumps. Great Plains organic acid test shows fungal metabolites.

34:47 Our female ancestors were foragers and ate frequently, receiving at glycolic effect from the environment.

36:25 Everyone should do hormone blood testing, like the DUTCH test. Centenarians have powerful and strong adrenal glands, and have normal levels of DHEA, cortisol and other adrenal hormones. Starving, restrictive or yoyo dieting, SCD, super Paleo, GAPS or AIP damages your adrenals. Many of these work for short term gut therapy.

37:16 The Schwarzbein Principle by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein has been used by Dr. Liu to help heal her own metabolism. Sometimes you need to gain a little weight to send signals to your metabolism and signaling pathways that everything is abundant. Sometimes Dr. Liu tests telomeres because you may not be as young as you think you are.

38:20 Fertility Physics also applies to gut health. For women estrogen should not be too high and progesterone needs to be in ideal ratio to estrogen, 200 to 1. Men should not have high estrogen and they need 50 to 1 testosterone to progesterone. The DUTCH test does not show progesterone levels.

39:33 High Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) blocks thyroid hormone, testosterone and progesterone receptors.

42:14 Synthetic emulsifiers in supplements, and now in some coconut oil, damage your microvilli.

43:35 The Bristol stool chart shows constipation/rabbit poops on the 1 to 3 scale and loose and increasing in looseness from 5 to 7. Four is ideal. Many conditions, like cancer and autoimmune disease, correlate to our stool pattern. According to studies, you lower your risk of breast cancer by 10 fold if you go twice a day. Hunter gatherers eat 50 to 100 grams of fiber each day. They defecate 3 times a day.

45:45 Dr. Liu uses a dashboard called Heads Up Health with her clients. It syncs to wearables. It also includes the Bristol Scale. Looser stools often reflect parasites. Constipation often reflects clostridium/E.coli.

48:26 Dr. Liu’s Desert Island Nutrient:  Her choice is thuja, a coniferous tree from the cypress family. It is anti-viral, anti-fungal and more. However, too much can hurt your liver. It can be taken orally or topically.

50:41 Dr. Liu’s Elevator Pitch: Put gardens in all elementary schools.










  1. Hi Mike,

    Just listen to your interview with Grace Liu. Grace mentioned a probiotic that was available in Canada. I wasn’t able to catch the name and I didn’t notice it in the show notes. Could you email me the name please.
    Great informative interview. I have listen to many of your intereviews and always come away with valuable information.
    Thank you.

  2. Mike,

    Fantastic interview! Just came across your website and the material I have seen so far is very insightful with great interview guests and also interview questions. Thanks for the awesome content!

  3. Hi Mike, these podcasts are really amazing. They are so informative, I discovered you through YouTube and I’ve been binge listening in Stitcher that past few days.

    In regards to Bifidobacterium longum and fructose, does that mean that a little fructose, provided we have this species of bacteria, might be a good thing? Or is it not just fructose that B. Longum processes to the benefit of the rest of the microbiota?

    Also, when Dr. Liu said “Looser stools often reflect parasites” could you explain what she meant by that? Parasitics bacteria?

    On a side note, since we are on this subject, I’ve been on the keto diet with 16:8 IF for about 4 months now, with awesome results. However, the one drawback that is wearing on me is the constant diarhia… Is there something I’m doing wrong, or should be doing differently, to change this?

    Thank you for all you do. Much appreciated.

  4. Hi there, love the podcast! You mentioned a book at around 40min in but I didn’t get the name. What is it called? Many thanks!

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