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Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context

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2nd Annual Conference on Nutritional Ketosis and Metabolic Therapeutics February 2017, Tampa, FL Epigenix Foundation: An Update on the Effects of Ketogenic Diets in Canine and Human Studies Presented by: Ron Penna; Shannon Kesl, Ph.D.; Jethro Hu, MD; Isabella Sledge, MD, MPH; John Sledge, MD This video is for informational purposes only. It should not be taken as medical advice.

Do Ketogenic Diets Have A Place In Human Evolution?

Part 1: How to think about ketogenic diets within human evolutionary history In the past decade ketogenic diets in humans have started to attract the attention of a few forward thinking researchers as well as a small number of online health enthusiasts. In any diet there are three main elements called macronutrients – fat, protein and carbohydrate. On a ketogenic diet most calories come from fat (65-90%), a moderate amount from protein (<10-25%) and a small amount from carbohydrate (0-15%). A ketogenic diet is often mistaken for a high-protein diet. This is not accurate. A ketogenic diet means eating food that produces ketones, a kind of molecule in the blood that provides energy, like glucose does. Producing a high enough level of ketones is called being in ketosis and it is a metabolic state in which the body relies much less on glucose. The who’s who of low-carbohydrate ketogenic research, headed by Accuros et al. in 2008 (1), defined ketogenic diets as containing <10% of calories from carbohydrates. There are two reasons that I prefer to give a range of 0-15%. First, scientists have not fed large populations in a controlled manner to see how much of each macronutrient is ne Continue reading >>

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  1. rahulratra

    Hello All,
    I started Keto 4 weeks back and I am 5’9 with the initial weight of 219.6lbs. Using Keto calculator I started with macros as <20g Carbs, 80g Protein and 158g Fat. I have been keeping a close eye using my fitness pal and am hitting my macros continuously (sometimes fat go up to 170g) and have so far lost 13lbs.
    I do not have food cravings seeing bread, rice, chapati (which was unthinkable for me sometime back) but I still have hunger pans once in a while, mostly it feels like its for salty food. I do take some pink himalayan salt on my tongue once in a while to crave those hunger pans.
    I have read around but not sure when is time for me to start lowering down on Fats or do IF while on Keto. Should I continue this path although the weight loss is not happening for last 1 week. I feel good in general so not worried about weight loss specifically, but more confused on what should be my next steps

    BTW, this forum and the community is absolutely magnificent

  2. PaulL

    As long as you are keeping your carbs under 20g and your protein around 80g, let your body tell you how much fat to eat; in other words, add fat to your meal until you are no longer hungry and don’t get cravings between meals. Given the amounts you listed, you are eating 1822 calories a day, which is definitely not excessive. Some days you may want a little more fat, other days not so much. Just listen to your body and let it tell you the right amount to eat. Once it is assured of enough energy, it will start burning off stored fat, instead of hanging on to it. But give yourself at least several months on keto, because it can take time to become fully fat-adapted.

    As for the salt, the carbohydrate you were eating was making you retain water, and your body was storing salt in order to balance out your electrolytes. Now that you are not eating any carbohydrate to speak of, all that water has been flushed from your system, and your kidneys are excreting salt at a higher rate, so you need to pay attention to getting enough salt—and potassium and magnesium as well. (And you are right; salt on the tongue does help with calming hunger pangs.) Not only that, but recent research has been revealing that the daily recommended salt intake is ridiculously low. It seems that the “science” telling us that salt is bad for us is of the same quality as the “science” telling us to avoid fat!

  3. Shortstuff

    No need to ever lower it, just eat according to your appetite. So really just keep doing what you’re doing.

