Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context
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..? 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, more likely 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). For the rest of this article and more, head over to Pat Continue reading >>
How To Be In Ketosis?
Be a new-born baby reared on breast-milk  Use up your glycogen by exercising  Eat a high-fat diet , low in carbs with moderate protein Take exogenous ketones  (aka ketones in a pill) Ketosis is a metabolic state. It is normal for humans to be in and out of ketosis. Once your body starts relying on lots of fat for energy you get into ketosis. So why isn’t it called fatosis? Because when your body burns lots of fat it also turns some of that fat into ketones which then go on to be used for energy too. Is ketosis good for human body? During human evolution, we were probably in and out of ketosis. For instance, seasonal variation for our ancestors often meant little to no sugary and starchy foods which pushed us towards a higher-fat diet. Fatty nutrient dense foods like offal (the weird animal bits such as liver, tongue etc.) were seen as delicacies  and thus in high demand. The further North a population lived, the less vegetation was available which meant humans relied more on hunting large animals and gathering small ones (like eggs or insects! ). All of the essential micro and macronutrients for humans are found in animals, not plants, which directs human food gathering efforts towards animals (whose meat is low in carbs). Although the argument for ketosis isn’t as simple as “we did it back then so it’s good for us now”, the story of human evolution supports it being a normal metabolic state. In other words, it passes the first evolutionary filter (see more: Do ketogenic diets have a place in human evolution?) Ketogenesis as medicine There are many reasons to be in ketosis given to us by modern science. Lowering insulin resistance  (especially for the obese and diabetics) Increased fat oxidation capacity …and many others. Sounds goo Continue reading >>
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 needed to shift more than half of them into nutritional ketosis (we lack empirical data on this). This is complicated by that fact that different people get into nutritional ketosis more or less easily because of various factors, like their level of insulin resistance for example. Second, scientists have not yet defined what the nutritional ketosis threshold is exactly, despite their being good approximations. Before exploring the appropriateness of ketogenic diets for humans, I’d like to justify why I approach questions of human health and nutrition the way I do by introducing 2 concepts; evo Continue reading >>
Keto 101: The Science Behind Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diet or keto diet is a nutrition management system characterized by a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet. The primary goal of this diet is to induce ketosis or a metabolic state in which the body burns fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. Understanding the science behind keto diet requires understanding the fact that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are three primary macronutrients. By definition, macronutrients are energy-providing chemical substances that are essential in day-to-day functions of humans and other animals. The underlying principle behind keto diet is managing behaviors related to macronutrient consumption and the way the body use a particular macronutrient as a source of energy. Mechanisms of ketogenic diet The abundance of carbohydrates across different food groups means that they are readily consumed in regular and unmediated diet patterns. When consumed, the body converts the carbohydrates into glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule the body can use as energy. This is the reason why carb-rich diet is very common. On the other hand, insulin is a hormone used for promoting the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. A regular medium to high-carb diet compels the body to depend on carbohydrates as the primary source of energy. Excess calories from carbohydrates and dietary fat are stored as adipose or fat tissue for use as an emergency source of energy. Fat storage is a fail-safe mechanism the body employs in case of low-food intake. Central to the ketogenic diet is the use of fat as the primary source of energy instead of carbohydrates. Through the regular consumption of food or meals that are high in fat with moderate amounts of protein but very low in carbohydrates, ketogenic diet mimi Continue reading >>
Any Other Animals In A State Of Ketosis
It's a good question - I think that we decided, from the little information available, that carnivorous cats have an upregulated gluconeogenesis pathway that would possibly meet their glucose needs without ketosis. I quite like Paul Jaminet's analysis (in his Perfect Health Diet Book) in which he shows that, at the intestine wall, all mammals digest very similar macro ratios (independent of what they actually put in their mouths): "It turns out that what differs among the animals is the composition of the digestive tract. Animals have evolved digestive tracts and livers to transform diverse food inputs into the uniform set of nutrients that all need. Herbivores have foregut organs such as rumens or hindgut chambers for fermenting carbohydrates, turning them into fats and volatile acids that can be used to manufacture fats. Carnivores have livers capable of turning protein into glucose and fat." "When we look past the digestive tract at what nutrients are actually delivered to the body, all mammals obtain a remarkably similar set of nutrients. By calories, mammalian diets are always composed of a majority, typically 50-75%, of saturated and monounsaturated fats (including the short-chain fatty acids produced by fermentation of fiber); a mix of carbohydrates and protein, usually totaling around 25-40%; and a modest amount of polyunsaturated fat, typically less than 10%. " Continue reading >>
Tpns 58-61: Ketosis Is Natural. Natural Is Good.
