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Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)

As The Eating Academy approaches its first birthday in about a month, I figured it was as good a time as any to put together some thoughts on a subject I get asked about with great frequency. (For those wondering when I’ll get to Part X of The Straight Dope on Cholesterol, the answer is, “hopefully before the end of the year.”) A few months ago I was planning a post along the lines of “the 10 things you need to know about ketosis,” but I’m now thinking that might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. So, let’s start with a more fundamental set of questions. In part I of this post I will see to it (assuming you read it) that you’ll know more about ketosis than just about anyone, including your doctor or the majority of “experts” out there writing about this topic. Before we begin, a disclaimer in order: If you want to actually understand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so. You really have to get into the details. Obviously, I love the details and probably read 5 or 6 scientific papers every week on this topic (and others). I don’t expect the casual reader to want to do this, and I view it as my role to synthesize this information and present it to you. But this is not a bumper-sticker issue. I know it’s trendy to make blanket statements – ketosis is “unnatural,” for example, or ketosis is “superior” – but such statements mean nothing if you don’t understand the biochemistry and evolution of our species. So, let’s agree to let the unsubstantiated statements and bumper stickers reside in the world of political debates and opinion-based discussions. For this reason, I’ve deliberately broken this post down and only included this content (i.e., background) for Part I. What is ketosis? Ketosis is Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

Why ketogenic diet? What is it? Dr. Mercola emphasizes a version of this diet for those with Protein nutritional type (P-type); especially for those who have gone astray with too many carbs so that they have insulin resistance (metabolic syndrome). People like me. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet that relies on fat and protein for energy, instead of carbs. If you have been a carb-eater for a long time, you need to retrain your body to burn fat for energy - fat in the form of ketones. This diet is NOT a high-protein diet, but rather moderate in protein and high in fat. I suspect that the type of fat is very important. Fats from pasture-raised livestock and dairy, wild fish, olives and coconuts are the best and together include a good mix of saturated, mono-unsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturate. The Atkins diet is a type of ketogenic diet, but is designed for weight loss, rather than changing your metabolism. Not all people on a ketogenic diet will lose weight, but their health will improve. If you want to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, you must reduce your fat consumption enough that your body will burn stored fat. But remember that if you reduce dietary fat, you must also reduce dietary carbs and proteins to maintain the same dietary percentage: 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fat calories. Do not be tempted to eat Atkins-endorsed processed foods as this will likely make matters worse. Another important aspect of the Ketogenic diet has to do with when you eat what you eat. (from Dr. Loscalzo (4)). •There should be a 12-hour break (or ‘fast’) between dinner and breakfast; then your breakfast is truly a ‘breaking of the fast;” •Stop eating 3 or more hours before bed; e.g., if you go to bed at 11 PM, don’t eat/snack after 8 PM. •Avoid high-carb foods (su Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f Continue reading >>

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

50 Days To Nutritional Ketosis

blog for the honour of featuring thisas a guest post.] I began practicing Nutritional Ketosis (NK) 50 days ago. It has been an enlightening experience. My goal was to get my blood ketones up to between 1.5 and 3 mmol/L. I wanted to be fueled by fat as opposed to just eating low carb. In these 50 days, there were mistakes and challenges but by the last day, my health and body composition had improved immensely. When I saw last summer that Dr.Eenfeldt had a toy for measuring blood ketones I knew I had to have one. I was also watching how Jimmy Moore was having great success from “testing blood ketones as a means for attaining the proper level of nutritional ketosis”. After a year and a half of eating low carb, and getting my weight down from 184lbs to 154lbs, I loved the idea of having a tangible measurement of how “fat adapted” I was. I also saw this as a way to address my frustration with long stalls in my weight loss. The first time I measured my blood ketones it was heart breaking to see it was only 0.1. I could not believe that I, a person who read all the books, listened to all the podcasts and who was eating very low carb and high fat, was not producing ketones. I started tracking my food on My Fitness Pal (MFP). This was the first time I had measured the macronutrient composition of my diet. Lowering carbs and protein while increasing dietary fat would be key to achieving NK. First I tracked what I ate after it was eaten, only to regret the 1/3 of a cup of tomato sauce or the one single bite of sweet potato (each having about 11 carbs). Before starting this experiment I believed I have been eating less than 100g or less of carbs a day – boy I must have been way off. Then I began tracking the food before I ate it, to plan my intake more precisely. MPF is Continue reading >>

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Glucose Ketone Index (gki) – What Ratio Do I Need For Nutritional Ketosis Benefits?

