Raspberry Ketones — Do They Really Help With Weight Loss?
Raspberry ketones are chemicals from red raspberries that are thought to help you lose weight fast. Ketones are natural chemicals that give raspberries their enticing aroma, and they also occur in blackberries and cranberries. When ketones are taken from raspberries, they can be used to add fragrance and flavor to foods and products, such as colas, ice cream and cosmetics. The raspberry ketone is actually one of the most expensive products used in the food industry — the natural compound can cost as much as $20,000 per kilogram. That’s why supplement companies use synthetic raspberry ketone, which is much cheaper. Some research in rodents or in test tubes shows that raspberry ketones might increase measures of metabolism and affect a hormone in the body called adiponectin, which regulates metabolism. Raspberry ketones are claimed to cause the fat within cells to be broken down more effectively, which helps the body burn fat faster. The big issue here is that these claims are not supported with human research, as there is no reliable scientific evidence that proves raspberry ketones improve weight loss when taken by people. Are raspberry ketones another common unhealthy way to lose weight? Studies Involving Raspberry Ketones A 2005 study published in Life Sciences evaluated whether or not raspberry ketones help prevent obesity and activate lipid metabolism in rodents. The study involved two groups of mice — one that was fed a high-fat diet and took raspberry ketone doses for 10 weeks and another group that was given a high-fat diet for six weeks first and then began receiving raspberry ketone doses for the remaining five weeks, along with the high-fat diet. The results of the study suggest that raspberry ketones prevent the high-fat-diet-induced elevations in body Continue reading >>
Ketone bodies Acetone Acetoacetic acid (R)-beta-Hydroxybutyric acid Ketone bodies are three water-soluble molecules (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and their spontaneous breakdown product, acetone) that are produced by the liver from fatty acids during periods of low food intake (fasting), carbohydrate restrictive diets, starvation, prolonged intense exercise,, alcoholism or in untreated (or inadequately treated) type 1 diabetes mellitus. These ketone bodies are readily picked up by the extra-hepatic tissues, and converted into acetyl-CoA which then enters the citric acid cycle and is oxidized in the mitochondria for energy. In the brain, ketone bodies are also used to make acetyl-CoA into long-chain fatty acids. Ketone bodies are produced by the liver under the circumstances listed above (i.e. fasting, starving, low carbohydrate diets, prolonged exercise and untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus) as a result of intense gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (not including fatty acids). They are therefore always released into the blood by the liver together with newly produced glucose, after the liver glycogen stores have been depleted (these glycogen stores are depleted after only 24 hours of fasting). When two acetyl-CoA molecules lose their -CoAs, (or Co-enzyme A groups) they can form a (covalent) dimer called acetoacetate. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a reduced form of acetoacetate, in which the ketone group is converted into an alcohol (or hydroxyl) group (see illustration on the right). Both are 4-carbon molecules, that can readily be converted back into acetyl-CoA by most tissues of the body, with the notable exception of the liver. Acetone is the decarboxylated form of acetoacetate which cannot be converted Continue reading >>
What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?