Primitive Nutrition 58: Ketosis Is Natural. Natural Is Good. Part I So far in my examination of low-carb diets I've shown you that they are nutritionally deficient, metabolically damaging, and unlikely to produce weight loss, if only because fats are so calorically dense. For the low-carbers, the solution to this last problem is ketosis. For them, this special metabolic state is the ultimate goal of their diets. They imagine it will effortlessly melt away all the fat they've accumulated from their prior unhealthy eating behavior. Low carbers' zeal for ketosis has lead some to make a questionable claim which I'd like to ponder in this section. Michael Eades presents it here in his blog explaining ketosis. Of course, like many other primitive fad diet promoters, he wants you to start from the assumption that the activity pictured to the left somehow represents man's true nature and the way he has historically obtained food. I don't see any women in that photo, which should give you a clue that this isn't the whole story. According to The Economist, among the hunter gatherers who provide the Paleo model, "men usually bring fewer calories than women, and have a tiresome tendency to prefer catching big and infrequent prey so they can show off." Eades is tapping into the same old macho vanity that has worked so well in marketing Paleo. If you'd like to see what a group spear hunt really looks like in live action, watch this video. Somehow the artist who created Dr Eades picture forgot to include all the blood. Having read a bit about how intelligent and social elephants are, I find this unappealing to say the least. If you watch it, see if you can imagine Michael Eades participating in such a hunt. But back to ketosis, despite his acknowledgement that ketogenic diets create a Continue reading >>
Animal Models Of The Ketogenic Diet: What Have We Learned, What Can We Learn?
Abstract Despite its clinical use as a therapy for refractory epilepsy for more than 75 years, the ketogenic diet (KD) remains a therapy in search of an explanation. The mechanism of action of the KD is unclear and the optimal indications for its clinical use are incompletely defined. Animal models could help to elucidate these questions. Surprisingly, there have been very few animal studies of the KD, and those that have been performed are difficult to compare because of wide discrepancies in experimental methods. Earlier models concentrated on the effect of the KD on acute seizure threshold in normal (i.e. nonepileptic) animals. Recent studies are beginning to examine the longer term effects of the KD and its role in epileptogenesis. Some features of clinical experience have been replicated in animal models, including the role of ketosis, elevation of seizure threshold by both classic ketogenic and medium chain triglyceride diets, better effectiveness at younger ages, and rapid reversal of the seizure protective effect when the diet is discontinued. These parallels raise hope that pertinent clinical questions can be addressed in the more controlled setting of the research laboratory. As in the clinical arena, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in pursuing basic questions related to the ketogenic diet, using techniques of modern neuroscience. Experimental approaches such as brain slice neurophysiology, genetic models, dissection of metabolic pathways, and neurohistological techniques hold much promise in the effort to understand this intriguing alternative to standard anticonvulsants. Continue reading >>
Is There A Best Way To Monitor Ketosis
Ketosis is underrecognized on most farms and is associated with several clinical diseases, lost milk, breeding problems, and greater risk of early culling. You should test cows for ketosis for three main reasons: It helps you diagnose and treat clinically sick cows. You can monitor and identify changes in transition cow performance earlier. You can establish the basis for herd investigations. Herd investigation and diagnosing and treating of sick cows are good reasons for testing and can be considered reactive approaches . . . you identify a problem and employ a ketone testing strategy as a diagnostic tool. Monitoring herd performance is a proactive approach. The idea is to track herd data over time so you can identify herd problems earlier than you might have using a reactive approach. Ketone tests Excess ketone production occurs in the liver in response to excess fat mobilization. The circulating ketones are acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA). They