Gut Shield: Kiefer changes his tune on the gut biome… and incidentally has something new to sell


It’s been a while since I’ve written about anything John Kiefer related mainly because he’s largely retreated from public life.  Carb Nite and Carb Back-loading remain unchanged in their 1.0 status with version 2.0’s supposedly always around the corner but never quite materializing.  He occasionally sends out marketing e-mails whenever T3 Fuel and Carb Shock are back in stock but that’s about it.  He’s remained absent from his Body IO FM podcast which are now mainly run by his minions.  No more interesting episodes with him and Rocky where they crap on everyone else in the industry.

I was surprised when the latest marketing blast hit my inbox was a supplement directed towards the gut biome, especially given his previous thoughts on the subject.

What he’s said before

Here are some of the notes I took from his prior podcasts:

Ben Coombs Show:

  • Galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides, which are both prebiotics, can increase ketone levels.

Body IO FM 18:  

  • Kiefer believes that you don’t need to optimize gut health. But if you optimize your health, your gut health will follow.  Because bacteria adapt with you. If you are eating too much and become obese, your gut bacteria will also become obesogenic.

Body IO FM 21:

Gut biome research

  • Kiefer believes that our gut biome is sick because we are sick.  Our gut biome is trying to do what it can to help us out.  He believes that when we become healthy, our gut biome will become healthy.
  • This paper believes, that we are sick because our gut biome is sick, so we should find ways to target the microbiome which will then make us healthy.
  • (Thanks Rocky for bringing up the merits of fecal transplants and gut biome research)
  • (Alex clearly did not understand point of fecal transplants in use of Cdiff, and gravity of cdiff.  Did he read the article?)
  • Kiefer really continuing to trash paleo for being too bogged down in the minutiae

Body IO FM 29

  • Kiefer brings up his thoughts on the gut biome.  The research is great, but we also know that when we take carbs out of the diet, it causes a decrease in overall amount of gut bacteria we have, however it also causes  shift towards the beneficial species.

Body IO FM 33:

  • Kiefer goes on about his ideas on the microbiome… when we our healthy, our gut bacteria adapts and becomes healthy, when we our unhealthy, our gut bacteria then becomes unhealthy.

In all of his previous podcasts he’s stated his belief from all the research he has reviewed at the time is that your gut flora will change with you.  The basic premise is if you become healthy, your gut flora will in turn become healthy.  If you are unhealthy, then your gut flora will be unhealthy.  Eating low carb and Carb Nite will make you healthier and in turn make your gut healthier.  Any thought of resistant starch or probiotics was, excuse the pun, poo-poo-ed.


E-Book / White paper

As with the release of T3 Fuel and Carb Shock, Kiefer produced a short e-book, which he likes to call ‘white paper.’

Here’s a link to it:

SUPER ORGANISM: The Latest Research On How To “Hack” Your Immune Response, Activate “Lean” Genes And Turn On Your Happy Hormones

(here’s a second link in case the first doesn’t work)

In this 56 page pdf (yes I read the whole thing) he begins with a personal anecdote of having an 8 day bout of diarrhea that caused him to lose 20 lbs and fear for his life.  I’m assuming this was the proverbial ‘Road to Damascus’ moment in which he changed his mind on the efficacy of prebiotics and probiotics.

By page 11 he’s giving us a brief anatomy lesson of our gastrointestinal system and touches on the ways our gut biome effects us:

These microbes thrive in your mouth, nose, ears, intestines and on every inch of your skin. If you could isolate them all, they would fill up a half-gallon container. Scientists have so far identified some 10,000 species of microbes, and because each microbe contains its own DNA, that translates to more than eight million genes. In other words, for every human gene in your body, there are at least 360 microbial ones.

What’s so shocking however (and what most people don’t know) is that these bacterial genes can tell our own cells exactly what to do. We are essentially a superorganism: a collective of species, living cohesively alongside each other to survive.