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Optimize Yourself Physically - My Own Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... If you liked this video you might enjoy another video I made about intermittent fasting, the science behind it and how you can apply it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8zEu... Website: primedlifestyle.com Instagram: Primed Dr Michel vanDerscheldens book on intermittent fasting: The scientific approach to intermittent fasting. http://amzn.to/2oKnM3p (Affiliate) Intermittent fasting should feel as natural as breathing once you get used to it, however Ive noticed that a lot people are having trouble adapting to it fully. There seems to be a lot of broscience and old sayings thats still sticking around that will destroy your chances of having success with it. So in this video, I will go through 6 common mistakes and misconceptions while intermittent fasting and how you turn can them around for your own benefit. One of the greatest benefits of intermittent fasting is the effects it has on the brain. When youre in that fasted state with no glycogen, the body turns to fat for energy. As this happens, ketone bodies are released into the bloodstream which your brain prefers over other sources of energy. The release of ketones will increase your focus, concentration, ability to remember while simultaneously reducing the risk of alzheimer's and parkinsons disease. It will also boost the BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor by a whopping 400 % so that your brain can make new cells, neurons and nerves. Make sure to use this to your advantage and occupy yourself with some productive work and reap the rewards of awesome work ethic Having black coffee or black or green tea in the fasted state could actually be beneficial for you. Studies have shown that green tea promotes fat loss. If you are a coffee person then black coffee is great in the fasted state. Bulletproof coffee is great when following a ketogenic diet but if you consume moderate amounts of carbs throughout the day you should avoid it because it does more harm than good in terms of calories and fat loss. Fizzy water and zero calorie drinks is also acceptable to drink while fasting. Intermittent fasting and lifting will actually make you gain lean mass without the too much of the fat, so dont fear the hunger feeling. Everyone feels hungry at some point and to associate that feeling with something bad is only something the food industry would embrace to increase sales to frightened people. Feeling hungry is natural and just embrace it. However the more used you get to fasting the less hungry you will feel. Your body only likes to use fat for energy as a last resort, and in that fasted state, your body is depleted of glycogen and blood glucose so the body is forced to use fat as energy. When you wake up and have fasted for say 8 hours, your body is just starting to enter that fasted state. This is usually when we break the fast and have breakfast. Which is what I like to think of as the first mistake of the day. Keep fasting a few more hours and workout before having your first meal to get ripped. I hope I cleared up some misconceptions about intermittent fasting. When you really get into the habit of it, it will feel natural. Or as youve leveled up almost. Give it a try and reap the rewards of it. Music: Life of Riley by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-... Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Intermittent Fasting And Ketosis – Different Perspectives

My belief is that we are not meant to eat 3 times a day, which is the general R(x) in most countries. People eat much more than that, as you see the ones near you always having something to put in their mouths, always craving for something. It’s extremely easy to get food these days, with basically 0 effort. I do not want to be a critic but look at the Chawners for example, the fattest British family. They are not employed and they live off the government receiving approximately $20,000. Again, the purpose is not to criticize but to point out how easy it is to receive food. I don’t wanna say that their morbidly obese status has something to do with the amount of food they eat, but in some part, it has. Currently and as far as I know, there are more obese people than starving people in the world. Not wanting to derive away from the subject, let me give you some examples why I think it’s no good for us to eat at least 3 times a day and to eat every day. Let’s start with some history. Early Ancestors Enter the Australopiths (a.k.a. Australopithecus). They have been a hominid species living mostly in Africa between 4.2 to 1.5 million years ago. First of all, their upper body si Continue reading >>