are found in all body fluids including urine, blood, and milk. The predominant ketone in cows is BHBA. The gold standard for ketone testing is considered to be laboratory measurement of BHBA. However, taking a blood sample, shipping it to a lab, and then waiting for the results is costly and inconvenient. Fortunately, there are cowside tests for milk, urine, and blood tests. Milk tests. Milk ketone tests such as Ketocheck measure acetone and acetoacetate. These tests are very insensitive, but, when they are positive, they almost always are correct. Unfortunately, their poor sensitivity makes them essentially useless in ketone testing programs. The only useful milk ketone test is the Keto-Test. This test measures milk beta-hydroxybutyrate and is very easy to use. In a monitoring program, a cow that is tes Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet As The Default Human Diet: An Energy Perspective
The conditions under which the liver delivers optimal fuel on demand may be the conditions under which it evolved. When you are on a ketogenic diet, the mitochondria in your cells — the parts of the cells that produce energy — actually switch from primarily using sugar for fuel to primarily using fat for fuel. They use fat mostly in a form called ketone bodies (or, commonly, ketones), thus a ketogenic diet. (See Keto-adaptation: what it is and how to adjust for more on this process of switching fuels.) Sugar-based living (from a diet with more than about 5% calories from carbohydrate) When you are using the sugar-based system, all of the cells in your body constantly take sugar out of your bloodstream. It's hard for your body to keep up, and you need to frequently refuel by eating carbohydrate-containing food. Getting sugar out of the carbohydrates that you eat is a blunt tool. Unless you eat in a trickling stream, you will consume more sugar than is safe to hold in the bloodstream at once. That sugar has to be quickly removed, because high blood sugar damages your cells. So a flood of insulin comes in to initiate the process of sugar removal. There is some limited storage space in the liver, but when that is full, the rest basically gets stored as fat. Soon however, the job is done. Your blood sugar is back in a safe range. Your body cells are still demanding sugar, though, and your blood sugar starts to drop too low. Your liver can release some sugar back into the bloodstream, but not fast enough to keep up with demand, so you get tired and hungry, and the process starts all over. People on carbohydrate-based diets typically have to "snack" every couple of hours. Endurance athletes have to stop and eat sugar just to get through their events. On a sugar-based metab Continue reading >>
The Best Animal Fats And Plant Fats To Eat
I like to make sure I am eating a combination of both animal fats and plant based fats during the day so that I am getting a wide variety of nutrients and fatty profiles into my diet. There are both similarities and differences between animal fats and plant fats, and there are also some types of fats that I won’t touch with a barge pole if I can help it! ‘Fat’ is a generic term used for any kind of lipid, which in an ester between fatty acids and glycerol. Both plant fats and animal fats are triglycerides, which means they are molecules that are composed of one glycerol and 3 fatty acid chains. The primary difference between plant fats and animal fats are their ratios of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid chains. Animal fat has been vilified in the past (and still somewhat nowadays), due to the higher saturated fat content found in it. For the last 50 years or so, people thought that saturated fat was the cause of heart disease, obesity, and other diseases. But more and more people are starting to wake up to the fact that saturated fat is actually incredibly good for you and it is, in fact, sugar that is the primary cause of these things. In truth, for pretty much the entire of human history, up until the latter half of the 20th century, fatty meats and organs from animals were prized as the most nutritious and delicious part of the animal. Great Plant Fats Coconut Oil Coconut Oil is a wonderful fat that I pretty much use every day. Both for cooking, infatty teas/coffees and on my skin! It is full of medium chain fatty acids – caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid. These are unlike the long chain fatty acids found in other plant-based fats because they are immediately processed by the liver (and therefore not stored as fat), anti-mic Continue reading >>