This collective, known as the microbiome, is as unique to each and every one of us that we’re just as identifiable by it as we are our fingerprints. Nearly every single aspect of your health and well-being is related to your microbiome…

…If you currently experience:

  • Memory problems and poor concentration,
  • Constipation or diarrhea,
  • Celiac disease, IBS or Crohn’s,
  • Insomnia,
  • Joint pain,
  • High blood pressure.
  • Acne and eczema,
  • Extreme menopausal or menstrual symptoms,
  • Arthritis, or
  • Metabolic conditions, obesity and an inability to lose weight

Then the current state of your microbiome could be to blame.

He then briefly summarizes research on the gut biome in mice and humans to further emphasize the importance of how changes in the gut biome can directly affect our physiology.  By the way, much of this research was all available at the time he was ranting and raving on his podcast about only needing to eat low carb and ‘be healthy’ to have a ‘healthy gut.’

It looks like all it took for Kiefer to change his mind on the gut biome and the benefit of the probiotics was a bad case of diarrhea!

Minor error: Ignorance vs Lazy editing?

In the section where he craps on other probiotics there’s an error that I wanted to point out.  Not a major error, but one that really annoyed me:

He states that the bacteriae Bacillus subtilis bacteremia and Bacillus subtilis cholangitis are the organisms often used in probtiotics.  WRONG.

Bacteremia means the presence of bacteria in blood.  Cholangitis is an infection of the bile ducts.  These are the names of disease states and not of individual organisms.

Bacillus subitilis is the organism.  This mistake is either the result of lazy editing and copy and pasting or due to simple ignorance.

Just for kicks, I looked into the reference that he used (link to the actual paper).  Here’s the actual passage from the paper:

What do you think, lazy editing or ignorance?

Either way, rightly or wrongly, it made me question his attention to detail and depth of research.

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What’s in Gut Shield?

There are three main components to Gut Shield:

1. Protease Component:  Consists of peptidase complex, glucoamylase complex, protease complex, alpha galactosidase, and pepsin complex.

These specific proteases were added to act as enzymes for breaking down irritants to the gastrointestinal tract like gluten. If we want a properly functioning gastrointestinal tract we need to make sure allergens and irritants are removed.

2. Probiotic Component:

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – Benefits mood health, hormone modulation, counteract weight gain, positively affects blood sugar, reduce GI issues, and may even help with hay fever.

Lactobacillus Helveticus – Prevents GI infections, indirectly benefits metabolism, removes allergens, and improves mood.

Bifidobacterium Longum – Inhibits growth of harmful bacteria, helps with lipids, alleviates lactose intolerance, helps the immune system, and may aid in cancer prevention.

3. Prebiotic Component:  Consists of galcato-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides, the stuff he mentions in the Ben Coombs Show, so at least he’s consistent here.

These are compounds that help feed the beneficial gut bacteria.

I decided to try it out

Since I’m a marketing sucker and curious as to Kiefer’s activities to a fault, I decided to try this out!  I clicked on the link at the end of the Superorganism ebook and it took me to this landing page with similar information to the ebook with additional animated gif’s and graphics.  The page funnels you to a click-to-buy-it-now link.

How much does it cost?  Well, here are your options:

$249 for a 3 pack, $199.90 for a 2 pack, and $119.95 for 1.

I opted for the 1 month supply, which after shipping came out to $127.25.  Pricey!

A week later and I received my package in the mail.  This is what I got:

Ketonix - Breath Ketone Analyzer

My Next Experiment

Since I still have two unused uBiome tests, I’ll simply submit a pre-treatment uBiome, followed by 30 days of Gut Shield, and see what happens with a post-treatment uBiome (uBiome is still running a 15% off promotion if you’re interested in testing your own poop).

This should hopefully tell us if my gut has been successfully shielded and repopulated with new and exciting beneficial gut bacteria.  Huzzah!

Maybe I’ll also notice some of the other benefits like improved mood, decreased cholesterol, increased fat burning, improved hay fever, etc.

Or maybe I’ll just have flushed $127.25 down the toilet.

10 Responses to Gut Shield: Kiefer changes his tune on the gut biome… and incidentally has something new to sell

  1. Eric says:

    I still don’t see how anyone could go wrong with VSL#3? For the money nothing comes close to beating the value of VSL#3 capsules, especially now that they are dairy free. 112 billion units per capsule. 60 capsules per bottle at $53. Shipped to you on ice. What a bargain! The only thing I will say is that they started adfing cornstarch so anyone having a corn allergy or corn sensitivity may have an issue with the new formulation of the capsules.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      This was going to be one of the things I brought up in the followup post for Gut Shield. VSL#3 is the most proven probiotic I’ve come across.

