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 >>
Ketosis, metabolic disorder marked by high levels of ketones in the tissues and body fluids, including blood and urine. With starvation or fasting, there is less sugar than normal in the blood and less glycogen (the storage form of sugar) in the cells of the body, especially the liver cells; fat accumulates in the liver, as do amino acids, from which the liver can produce more glycogen. Ketosis may be present in diabetes mellitus. In diabetic ketoacidosis, characterized by excessive levels of ketones in the blood that lead to a decrease in blood pH, very high blood sugar and severe intravascular and cellular dehydration create a life-threatening disorder that requires immediate treatment. When cattle are affected by ketosis, they lose weight and produce less milk; dietary adjustment to meet the special requirements of individual cattle helps avoid the condition. 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 >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?
Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th 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 >>