Generally these blog posts are a result of scratching my own itch (answering my own question), and this post is no different. At the time of writing this, I’m doing a 5-day fast, and wanted to understand the readings I’m getting for my blood glucose and blood ketone levels. Initially I thought that blood ketones were all that mattered, and certainly a lot of people only talk about that reading. But looking at Dr Thomas Seyfried’s paper on treating brain cancer (glioblastomas). It suggests that its important to take into account blood glucose also. In their study, they acheieved optimal results when their patients maintained what they called ‘nutritional ketosis’. And as part of the paper, they included a formula for what this means. The chart below describes visually what they mean by nutritional ketosis, and how it affected the tumour growth. The red is an increase in ketones as a fictional patient goes deeper into ketosis. The black line represents blood glucose, that decreases to a plateau, as carbohydrate sources are removed from the diet, and glycogen stores decrease. So that sweet spot they reach at the end is an optimum level of nutritional ketosis. Now… obviously in our case we are (hopefully) not trying to slow the growth of a glioblastoma. But by getting into ketosis we’re hoping to achieve a number of benefits including: Reduced IGF-1 Immune system rejuvenation (perhaps mainly lymphocytes) Increased cellular autophagy Reduced inflammation (often measured by improved C-reactive protein levels) The extent of these benefits will depend if you’re eating a keto diet, or doing a water fast/fast mimicking diet. But all 3 should improve the biomarkers such that you have a reduced risk of major diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disea Continue reading >>

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Why Your “normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (part 2)

Hi, I just found this site and would like to participate. I will give my numbers, etc. First, my last A1c was 6.1, the doc said it was Pre-diabetes in January of 2014, OK, I get it that part, but what confuses me is that at home, on my glucometer, all my fastings were “Normal” however, back then, I had not checked after meals, so maybe they were the culprits. Now, I am checking all the time and driving myself crazy. In the morning sometimes fasting is 95 and other times 85, it varies day to day. Usually, after a low carb meal, it drops to the 80’s the first hour and lower the second. On some days, when I am naughty and eat wrong, my b/s sugar is still low, and on other days, I can eat the same thing, and it goes sky high, again, not consistent. Normally, however, since February, my fbs is 90, 1 hour after, 120, 2nd hour, back to 90, but, that changes as well. In February, of 2014, on the 5th, it was horrible. I think I had eaten Lasagne, well, before, my sugars did not change much, but that night, WHAM-O I started at 80 before the meal, I forgot to take it at the one and two hour mark, but did at the 3 hour mark, it was 175, then at four hours, down to 160, then at 5 hours, back to 175. I went to bed, because by that time, it was 2 AM, but when I woke up at 8:00 and took it, it was back to 89!!!! This horrible ordeal has only happened once, but, I have gone up to 178 since, but come down to normal in 2 hours. I don’t know if I was extra stressed that day or what, I am under tons of it, my marriage is not good, my dear dad died 2 years ago and my very best friend died 7 months ago, I live in a strange country, I am from America, but moved to New Zealand last year, and I am soooo unhappy. Anyway, what does confuse me is why the daily differences, even though I may Continue reading >>

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

Optimal Ketone And Blood Sugar Levels For Ketosis

A low carb helps reduce blood sugars and insulin levels and helps with the management of many of the diseases of modern civilisation (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). We become insulin resistant when our body fat can’t store any more energy. Excess energy is then stored in the liver, pancreas, heart, brain and other organs that are more insulin sensitive. We also see increased levels of energy in our blood in the form of glucose, fat and elevated ketone. Endogenous ketosis occurs when we eat less food than we need. Our insulin and blood sugar levels decrease and ketones rise to supply the energy we need. Exogenous ketosis occurs when we eat lots fat and/or take exogenous ketones. Blood ketones rise, but our insulin levels will also rise because we have an excess of energy coming from our diet. Most of the good things associated with ketosis occur due to endogenous ketosis. Most people following a ketogenic diet over the long term have ketone values lower than what some people consider to be “optimal ketosis”. If your goal is blood sugar control, longevity or weight loss then endogenous ketosis with lower blood sugars and lower ketones is likely a better place to be than chasing higher blood ketones. I have seen a lot of interest and confusion recently from people following a ketogenic about ideal ketone and blood sugar levels. In an effort to try to clear this up, this article reviews blood ketone (BHB), breath ketone (acetone) and blood sugar data from a large number of people who are following a low carb or ketogenic diet to understand what “normal” and “optimal” look like. Many people initiate a low carb diet to manage their blood glucose levels, insulin resistance or diabetes. As shown in the chart below, Continue reading >>

Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?