      An argument could be made for the prebiotics and proteases that Kiefer is also adding, but probiotic wise, I don’t think you can beat VSL#3.

  2. Jeff says:

    Kiefer is seeming like a used car salesman, but I also bought it because when listening to him he usually has good points and seems genuine. Who knows.
    After 10 days don’t notice anything yet.

  3. Mike C. says:

    Thanks to the BJJ blog for posting medical information based on N1 experiments, this is what we really need.
    We need to work together to figure out what foods and plans bring consistent health.

    John Keifer continues to speak intelligently in 2016 regarding fat loss, muscle gain and insulin resistance issues.
    He is also clearly up to date on the latest medical studies on the subject.
    Go back and listen to the light debate with Jason Fung on the earlier Body IO podcast.
    Kiefer is clearly aware of the latest research.

    However, since 2014 he has had major reversals on subjects such as gut biome and gluten with no explanation.
    This is unfortunate and damages his credibility.

    He clearly stated on his Body IO podcasts in 2014, that gut health was not important, calling it “self regulating”.
    “Eat to get healthy, the gut adapts to aid the process , eat to get obese, the gut adapts to aid the process”.

    He also very early on was claiming that over 50% of the population was gluten sensitive and now says it is a “canard” and that virtually no one is truly gluten sensitive. Again, he has made this position shift with no written or verbal explanation.

    Coming out with multiple supplements also damages his credibility, in my opinion. His initial focus seemed to be whole food and educating those in need.
    People have to make a living though and all low carb proponents are now shilling something.
    Books, supplements, franken foods, tshirts, cruises anything you can imagine. Even Abel James is now the author of “The Wild Diet”.
    What better way to make money than unregulated supplements. You can literally stick anything in a bottle, claim anything you want and sell it with virtually no oversight.

    Regarding his latest highly overpriced (as all his products are) “Gut Shield”.

    First off, there is already a product on the market with the same name by Solaray. Who did the research on naming the product? Very careless.

    An N1 experimenter posted online his experience with “Gut Shield”. It produced hardly any of the claimed results and the user stopped taking it.
    Look for jessebandersen for the test on his blog.

    They added CORNSTARCH in the product? Nice move…a common allergen.
    Through elimination, I believe corn may be the cause of my cystic acne breakouts.
    There is also a chance that cyclical Keto resets a hormonal imbalance for me.

    Regarding John Keifers public withdrawal for more than 2 years. John Keifer has went down the rabbit hole of creating an app.
    Again, there is money in apps. He has lost over 500k being cheated by developers. I could have told him that could happen.
    He “claims” the updated Carb Nite 2 and CBL 2 and the “app” are coming in 2017.
    He claims using his app, the user will get personalized feedback for nutrition and training like nothing has ever offered before.
    He is even making some spurious claims that he now understands the inslulin resistance disease state because he found the “missing link”.
    He is “sort of” claiming we can now “fix” ourselves, resetting the disease state back by 20 years.
    He claims only current suctomers of his products will be offered the new products because “we understand the scieice already”.

    As of today, he sounds like he may be full of s*** in my opinion.
    I believe he is also selling as much of the old information as he can, luring those who do not have it yet, to buy outdated books.
    He is using the ploy of it “will not be available to the general public” to soak in even more cash.

    As always, his information is good and works, but his tactics are like the average fitness/supplement scammer.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Can’t argue with any of the points you’ve made. Kiefer has been positioning himself as the only honest health champion out there and crapping on all the profiteering paleo peoples… and yet… maybe he’s turning into one of them himself. Hopefully things will change soon, I’m still giving him a chance.

      I really enjoyed that post by jessebandersen.

  4. Andrew Schroeder says:

    Not saying this as a point of disagreement, but I seem to remember a podcast where he guessed that gut motility would end up being the overriding factor as to one’s gut health.

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