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Why Are Ketones Produced?

Your Brain On Ketones

Your Brain On Ketones

The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar 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 >>

Ketone Bodies

Ketone Bodies

Overview Structure two types acetoacetate β-hydroxybutyrate β-hydroxybutyrate + NAD+ → acetoacetate + NADH ↑ NADH:NAD+ ratio results in ↑ β-hydroxybutyrate:acetoacetate ratio 1 ketone body = 2 acetyl-CoA Function produced by the liver brain can use ketones if glucose supplies fall >1 week of fasting can provide energy to body in prolonged energy needs prolonged starvation glycogen and gluconeogenic substrates are exhausted can provide energy if citric acid cycle unable to function diabetic ketoacidosis cycle component (oxaloacetate) consumed for gluconeogenesis alcoholism ethanol dehydrogenase consumes NAD+ (converts to NADH) ↑ NADH:NAD+ ratio in liver favors use of oxaloacetate for ketogenesis rather than gluconeogenesis. RBCs cannot use ketones as they lack mitochondria Synthesis occurs in hepatocyte mitochondria liver cannot use ketones as energy lacks β-ketoacyl-CoA transferase (thiophorase) which converts acetoacetate to acetoacetyl under normal conditions acetoacetate = β-hydroxybutyrate HMG CoA synthase is rate limiting enzyme Clinical relevance ketoacidosis pathogenesis ↑ ketone levels caused by poorly controlled type I diabetes mellitus liver ketone production exceeds ketone consumption in periphery possible in type II diabetes mellitus but rare alcoholism chronic hypoglycemia results in ↑ ketone production presentation β-hydroxybutyrate > acetoacetate due to ↑ NADH:NAD+ ratio acetone gives breath a fruity odor polyuria ↑ thirst tests ↓ plasma HCO3 hypokalemia individuals are initially hyperkalemic (lack of insulin + acidosis) because K leaves the cells overall though the total body K is depleted replete K in these patients once the hyperkalemia begins to correct nitroprusside urine test for ketones may not be strongly + does not detect Continue reading >>

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Does this test have other names? Ketone test, urine ketones What is this test? This test is used to check the level of ketones in your urine. Normally, your body burns sugar for energy. But if you have diabetes, you may not have enough insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream to be used for fuel. When this happens, your body burns fat instead and produces substances called ketones. The ketones end up in your blood and urine. It's normal to have a small amount of ketones in your body. But high ketone levels could result in serious illness or death. Checking for ketones keeps this from happening. Why do I need this test? You may need this test if you have a high level of blood sugar. People with high levels of blood sugar often have high ketone levels. If you have high blood sugar levels and type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it's important to check your ketone levels. People without diabetes can also have ketones in the urine if their body is using fat for fuel instead of glucose. This can happen with chronic vomiting, extreme exercise, low-carbohydrate diets, or eating disorders. Checking your ketones is especially important if you have diabetes and: Your blood sugar goes above 300 mg/dL You abuse alcohol You have diarrhea You stop eating carbohydrates like rice and bread You're pregnant You've been fasting You've been vomiting You have an infection Your healthcare provider may order this test, or have you test yourself, if you: Urinate frequently Are often quite thirsty or tired Have muscle aches Have shortness of breath or trouble breathing Have nausea or vomiting Are confused Have a fruity smell to your breath What other tests might I have along with this test? Your healthcare provider may also check for ketones in your blood if you have high levels of ketones in your urine Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>

Urine Ketones - Meanings And False Positives

Urine Ketones - Meanings And False Positives

Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Urine Ketones article more useful, or one of our other health articles. Description Ketones are produced normally by the liver as part of fatty acid metabolism. In normal states these ketones will be completely metabolised so that very few, if any at all, will appear in the urine. If for any reason the body cannot get enough glucose for energy it will switch to using body fats, resulting in an increase in ketone production making them detectable in the blood and urine. How to test for ketones The urine test for ketones is performed using test strips available on prescription. Strips dedicated to ketone testing in the UK include[1]: GlucoRx KetoRx Sticks 2GK® Ketostix® Mission® Ketone Testing should be performed according to manufacturers' instructions. The sample should be fresh and uncontaminated. Usually the result will be expressed as negative or positive (graded 1 to 4)[2]. Ketonuria is different from ketonaemia (ie presence of ketones in the blood) and often ketonuria does not indicate clinically significant ketonaemia. Depending on the testing strips used, urine testing for ketones either has an excellent sensitivity with a low specificity, or a poor sensitivity with a good specificity. However, this should be viewed in the context of uncertainty of the biochemical level of significant ketosis[3]. Interpretation of results Normally only small amounts of ketones are excreted daily in the urine (3-15 mg). High or increased values may be found in: Poorly controlled diabetes. Starvation: Prolonged vomiting. Rapid weight loss. Frequent strenuous exercise. Poisoning (eg, with isop Continue reading >>

Ketone Body Production And Disposal In Diabetic Ketosis: A Comparison With Fasting Ketosis

Ketone Body Production And Disposal In Diabetic Ketosis: A Comparison With Fasting Ketosis