Keto-adapted, But No Ketones?

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to measure ketones is to use ketone test strips, e.g. Ketostix. Ketone test strips use a chemical reaction to measure acetoacetate (see below), usually in urine, though the same method can be used for blood. (Not to be confused with the blood strips used at home for beta-hydroxybutyrate.) However, acetoacetate test strips are of limited usefulness. For one thing, urine concentrations are affected by dilution, which means that they are affected by how much you drink. But the problem is deeper than that. Acetoacetate is only one of the three ketone bodies (see below). Initially, when you start a ketogenic diet, acetoacetate will make up about half of the circulating ketones [1], but when you are keto-adapted, it makes up only about 20% of the ketone bodies in circulation (see below). Morover, the sensitivity of the strips is a little lower than optimal for our purposes. They register negative unless the concentration is quite high. So, it is not uncommon for a keto-adapted person to measure negative for acetoacetate. Different ketone bodies occur in different amounts There are three compounds grouped together as ketone bodies: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. In keto-adapted people, acetoacetate levels are relatively low even though beta-hydroxybutyrate is high. Typically, beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are 4–5 times as high as acetoacetate. (Acetone makes up only about 2% of total ketone bodies [2].) The graph above shows that in the ketosis of fasting, the proportion of acetoacetate (the top, white part of the bar) is much smaller than that of beta-hydroxybutyrate (the black part). In the study here, after 21 days of fasting, the average level of blood acetoacetate was 1.04 mmol/L, while the beta-hydroxybutyrate level Continue reading >>

How To Easily Track Your Glucose Ketone Index (gki) On Your Ketogenic Diet

How To Easily Track Your Glucose Ketone Index (gki) On Your Ketogenic Diet

Tracking ketone levels is a large part of success on the ketogenic diet. It helps you know how far you are into ketosis and where we might need to make changes. But did you know that there’s an even better way to step it up a notch? The glucose ketone index is a simple calculation that allows you to find out how ketosis works best for you individually. Without it, you could be in full, high-level ketosis yet still not getting the full benefits. In this post, we’ll be looking at how to easily track your glucose ketone index for different aspects of health along with your ketogenic diet. Basics of the Glucose Ketone Index Here’s what you need to know about the glucose ketone index (GKI): Researchers have used the index in studies on the ketogenic diet, fasting, and more. Additionally, it has been used for tracking changes and progress regarding weight loss, athletic performance, management of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, and even cancer treatment. Now that we’ve covered the basics of what the GKI does, let’s talk about how you can use tracking it to your advantage. Tracking Your Glucose Ketone Index What’s so special about the glucose ketone index is that it lets you track both glucose and ketones at the same time, taking into account how they work together. It’s a way to know your optimal state for addressing all sorts of health conditions. Tracking this number benefits you over simply measuring ketone levels. That’s because even if you’re deeply in ketosis, you could still have high blood glucose levels that throw things off and affect your health. Essentially, it gives you a more full picture of your metabolic health. The numbers you can expect to target depend on your intentions for being in ketosis. Is your goal weight loss, better overa Continue reading >>

What Is The Desired Level Of Ketone For A Diet?

What Is The Desired Level Of Ketone For A Diet?

Weight loss results can seem as unpredictable as winning the lottery. There are as many so-called experts as there are diets, and wading through their conflicting claims can have you reaching for the chips and ice cream in defeat, especially when so much of what they claim as science sounds so convincing. Monitoring ketone levels, for example, as is suggested in many low-carb and no-carb diet plans, is one suggested claim that will increase your weight loss. Ketones exist, but the claims surrounding their importance are not always accurate. Understanding weight loss basics will help ensure more predictable results, and is not as difficult as you might think. Video of the Day Ketones are by-products produced when your body breaks down fat and muscle for energy because it is not getting enough insulin. Ketones is the common name for acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxy-butyric acid, which can be dangerous if they build up in the blood. According to nurse practitioner Nancy J. Morwessel of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, high ketone levels are dangerous for everyone, but especially for people with type 1 diabetes. According to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University, a small amount of ketones would be 20 mg/dL, moderate is 30 to 40 mg/dL and high is 80 mg/dL. What this means to you as an individual, and whether your level is safe for you, is something that should be determined by a doctor. Nurse Morwessel compares ketones to the low-fuel light in your car. They are a signal that you’re running out of insulin. High levels in your blood can trigger nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Ketones can also make your body more resistant to insulin, which is necessary to break down sugars for energy. Having a low level of ketones in your Continue reading >>

What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?

What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?