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  1. RawNut

    Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence?
    During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all.
    Starvation ketosis
    Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline.
    Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..?
    Observation: chronic ketosis is relatively rare in nature. Angelo Coppola interpreted that to mean animals may have evolved a protective mechanism against ketosis (if you were following along, please let me know if this is a misrepresentation).
    But I think that is misguided. Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No! It’s an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain.
    The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not.
    Ketosis in the animal kingdom
    Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012).
    A possible exception to this is ruminant ketosis, but that’s for a different reason. They become ketotic because: 1) their gut turns much of what they eat into a ketogenic diet; and 2) this frequently happens during lactation, which combines very high energy expenditure and an enhanced draw on the oxaloacetate pool to make lactose.
    Whales? Nope. Despite eating for like, 1 month out of the year, they don’t develop ketosis.
    Snakes will enter ketosis, not due to high brain needs per se, but likely because even though small brain, total energy expenditure is so low that brain metabolism easily surpasses the [theoretical] 5% threshold (McCue 2006):
    Fasting baby elephant seals get ketotic, because their babies (Castellini and Costa, 1990):
    Hypercarnivores (eg, cats) don’t develop ketosis on very low carb diets, like humans would, which seems to be due to their inability to down regulate protein catabolism (urea cycle takes care of the nitrogen; gluconeogenesis the carbon)… but they will do so readily during starvation because of relatively big brains (Blanchard et al., 2002):
    Similar to cats, dolphins are carnivorous and also exhibit what appears to be a pathological inability to reduce protein catabolism when necessary. However, unlike cats, dolphins fail to develop ketosis of any sort, whether it’s on their typical low carb diet of fatty fish, or even complete starvation!
    Dolphins are the exception to a lot of rules. I don’t know why. Most animals with big brains have the ability to enter ketosis, but none do it as well as humans.
    Historically, while intermittent or cyclical ketosis was likely more common than nutritional [chronic] ketosis in humans, this doesn’t mean one form is better than another. Common =/= optimal.
    Starvation ketosis isn’t nutritional ketosis, but much of what we know about the latter stems from our understanding of the former… this is getting better, with more and more studies of longer and longer durations being published regularly. And hint: chronic ketosis doesn’t dissolve bones, deteriorate cognitive function, or break your metabolism.
    Are ketones the brain’s preferred fuel?
    Well, let’s just say this: when there are more ketones than glucose, brain uses more ketones than glucose. This happens in both starvation and nutritional ketosis.
    Ketosis proportionately spares glucose utilization in the brain (Zhang et al., 2013)
    If ketones were harmful, Nature would’ve surely devised a way to protect the brain!
    Disclosure: I’m not keto, not even very low carb in the summer really, so this obviously isn’t some sort of confirmation bias or logic fail or whatever you call it. I don’t practice what I preach. Sue me.
    Most of the time, I advocate a plant-based low-carb Paleo-like diet for health; keto if obese insulin resistant. High[ish] protein for all (ymmv). Seasonal when possible.
    Impact of ketones on cognition
    Would our ability to plan and set traps to acquire food, or quickly devise a strategy to escape predation have been negatively impacted during periods of intermittent or cyclical ketosis? I think not; more likely the opposite. And while I [still] believe the physical feats required to do these is not hindered after ketoadaptation, I also [still] believe it’s because we *out-smarted* them, not out-ran them. Compared to many other species, humans suck at speed.
    Some evidence:
    1. acute: in patients with moderate cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, given 40 mL MCTs to bolster ketoneshttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/...=1&a=B0019LRY8A: cognitive performance improved roughly in parallel with increasing ketones (Reger et al., 2004).
    2. chronic: 20 grams of Axona (purified MCTs) daily for 90 days improved cognition in people with age-associated memory impairment (Constantini et al., 2008).
    3. cruel and unusual: expose a group of type 1 diabetic patients to experimental hypoglycemia and give half 40 grams of coconut oilhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/...=1&a=B003OGKCDC (which is like a longer-chained version of MCTs) (Page et al., 2009). Result? Hypoglycemia impairs cognition; however, this is largely offset by increasing ketones with coconut oil. This group experienced improved: 1) verbal memory; 2) delayed verbal memory; and 3) verbal memory recognition.
    4. nutritional ketosis: 6 weeks of a bona fide ketogenic diet in patients with mild cognitive impairment = improved verbal memory performance, and this positively correlated with ketones (Krikorian et al., 2012).
    Optimal, harmful, or somewhere in between? You decide (but if you choose harmful, please provide a link! or at least explain why, very clearly…)
    Hint: nutritional ketosis isn’t harmful. FOR. FIVE. YEARS… 1) that’s not cyclical or intermittent ketosis; and 2) five years is probably much longer than the diet you’re following has been tested for “safety.”
    Ketones in evolution
    Without our ability to rapidly enter a robust state of ketosis, we wouldn’t be here, or we’d be some weaker subhuman species. But ketones have been around for a while… some bacteria store energy in the form of poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate. Some prokaryotes use ketones instead of triacylglycerols. Archaea also use ketones; and they’ve been around for billions of years… it’s estimated that we’ve been doing it for quite a long time, too (from evidence on when our brain would’ve surpassed the [theoretical] threshold). I’d cite a study by George Cahill here, and maybe you’d read it. But you should really read all of the studies by George Cahill (it’s not a-whole-lot). Sorry, I know that sounds ‘preachy.’
    Would ketosis have hindered our ability to hunt prey and avoid predation? My thoughts on our ability to perform high intensity physical activity after ketoadaptation have been thoroughly expressed in the past. And ketosis clearly doesn’t hinder cognitive functioning.
    So, from both a mental and physical perspective, ketosis, chronic or otherwise, did not stop us from becoming who we are. Indeed, it probably contributed to how we did so. Well, that and seafood.
    http://caloriesproper.com/?p=5078

  2. keith v

    Wow thanks Rawnut, that was very interesting.
    It especially makes mouse studies suspect due to the mouses small brain

  3. teaser

    An aspect to this that I find interesting is the idea that ketones spare fat. An animal like an elephant seal with its relatively smaller brain and larger fat mass can afford to fuel its glucose cycle from glycerol almost exclusively. If we wanted to do the same trick, and needed 100-125 grams of glucose a day to fuel our brains--at around ten percent of triglyceride calories as glycerol, we'd have to burn through 4000-5000 calories of fat a day during complete starvation, obviously not a good strategy for a person with what used to be "normal" fat stores.