What Are Ketones and Are They Healthy? If you are up on your health news or follow anyone in the health field, you have likely heard the term ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to adapt the body to utilize fat as its primary fuel source instead of sugar. The body does this by first converting fat into what are called ketones that the cells can then burn as fuel. It is at this point that I typically get asked, what are ketones? In this article, I am going to clear up any gaps, explain exactly how ketogenisis works, and why it can be so beneficial for the human body. Biological Role of Ketones For our ancestors, eating three meals a day just wasn’t a thing. Instead they would hunt and forage for the foods they could find. When there wasn’t food, they wouldn’t eat. What this means is that sometimes they would go for days at a time with no food. To sustain life during times of scarcity, the body is thought to have developed the ability to utilize fat as an alternative fuel source. In a traditional nutrition course, you would learn that sugar is the body’s primary fuel source while fat is a secondary fuel source. When sugar stores are burned up, the cells then convert to burning fat as an energy source. What we are finding out now is that fat can actually be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy. Our Society Is Full of Sugar Burners Modern day, we have an abundance of food that is available to us at all times. Most of us regularly eat three meals a day with intermittent snacking in between. This kind of frequent eating, along with an overemphasis on carb-rich and sugary foods, causes a reduced ability to burn fat. As these foods damage our bodies on a metabolic level, we actually lose the ability to produce ketones. This type of reliance on 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 >>
Excess ketones are dangerous for someone with diabetes... Low insulin, combined with relatively normal glucagon and epinephrine levels, causes fat to be released from fat cells, which then turns into ketones. Excess formation of ketones is dangerous and is a medical emergency In a person without diabetes, ketone production is the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. Blood sugar levels never get too high, because the production is regulated by just the right balance of insulin, glucagon and other hormones. However, in an individual with diabetes, dangerous and life-threatening levels of ketones can develop. What are ketones and why do I need to know about them? Ketones and ketoacids are alternative fuels for the body that are made when glucose is in short supply. They are made in the liver from the breakdown of fats. Ketones are formed when there is not enough sugar or glucose to supply the body’s fuel needs. This occurs overnight, and during dieting or fasting. During these periods, insulin levels are low, but glucagon and epinephrine levels are relatively normal. This combination of low insulin, and relatively normal glucagon and epinephrine levels causes fat to be released from the fat cells. The fats travel through the blood circulation to reach the liver where they are processed into ketone units. The ketone units then circulate back into the blood stream and are picked up by the muscle and other tissues to fuel your body’s metabolism. In a person without diabetes, ketone production is the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. Blood sugar levels never get too high, because the production is regulated by just the right balance of insulin, glucagon and other hormones. However, in an individual with diabetes, dangerous and life-threatening levels of ketone Continue reading >>
What Are Ketones?
With the gradual resurgence of low-carb diets in recent years, the word “ketones” is thrown around a lot. But many people aren’t really aware of the details. What are ketones, really? And what do they do in the body? There can be a lot of misinformation regarding the answers to these questions, so read on for a full overview of ketones and their role in a ketogenic diet. Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies,” are byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low. Here’s how it works: When there isn’t a sufficient level of available glucose — which is what the body uses for its main source of fuel — and glycogen levels are depleted, blood sugar and insulin are lowered and the body looks for an alternative source of fuel: in this case, fat. This process can happen when a person fasting, after prolonged exercise, during starvation, or when eating a low-carb, ketogenic diet. And when the body begins breaking down fats for energy like this, a process known as beta-oxidation, ketones are formed for use as fuel for the body and brain. This is known as ketosis. People following a ketogenic diet specifically reduce their carbohydrate intake for this reason: to create ketones for energy. Many people use the benefits of ketosis — less reliance on carbs and more burning of fat — to possibly help lower blood pressure, reduce cravings, improve cholesterol, increase weight loss, improve energy, and more. TYPES OF KETONE BODIES So, what else about ketones do we need to know? To start, there are technically three types of ketone bodies: Acetoacetate (AcAc) Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) Acetone Both acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are responsible for transporting energy from the liver to other tissues in the body Continue reading >>
What They Don’t Want You To Know About Raspberry Ketones