If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>

Ketones

Ketones

Ketones are a beneficial product of fat metabolism in the body. When carbohydrate intake is restricted, it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. As insulin levels fall and energy is needed, fatty acids flow from the fat cells into the bloodstream and are taken up by various cells and metabolized in a process called beta-oxidation. The end result of beta-oxidation is a molecule called acetyl-coA, and as more fatty acids are released and metabolized, acetyl-coA levels in the cells rise. This causes a sort of metabolic “feedback loop” which triggers liver cells to shunt excess acetyl-Coa into ketogenesis, or the making of ketone bodies. Once created, the liver dumps the ketone bodies into the blood stream and they are taken up by skeletal and heart muscle cells at rates of availability. In addition, the brain begins to use ketones as an alternate fuel when blood levels are high enough to cross the blood brain barrier. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com There are three major types of ketone bodies present in the human blood stream when the metabolic process of ketosis is dominant: Acetoacetate (AcAc) is created first β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is created from acetoacetate Acetone is a spontaneously created side product of acetoacetate In times of starvation, or a low carbohydrate intake resulting in low insulin levels, ketone bodies supply up to 50% of the energy requirements for most body tissues, and up to 70% of the energy required by the brain. Glucose is the main source of fuel for neurons when the diet is high in carbohydrates. But when carbs are restricted, ketogenesis becomes the primary fuel process for most cells. During fasting or low carbohydrate intake, levels of ketone bodies in the blood stream can Continue reading >>

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

The Glucose Ketone Index Calculator: A Simple Tool To Monitor Therapeutic Efficacy For Metabolic Management Of Brain Cancer

Go to: Abstract Background Metabolic therapy using ketogenic diets (KD) is emerging as an alternative or complementary approach to the current standard of care for brain cancer management. This therapeutic strategy targets the aerobic fermentation of glucose (Warburg effect), which is the common metabolic malady of most cancers including brain tumors. The KD targets tumor energy metabolism by lowering blood glucose and elevating blood ketones (β-hydroxybutyrate). Brain tumor cells, unlike normal brain cells, cannot use ketone bodies effectively for energy when glucose becomes limiting. Although plasma levels of glucose and ketone bodies have been used separately to predict the therapeutic success of metabolic therapy, daily glucose levels can fluctuate widely in brain cancer patients. This can create difficulty in linking changes in blood glucose and ketones to efficacy of metabolic therapy. A program was developed (Glucose Ketone Index Calculator, GKIC) that tracks the ratio of blood glucose to ketones as a single value. We have termed this ratio the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI). The GKIC was used to compute the GKI for data published on blood glucose and ketone levels in humans and mice with brain tumors. The results showed a clear relationship between the GKI and therapeutic efficacy using ketogenic diets and calorie restriction. The GKIC is a simple tool that can help monitor the efficacy of metabolic therapy in preclinical animal models and in clinical trials for malignant brain cancer and possibly other cancers that express aerobic fermentation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0009-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Keywords: Glucose, Beta-hydroxybutyrate, Calorie Continue reading >>

Tracking The Glucose Ketone Index

Tracking The Glucose Ketone Index

In this post we will examine the “glucose ketone index” as a biomarker for tracking metabolic health. We will also explore some of the primary use cases for tracking the glucose ketone index including cancer treatment, weight loss, metabolic disease management and athletic performance. Lastly, we will demonstrate how you can use Heads Up Health to track the glucose ketone index along with all of your other important health data. If you want to skip ahead, click the button below to create an account with Heads Up and start tracking the glucose-ketone index alongside all of your other health metrics. Or, read on for more information on tracking the glucose ketone index. What is the Glucose Ketone Index? The glucose ketone index is simply a way to measure the relationship between your ketone levels and your glucose levels at any moment in time. It is measured by dividing your blood glucose level (mmol/L) by your blood ketone level (mmol/L). The result is a single number we can use an indicator of one’s metabolic state. The index has its roots in brain cancer treatment, where researchers using metabolic therapy found best results when glucose and ketones maintained a very precise relationship in the patient [1]. Since there are many aspects of daily life (stress, exercise, nutrition etc.) that can upset glucose or ketone levels in the body, thereby throwing off the optimal glucose-ketone ratio, the index was developed to ensure both metrics (glucose and ketones) are maintaining the ideal ratio for optimal treatment outcomes. Example: If my fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning is 4.6 mmol/L (82 mg/dL) and my ketone reading is 0.8 mmol/L, I would record a glucose ketone index of 5.75 (4.6 / 0.8). Despite its roots in cancer treatment, the index can also be ver Continue reading >>

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