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The term biohacking has become very popular over the last year. Biohacking refers to the art of hacking your biology or using natures built-in mechanisms to stack the deck in your favor and become the best version of you. I like to think of it simply as maximizing our biological potential and becoming superhuman. This is Part 3 of the series where we discuss nutritional ketosis in great detail, including how it benefits you at the cellular level and how to implement these powerful biohacks into your life. These can hack your biology to power up your mitochondria, the battery chargers of our body, and turn you into an efficient fat burner! More information on exogenous ketones can be found here: https://drmichaelvan.pruvitnow.com/ For more True Health content, Get my new book on intermittent fasting and ketosis here: https://www.amazon.com/Scientific-App... Subscribe to Dr. Mike's channel for more awesome videos at https://www.youtube.com/drmichaelvandc Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dr.michaelvan Instagram: DrMichaelVan Twitter: @DrMikeVan Offering 1 on 1 consultations with Dr. Mike. Click here to schedule: https://vanderschelden-chiropractic-p...

Acute Nutritional Ketosis: Implications For Exercise Performance And Metabolism

Go to: Dietary intake influences metabolism An ancient Spanish proverb ‘Diet cures more than the lancet’ suggests that the importance of diet in maintaining good health is an age-old concept. Mechanisms by which the body uses the fuels we eat to sustain life, or in the case of excess, store the surplus energy, have fascinated generations of scientists. Carbohydrates, fat, protein and, for some, alcohol are the fundamental sources of dietary energy. Whilst the numbers of dietary macronutrients (food groups) are limited, the particular composition and relative contribution of these dietary groups to our calorific needs vary widely. Until recently, little was known of the metabolic systems that linked diet with human function. In 1937, Krebs made arguably the most important breakthrough in biochemistry [1], describing a cycle of enzymatic reactions uniting dietary fuel combustion with cellular energy provision. This final common pathway for substrate metabolism has allowed the detailed study of the flow of energy transformation (energetics) from dietary sources to the ‘energy currency’ adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Exercise the litmus of metabolic performance Over the last cen Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. RawNut

    Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence?
    During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all.
    Starvation ketosis
    Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline.
    Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..?
    Observation: chronic ketosis is relatively rare in nature. Angelo Coppola interpreted that to mean animals may have evolved a protective mechanism against ketosis (if you were following along, please let me know if this is a misrepresentation).
    But I think that is misguided. Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No! It’s an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain.
    The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not.
    Ketosis in the animal kingdom
    Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012).
    A possible exception to this is ruminant ketosis, but that’s for a different reason. They become ketotic because: 1) their gut turns much of what they eat into a ketogenic diet; and 2) this frequently happens during lactation, which combines very high energy expenditure and an enhanced draw on the oxaloacetate pool to make lactose.
    Whales? Nope. Despite eating for like, 1 month out of the year, they don’t develop ketosis.
    Snakes will enter ketosis, not due to high brain needs per se, but likely because even though small brain, total energy expenditure is so low that brain metabolism easily surpasses the [theoretical] 5% threshold (McCue 2006):
    Fasting baby elephant seals get ketotic, because their babies (Castellini and Costa, 1990):
    Hypercarnivores (eg, cats) don’t develop ketosis on very low carb diets, like humans would, which seems to be due to their inability to down regulate protein catabolism (urea cycle takes care of the nitrogen; gluconeogenesis the carbon)… but they will do so readily during starvation because of relatively big brains (Blanchard et al., 2002):
    Similar to cats, dolphins are carnivorous and also exhibit what appears to be a pathological inability to reduce protein catabolism when necessary. However, unlike cats, dolphins fail to develop ketosis of any sort, whether it’s on their typical low carb diet of fatty fish, or even complete starvation!
    Dolphins are the exception to a lot of rules. I don’t know why. Most animals with big brains have the ability to enter ketosis, but none do it as well as humans.
    Historically, while intermittent or cyclical ketosis was likely more common than nutritional [chronic] ketosis in humans, this doesn’t mean one form is better than another. Common =/= optimal.
    Starvation ketosis isn’t nutritional ketosis, but much of what we know about the latter stems from our understanding of the former… this is getting better, with more and more studies of longer and longer durations being published regularly. And hint: chronic ketosis doesn’t dissolve bones, deteriorate cognitive function, or break your metabolism.
    Are ketones the brain’s preferred fuel?
    Well, let’s just say this: when there are more ketones than glucose, brain uses more ketones than glucose. This happens in both starvation and nutritional ketosis.
    Ketosis proportionately spares glucose utilization in the brain (Zhang et al., 2013)
    If ketones were harmful, Nature would’ve surely devised a way to protect the brain!
    Disclosure: I’m not keto, not even very low carb in the summer really, so this obviously isn’t some sort of confirmation bias or logic fail or whatever you call it. I don’t practice what I preach. Sue me.
    Most of the time, I advocate a plant-based low-carb Paleo-like diet for health; keto if obese insulin resistant. High[ish] protein for all (ymmv). Seasonal when possible.
    Impact of ketones on cognition
    Would our ability to plan and set traps to acquire food, or quickly devise a strategy to escape predation have been negatively impacted during periods of intermittent or cyclical ketosis? I think not; more likely the opposite. And while I [still] believe the physical feats required to do these is not hindered after ketoadaptation, I also [still] believe it’s because we *out-smarted* them, not out-ran them. Compared to many other species, humans suck at speed.
    Some evidence:
    1. acute: in patients with moderate cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, given 40 mL MCTs to bolster ketoneshttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/...=1&a=B0019LRY8A: cognitive performance improved roughly in parallel with increasing ketones (Reger et al., 2004).
    2. chronic: 20 grams of Axona (purified MCTs) daily for 90 days improved cognition in people with age-associated memory impairment (Constantini et al., 2008).
    3. cruel and unusual: expose a group of type 1 diabetic patients to experimental hypoglycemia and give half 40 grams of coconut oilhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/...=1&a=B003OGKCDC (which is like a longer-chained version of MCTs) (Page et al., 2009). Result? Hypoglycemia impairs cognition; however, this is largely offset by increasing ketones with coconut oil. This group experienced improved: 1) verbal memory; 2) delayed verbal memory; and 3) verbal memory recognition.
    4. nutritional ketosis: 6 weeks of a bona fide ketogenic diet in patients with mild cognitive impairment = improved verbal memory performance, and this positively correlated with ketones (Krikorian et al., 2012).
    Optimal, harmful, or somewhere in between? You decide (but if you choose harmful, please provide a link! or at least explain why, very clearly…)
    Hint: nutritional ketosis isn’t harmful. FOR. FIVE. YEARS… 1) that’s not cyclical or intermittent ketosis; and 2) five years is probably much longer than the diet you’re following has been tested for “safety.”
    Ketones in evolution
    Without our ability to rapidly enter a robust state of ketosis, we wouldn’t be here, or we’d be some weaker subhuman species. But ketones have been around for a while… some bacteria store energy in the form of poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate. Some prokaryotes use ketones instead of triacylglycerols. Archaea also use ketones; and they’ve been around for billions of years… it’s estimated that we’ve been doing it for quite a long time, too (from evidence on when our brain would’ve surpassed the [theoretical] threshold). I’d cite a study by George Cahill here, and maybe you’d read it. But you should really read all of the studies by George Cahill (it’s not a-whole-lot). Sorry, I know that sounds ‘preachy.’
    Would ketosis have hindered our ability to hunt prey and avoid predation? My thoughts on our ability to perform high intensity physical activity after ketoadaptation have been thoroughly expressed in the past. And ketosis clearly doesn’t hinder cognitive functioning.
    So, from both a mental and physical perspective, ketosis, chronic or otherwise, did not stop us from becoming who we are. Indeed, it probably contributed to how we did so. Well, that and seafood.
    http://caloriesproper.com/?p=5078

  2. keith v

    Wow thanks Rawnut, that was very interesting.
    It especially makes mouse studies suspect due to the mouses small brain

  3. teaser

    An aspect to this that I find interesting is the idea that ketones spare fat. An animal like an elephant seal with its relatively smaller brain and larger fat mass can afford to fuel its glucose cycle from glycerol almost exclusively. If we wanted to do the same trick, and needed 100-125 grams of glucose a day to fuel our brains--at around ten percent of triglyceride calories as glycerol, we'd have to burn through 4000-5000 calories of fat a day during complete starvation, obviously not a good strategy for a person with what used to be "normal" fat stores.

  4. -> Continue reading
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