Before you jump on the raspberry ketone bandwagon, there are a few things you should know about this over-priced, proclaimed weight-loss miracle in a bottle. What is it? Raspberry ketone is the natural phenolic compound found in red raspberries (Rubus idaeus). In simple terms, this chemical compound gives berries their signature scent. Until recently, raspberry ketones were used primarily by the perfume and manufactured food industries, but now the compound is being sold in supplement form. Raspberry ketones have been touted as the next weight-loss miracle drug, with manufacturers claiming that the ketones help your body break down fat more efficiently, helping you to lose more weight. Is it true? Before you run to the pharmacy to pick up a bottle, at least finish reading this blog. What I’m about to share with you might surprise (or downright shock) you! Raspberry ketones have never been tested on humans in scientific studies. That’s right. You read that correctly. To date, there have been no human studies showing that raspberry ketones burn fat or benefit your weight loss. Now, if you are a rat, there are two studies of interest. One study gave male rats raspberry ketones, which resulted in an increased secretion of adiponectin, a hormone secreted by fat cells that helps the body break down fat. The result was less fat on the rat. In another rat study, the rodents were fed a high-fat diet with differing amounts of raspberry ketones. The rats that received more raspberry ketones burned more body fat and gained less fat tissue. A third study exposed fat cells in a test tube to raspberry ketones and found that the raspberry ketones stimulated the breakdown of the fat cells. I’ll agree that this is all very interesting research, but it is also considered very prelim Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>
Ketone Testing: What You Need To Know
What are ketones? Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy or fuel. They are also produced when you lose weight or if there is not enough insulin to help your body use sugar for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. Since the body is unable to use glucose for energy, it breaks down fat instead. When this occurs, ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. These ketones can make you very sick. How can I test for ketones? You can test to see if your body is making any ketones by doing a simple urine test. There are several products available for ketone testing and they can be purchased, without a prescription, at your pharmacy. The test result can be negative, or show small, moderate, or large quantities of ketones. When should I test for ketones? Anytime your blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl for two tests in a row. When you are ill. Often illness, infections, or injuries will cause sudden high blood glucose and this is an especially important time to check for ketones. When you are planning to exercise and the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl. If you are pregnant, you should test for ketones each morning before breakfast and any time the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl. If ketones are positive, what does this mean? There are situations when you might have ketones without the blood glucose being too high. Positive ketones are not a problem when blood glucose levels are within range and you are trying to lose weight. It is a problem if blood glucose levels are high and left untreated. Untreated high blood glucose with positive ketones can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). What should I do if the ketone test is positive? Call your diabetes educator or physician, as you may need additional Continue reading >>
How Ketones Affect The Human Body
What Are Ketones? Ketones are waste products which are produced when the human body burns stored fat for energy. If your body has trouble obtaining glucose, it looks towards fat deposits to create energy. People with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus can experience problems with ketones for five reasons: High glucose means your blood insulin level is low and you have excess glucose. Thus, your body will burn fat. As people exercise, they need to burn energy. Lack of insulin or glucose means fat will be burned. Stress can create problems in many facets of our lives. Physical, emotional, and various kinds of stress requires energy to handle the situations. Not enough glucose from this will result in fat being burned. When we become ill, our bodies require increasing amounts of energy to fight the illness. Once again, lack of glucose means fat will be burned. When a woman becomes pregnant, her body needs energy to provide for two. If the diet is not appropriate, the body will turn to fat for energy. What is Ketoacidosis? This is a condition where you become dehydrated and your ketones become elevated. High ketone levels make your blood become acidic, which can cause various chemical imbalances within the body. The end result can manifest in ketones being released into your urine. As your blodd glucose rises, it makes the urine thick. Your body must pull fluids from other portions of your body to thin this urine out, thus you can become dehydrated. What are the signs of Ketoacidosis? Drymouth Thirst Fruity Breath Loss of Appetite Stomach Pain Nausea Vomiting Dry, Flushed Skin Fever Fatigue Drowsiness Frequent Urination Labored Breathing How to test for ketones. Urine tests for ketons come in three forms: Tapes Tablets Test Strips Most local pharmacies can also provide a ketone test Continue reading >>
How To Use (and Not To Use) Exogenous Ketones For Weight Loss
“How do I use ketones to help me lose weight?” Great question. It’s worth the few minutes to understand how exogenous ketones can help people lose weight on a ketogenic diet, and not just jump to the conclusion that ketones = weight loss. Breaking Down Ketone Weight Loss Misconceptions The most common misconception (perhaps due to excessive marketing claims) is that taking ketone supplements will induce immediate weight loss. The purpose of this article is to explain how to use ketones as a piece of the puzzle in your weight loss lifestyle. Remember exogenous ketones are supplements. Very effective at what they do, but none the less, should be supplementary to a low carb/ketogenic style of eating that is geared towards weight loss (if weight loss is the goal). Ketones don’t cause weight loss, they help cause ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is using fatty acids for its primary source of energy. Just because you are using fat does not necessarily mean you are going to be losing weight or have a decrease in body fat percentage over an extended period of time. I have been in deep nutritional ketosis (>3.0mmol/dL) and had an increase in body fat percentage. I’ve also been in deep nutritional ketosis and had a decrease in body fat percentage. It all depends on how much fat and protein you are eating, in addition to being below a carb threshold that will induce ketosis. Please don’t take this to mean starve yourself. It just means that the average male American has over 40,000 calories in stored body fat and can, therefore, afford to eat a lower calorie ketogenic diet, and still survive (and thrive!). Take home message: Exogenous ketones are a tool to get you into ketosis or to boost your energy levels while already in ketosis. If your motive Continue reading >>