Managing disease can be a frustrating proposition. This Guide can help you identify which disease is damaging your cattle. Cause Ketosis is a metabolic disorder that occurs in cattle when energy demands (e.g. high milk production) exceed energy intake and result in a negative energy balance. Ketotic cows often have low blood glucose (blood sugar) concentrations. When large amounts of body fat are utilised as an energy source to support production, fat is sometimes mobilised faster than the liver can properly metabolise it. If this situation occurs, ketone production exceeds ketone utilisation by the cow, and ketosis results. In the beef cow, this is most likely to occur in late pregnancy when the cow's appetite is at its lowest and the energy requirement of the growing calf near its peak. In the dairy cow, the mismatch between input and output usually occurs in the first few weeks of lactation, because the cow is not able to eat enough to match the energy lost in the milk. Symptoms Reduced milk yield Weight loss Reduced appetite Dull coat Acetone (pear drop) smell of breath/ or milk Fever Some develop nervous signs including excess salivation, licking, agression etc. For every cow with clinical signs there are probably a number of others with sub-clinical signs. Treatment The initial aim of treatment is to restore the lack of glucose in the body. A quick-acting glucose supplement is required immediately. Follow-up treatment is aimed at providing a long term supply of glucose. Glucose replacement Intravenous administration of a dextrose solution by a veterinarian is effective in the short term, but follow-up treatment is essential if relapses are to be avoided. Drenching with propylene glycol or glycerine has longer term effects. It also has the benefit of ease of admini Continue reading >>
A Comprehensive Guide To The Vegan Ketogenic Diet
Animal suffering, climate change, and health are three vitally important issues that can all be addressed with one solution — the vegan diet. At least, this is the idea that many health documentaries promote, however, the truth is much more nuanced. For example, some people have much better health when they go low-carb and eat some animal products, while others feel much better on a high-carb vegan diet. A vegan diet is not the best diet for every health issue either. For example, people with conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy can be helped tremendously by the ketogenic diet, while a vegan diet doesn’t help nearly as much. Does this mean that vegans should forget about ethical concerns and swallow down animal products like a supplement? Not at all. So, what do you are supposed to do if a moderate to high-carb vegan diet doesn’t work for you and a standard ketogenic diet may be what you need, but it contains too many animal products? Combine the two. An Overview of The Vegan Ketogenic Diet The Vegan ketogenic diet is one of the most restrictive diets, but it is possible to pull it off while maintaining your sanity, decreasing animal suffering, and improving your health. To implement the diet correctly, you must follow these rules: Limit your total carbohydrate consumption to 35 grams or less per day. Eliminate all meat, fish, and other animal products from your diet. Get at least 70% of your calories from plant-based fats. Consume around 25% of your calories from plant-based proteins. Supplement with nutrients that you may not be getting enough of like vitamins D3, B12, & B6, DHA & EPA, iron, zinc, and taurine. Not a fan of math? Not sure how much of each macronutrient you need? Use Continue reading >>
General information Ketosis in cattle is associated with an inadequate supply of the nutrients necessary for the normal carbohydrate and fat metabolism that is seen mainly in times of high milk production in early lactation. The excessive ketone bodies in the bloodstream come from the breakdown of fat when the animal is forced to draw on its bodily reserves for energy. Although the metabolism of body fat provides energy for cows, the nervous system is dependent on glucose, and the ketones produced as a result of excessive fat metabolism can have toxic effects. The excess ketone bodies are eliminated in the urine, milk and breath of the animal. Overview Cause Ketosis may develop from poor diet or periods of stress such as cold, wet weather. It may also affect apparently well-fed cows producing very large volumes of milk. In pasture-fed cows the condition is