This work compares the metabolism of total ketone bodies in 13 insulin-deprived, type I diabetic subjects and 26 control subjects fasted for 15 h to 23 days, with the two groups showing a similar range of ketone body levels (1–12 mM). Ketone turnover rate was measured using a primed, constant infusion of either 14C-acetoacetate or 14C-β-hydroxybutyrate, both tracers yielding comparable results. The major conclusions of this study are the following: the kinetics of ketone bodies are comparable in the two groups within the range of concentrations tested. The hyperketonemia of fasting and diabetes is primarily caused by an increased production of ketone bodies, but the phenomenon is amplified by a progressive limitation in the ability of tissues to remove ketones from blood as the concentration rises. The inverse relationship between the metabolic clearance and the plasma levels of ketones, which underlies this process, represents a general characteristic of ketone body metabolism that applies to both types of ketosis. A maximal metabolic disposal rate of about 2.3 mmol/min/1.73 m2 is attained in both groups at concentrations of 10–12 mM, which correspond to the highest ketone body levels encountered during prolonged fasting. Thus, up to these levels, there is no evidence for the existence of a ketone body removal defect specific to diabetes. Continue reading >>

What Are Ketone Bodies And Why Are They In The Body?

What Are Ketone Bodies And Why Are They In The Body?

If you eat a calorie-restricted diet for several days, you will increase the breakdown of your fat stores. However, many of your tissues cannot convert these fatty acid products directly into ATP, or cellular energy. In addition, glucose is in limited supply and must be reserved for red blood cells -- which can only use glucose for energy -- and brain tissues, which prefer to use glucose. Therefore, your liver converts many of these fatty acids into ketone bodies, which circulate in the blood and provide a fuel source for your muscles, kidneys and brain. Video of the Day Low fuel levels in your body, such as during an overnight fast or while you are dieting, cause hormones to increase the breakdown of fatty acids from your stored fat tissue. These fatty acids travel to the liver, where enzymes break the fatty acids into ketone bodies. The ketone bodies are released into the bloodstream, where they travel to tissues that have the enzymes to metabolize ketone bodies, such as your muscle, brain, kidney and intestinal cells. The breakdown product of ketone bodies goes through a series of steps to form ATP. Conditions of Ketone Body Utilization Your liver will synthesize more ketone bodies for fuel whenever your blood fatty acid levels are elevated. This will happen in response to situations that promote low blood glucose, such as an overnight fast, prolonged calorie deficit, a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet, or during prolonged low-intensity exercise. If you eat regular meals and do not typically engage in extremely long exercise sessions, the level of ketone bodies in your blood will be highest after an overnight fast. This level will drop when you eat breakfast and will remain low as long as you eat regular meals with moderate to high carbohydrate content. Ketone Bodi Continue reading >>

Urine Tests For Diabetes: Glucose Levels And Ketones

Urine Tests For Diabetes: Glucose Levels And Ketones

The human body primarily runs on glucose. When your body is low on glucose, or if you have diabetes and don’t have enough insulin to help your cells absorb the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones (chemically known as ketone bodies) are byproducts of the breakdown of fatty acids. The breakdown of fat for fuel and the creation of ketones is a normal process for everyone. In a person without diabetes, insulin, glucagon, and other hormones prevent ketone levels in the blood from getting too high. However, people with diabetes are at risk for ketone buildup in their blood. If left untreated, people with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). While rare, it’s possible for people with type 2 diabetes to experience DKA in certain circumstances as well. If you have diabetes, you need to be especially aware of the symptoms that having too many ketones in your body can cause. These include: If you don’t get treatment, the symptoms can progress to: a fruity breath odor stomach pain trouble breathing You should always seek immediate medical attention if your ketone levels are high. Testing your blood or urine to measure your ketone levels can all be done at home. At-home testing kits are available for both types of tests, although urine testing continues to be more common. Urine tests are available without a prescription at most drugstores, or you can buy them online. You should test your urine or blood for ketones when any of the following occurs: Your blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL. You feel sick or nauseated, regardless of your blood sugar reading. To perform a urine test, you urinate into a clean container and dip the test strip into the urine. For a child who isn’t potty-trained, a pa Continue reading >>

Ketone Bodies As A Fuel For The Brain During Starvation

Ketone Bodies As A Fuel For The Brain During Starvation

THE STATUS OF OUR KNOWLEDGE OF STARVATION AND BRAIN METABOLISM IN HUMANS WHEN I BEGAN MY RESEARCH This story begins in the early 1960s when the general level of knowledge about whole-body metabolism during human starvation was grossly deficient. This was partly caused by a lack of accurate and specific methods for measuring hormones and fuels in biological fluids, which became available about 1965.11 Rigidly designed protocols for studying human volunteers or obese patients, who underwent semi- or total starvation for prolonged periods of time, were not widely employed, and much of the published data regarding metabolic events during starvation were not readily accessible. To complicate matters further, a great deal of the available data was confusing because much of the supposition regarding mechanisms used by the body to survive prolonged periods of starvation was based upon information that was obtained from nonstandardized and often erroneous procedures for studying metabolism. For example, the rate of urinary nitrogen excretion during starvation was sometimes confounded by the consumption of carbohydrate during the studies. Today, students of biochemistry take for granted the fact that tissues of the human body have a hierarchy of fuel usage. They know that the brain, an organ devoted to using glucose, can switch to use ketone bodies during prolonged starvation (2–3 days), thus sparing glucose for other tissues (i.e. red blood cells must use glucose as a fuel; without mitochondria, they have no choice!). However, this fundamental insight into human metabolism was not recognized in the early 1960s, when my research in this area began. How this simple but fundamental fact that ketone bodies provide critical fuels for the brain was discovered and its implication for Continue reading >>