If you follow the ebb and flow of the dietary industry, then you have probably heard of the term “ketosis,” “ketones,” or “the ketogenic diet.” You generally hear reference to them when we talk about low-carb, higher fat diets. In a society where low-fat/no-fat is pretty much the accepted standard, this whole low-carb/high-fat concept can seem a little… out there. Especially when there is so much confusion about what ketones are and what they do. THEN, I start talking about the possibility of supplementing with ketones – and people get even more confused. So let’s unpack all of this, learn a little more about ketones, and why taking a supplement might actually be a good thing. Let’s start with the basics. What ARE ketones and what is ketosis? When we think of the body’s natural fuel source, we think of glucose, or sugar. We know that our body needs to use sugar as a fuel, but what many people don’t realize is that fats can be an equally, and even superior, fuel source to the body. The process of ketosis refers to the body’s ability to use fats as its primary source of energy, over glucose. When the body burns fat, it produces three bi-products of fat breakdown, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate (ACA) and acetone. These bi-products are called Ketones. This is a naturally occurring process and it’s what allows our bodies to survive during times of food restriction. When an individual begins to follow a low carbohydrate diet, the body has to look for another fuel source, and it turns to fatty acids and fat stores to provide that much needed energy. The liver breaks down the fat, and releases ketones into the blood to be used by the brain and other organs to produce energy. The interesting thing about ketones is that BHB may be a more effici Continue reading >>
What Are Ketones?
What are ketones and what causes them? Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel. For a person with diabetes, ketones are often the result of prolonged high blood sugar and insulin deficiency. Without the right amount of insulin, glucose starts to build up in the blood stream and doesn't enter the cells. The cells burn fat instead of glucose, and ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. Some causes of high blood sugar are: Missing an insulin dose or skipping some oral medications. A disconnected or blocked insulin pump tube. Being sick with the flu. High levels of stress. Eating more carbohydrates than your medication covers. What are the signs that I should test for ketones? Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, frequent thirst, blurry vision, dry mouth, vomiting, and fatigue. There are several scenarios that should prompt a test for ketones. If your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl for two tests in a row. When you are ill. When your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl and you are planning on exercising. If you are pregnant, you should test for ketones each morning before breakfast and whenever blood sugars are elevated. How do I test for ketones? There are two ways to test for ketones - by testing your urine or your blood. Ketones appear first in the blood stream and are later present in the urine, so testing your blood for ketones is the best way to check for an early problem. To check urine for ketones, you must collect a urine sample or dip a ketone test strip into a fresh stream of urine. After waiting for the time suggested by the ketone strip manufacturer, you compare the color strip to the chart on the bottle. The darker the color, the higher the amount of ketones in the urine. At this time, there are just a few mete Continue reading >>
Do Ketones Burn Fat?
Many low-carb diet programs recommend that you check your levels of ketones in your urine to ensure that you burn fat. The best way to make your body utilize fat instead of sugar is by lowering your carbohydrate intake. Consuming less than 50 g of carbs a day promotes ketosis, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. If you are in ketosis, it means that your body is burning fat and producing ketones. Ketones do not burn fat, but indicate that your body is in fat-burning mode. Urine Ketones You can use ketone strips to dip in your urine and determine if ketones are present in your urine. For most people eating a standard American diet, their carb intake is too high to promote ketosis and ketones cannot be detected in their urine. However, if you eat a low amount of carbs, your body will produce ketones and some of these ketones will spill out in your urine, which explains why you can verify if your are ketosis by checking your urine ketones. If your urine ketone test is positive, you know that your body is burning fat. Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis Many people confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. Although both conditions are characterized by higher levels of ketones than what is usually seen in people consuming a high-carb diet and indicate that your body is burning fat, only the latter is dangerous. Ketoacidosis only occurs in diabetics treated with insulin. With ketoacidosis, their ketone levels are 5 to 10 times greater than what is seen in ketosis and people need to go to the hospital for treatment. In ketosis, which is a perfectly normal and healthy state for the human body, ketone levels are slightly elevated, but not to a dangerous level. By-Product of Fat Oxidation When your carbohydrate intake is low enough, your body starts utilizing fa Continue reading >>