usually seen when the grass is drying off and green feed is scarce. The disease is relatively common in lactating cows in Australia but often goes unnoticed in its mild forms. The mortality rate in affected cattle is low and spontaneous recoveries occur in many cases. The disease is usually seen in early lactation (within the first 2 months after calving) and may cause significant production losses. Five types of the disease are recognised: Primary underfeeding or starvation ketosis - feed quality inadequate. Secondary underfeeding ketosis - inadequate feed intake due to another disease or condition. Ketogenic or alimentary ketosis - from feeds high in ketogenic material. Ketosis due to a specific nutritional deficiency - cobalt and possibly phosphorus deficiency have been suspected as causes. Spontaneous ketosis - where causes are not able to be established. Predisposing factors Age - cows of any age may be affected Continue reading >>
Diagnosis Ketosis is diagnosed by clinical signs; sodium nitroprusside tablets or ketosis dipsticks may be used to identify ketones in the urine or plasma. In dairy cattle, blood glucose is typically less than 40 mg/dl, total blood ketones >30 mg/dl, and milk ketones >10 mg/dl. In small ruminants, blood glucose levels found to be below 25 mg/dl and ketonuria are good diagnostic indicators. Often ketones can be smelled in the cow’s breath and milk. In prepartum cattle and in lactating cows, blood levels of NEFA greater than 1000 uEq/l and 325–400 uEq/l are abnormal (Gerloff and Herdt, 2009). Triglyceride analysis of liver biopsy specimens is useful. 1 Bovine Ketosis Bovine ketosis is actually at least three different syndromes that occur in cows during lactation (Kronfeld, 1980; Kronfeld et al., 1983). The syndromes are characterized by anorexia, depression (usually), ketonemia, ketolactia, keton-uria, hypoglycemia, and decreased milk production. The three syndromes are underfeeding ketosis, alimentary ketosis, and spontaneous ketosis. Underfeeding ketosis occurs when a dairy cow receives insufficient calories to meet lactational demands plus body maintenance. This version of ketosis can be conveniently divided into nutritional underfeeding ketosis and secondary (or complicated) ketosis. The former occurs when the cow has a normal appetite but is given an insufficient quantity of feed or a diet with low metabolic energy density. The latter occurs when a cow has some other disease, such as hypocalcemia, mastitis, and metritis, which suppresses appetite and causes the cow to consume insufficient nutrients. In most respects, underfeeding ketosis resembles starvation ketosis explained earlier, except that there is the additional caloric and glycemic burden of milk produc Continue reading >>
Keeping Up With Ketosis
By: Elizabeth Eckelkamp and Jeffrey Bewley Printable Version This July, researchers and industry individuals gathered to exchange information and ideas in Orlando, Florida at the 2015 Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science. Some highlights of presentations focused on ketosis detection and research results are provided below. Interest in early disease detection has increased with the availability of precision dairy technologies. Ketosis detection: Researchers from the University of Guelph presented several studies on the potential for predicting subclinical ketosis. One study compared lying time of healthy cows to cows with subclinical ketosis, and cows with subclinical ketosis and at least one other disease. No lying time differences were identified for 1st lactation cows. The only differences reported were for cows with 2 or more lactations following calving. Subclinically ketotic cows and cows with more than one disease spent 38 to 92 minutes/day more lying down than healthy cows. A counterpart to the first study compared rumination time (SCR Engineers) of healthy cows to the same groups. The differences in rumination occurred before and after calving in cows with 2 or more lactations. The largest differences were between cows with more than one disease and healthy cows, ranging from 48 to 73 minutes/day less rumination time compared to healthy cows. The information from these two studies suggests using either lying time or rumination time in cows with 2 or more lactations may be a way to monitor subclinical ketosis, although the results did not carry over for first lactation animals. Another group of researchers focused on milk components instead of wearable technologies to predict subclinical k Continue reading >>