Fenofibrate Induces Ketone Body Production In Melanoma And Glioblastoma Cells

Fenofibrate Induces Ketone Body Production In Melanoma And Glioblastoma Cells

1Department of Food Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Technology, University of Agriculture, Krakow, Poland 2Molecular and Metabolic Oncology Program, Department of Oncologic Sciences, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA 3Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Food Technology, University of Agriculture, Krakow, Poland 4Neurological Cancer Research, Stanley S Scott Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA Ketone bodies [beta-hydroxybutyrate (bHB) and acetoacetate] are mainly produced in the liver during prolonged fasting or starvation. bHB is a very efficient energy substrate for sustaining ATP production in peripheral tissues; importantly, its consumption is preferred over glucose. However, the majority of malignant cells, particularly cancer cells of neuroectodermal origin such as glioblastoma, are not able to use ketone bodies as a source of energy. Here, we report a novel observation that fenofibrate, a synthetic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARa) agonist, induces bHB production in melanoma and glioblastoma cells, as well as in neurospheres composed of non-transformed cells. Unexpectedly, this effect is not dependent on PPARa activity or its expression level. The fenofibrate-induced ketogenesis is accompanied by growth arrest and downregulation of transketolase, but the NADP/NADPH and GSH/GSSG ratios remain unaffected. Our results reveal a new, intriguing aspect of cancer cell biology and highlight the benefits of fenofibrate as a supplement to both canonical and dietary (ketogenic) therapeutic approaches against glioblastoma. 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 >>

Benefits Of Fueling Your Body With Ketones

Benefits Of Fueling Your Body With Ketones

Why Ketones are a better fuel source than glucose Where do our bodies get the energy to fuel our activities of daily living? Glucose is the main fuel source of our bodies, but there is another type of fuel that is available to our bodies, ketones. Ketones are a natural by-product of fat metabolism. When the body has run out of glucose to use as fuel it will switch fuel sources and start converting fat into fatty acids and then into ketones. Our bodies were designed to use this duel source of energy based on how we lived in the caveman days. In the summer and spring when food was plentiful, cavemen would eat more food and pack on the extra and store it as fat. Then in the fall and winter when food was scarce, the cavemen would live off that extra stored fat. Nowadays, since food supply is plentiful all year around and there is no physiological need or demand to live off the stored fat, thus we may just keep packing it on, all year around. What are the differences between ketones and glucose as a source of energy? Research suggests that ketones are a better, cleaner source of energy for the body and actually provide more energy than glucose. Unlike glucose, ketones do not depend on insulin to get into the cells for use. Ketones produce less carbon dioxide and free radicals than when the body uses glucose as a fuel source thus are less toxic for our body, making it a cleaner fuel source. Unfortunately, ketones are harder energy source for our bodies to tap into since they require your body to be in either a starvation mode or at least be in a state of very low in carbohydrates. Nowadays, the most common way of getting the body to produce ketones, or be in a state of ketosis, is by being on a very low carb diet i.e. a ketogenic diet. Typically, a ketogenic diet consists of Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?

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 >>

Clinical Review: Ketones And Brain Injury

Clinical Review: Ketones And Brain Injury

Abstract Although much feared by clinicians, the ability to produce ketones has allowed humans to withstand prolonged periods of starvation. At such times, ketones can supply up to 50% of basal energy requirements. More interesting, however, is the fact that ketones can provide as much as 70% of the brain's energy needs, more efficiently than glucose. Studies suggest that during times of acute brain injury, cerebral uptake of ketones increases significantly. Researchers have thus attempted to attenuate the effects of cerebral injury by administering ketones exogenously. Hypertonic saline is commonly utilized for management of intracranial hypertension following cerebral injury. A solution containing both hypertonic saline and ketones may prove ideal for managing the dual problems of refractory intracranial hypertension and low cerebral energy levels. The purpose of the present review is to explore the physiology of ketone body utilization by the brain in health and in a variety of neurological conditions, and to discuss the potential for ketone supplementation as a therapeutic option in traumatic brain injury. Introduction Ketogenesis is the process by which ketone bodies (KB), during times of starvation, are produced via fatty acid metabolism. Although much feared by physicians, mild ketosis can have therapeutic potential in a variety of disparate disease states. The principle ketones include acetoacetate (AcAc), β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and ace-tone. In times of starvation and low insulin levels, ketones supply up to 50% of basal energy requirements for most tissues, and up to 70% for the brain. Although glucose is the main metabolic substrate for neurons, ketones are capable of fulfilling the energy requirements of the brain. The purpose of the present review is to e Continue reading >>

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