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Why Is Ketones Bad?

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

Is There A Dark Side Of Ketosis?

I can’t remember what appetizer she pointed to, but the woman sitting to the left of me said this so casually, and several folks at the table knew exactly what she meant, confirming what I’d long suspected: Ketogenic diets have officially gone mainstream – or recognizable at a party mainstream at least – in 2017. Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel. Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply. Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones. Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel. In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver. Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action. Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In Continue reading >>

6 Health Benefits Of Ketogenesis And Ketone Bodies

6 Health Benefits Of Ketogenesis And Ketone Bodies

With heavy coverage in the media, ketogenic diets are all the rage right now. And for a good reason; for some people, they truly work. But what do all these different terms like ketogenesis and ketone bodies actually mean? Firstly, this article takes a look at what the ketogenesis pathway is and what ketone bodies do. Following this, it will examine six potential health benefits of ketones and nutritional ketosis. What is Ketogenesis? Ketogenesis is a biochemical process through which the body breaks down fatty acids into ketone bodies (we’ll come to those in a minute). Synthesis of ketone bodies through ketogenesis kicks in during times of carbohydrate restriction or periods of fasting. When carbohydrate is in short supply, ketones become the default energy source for our body. As a result, a diet to induce ketogenesis should ideally restrict carb intake to a maximum of around 50 grams per day (1, 2). Ketogenesis may also occur at slightly higher levels of carbohydrate intake, but for the full benefits, it is better to aim lower. When ketogenesis takes place, the body produces ketone bodies as an alternative fuel to glucose. This physiological state is known as ‘nutritional ketosis’ – the primary objective of ketogenic diets. There are various methods you can use to test if you are “in ketosis”. Key Point: Ketogenesis is a biological pathway that breaks fats down into a form of energy called ketone bodies. What Are Ketone Bodies? Ketone bodies are water-soluble compounds that act as a form of energy in the body. There are three major types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Beta-hydroxybutyrate Acetone (a compound created through the breakdown of acetoacetate) The first thing to remember is that these ketones satisfy our body’s energy requirements in the same w Continue reading >>

Why Does Everything You Read Say You Can’t Exercise With Ketones?

Why Does Everything You Read Say You Can’t Exercise With Ketones?

When you start exercising working muscles need extra energy, this energy demand triggers a hormonal cocktail that stimulates the breakdown and release of stored energy (fat and carbs) into the blood stream as free fatty acids and glucose for muscles to use as needed. In the majority of cases the presence of ketones in the urine prior to exercise indicates insufficient insulin in the body. If you have insufficient circulating insulin the glucose in blood cannot get from blood into muscles (see e-coach module 3 how glucose gets into muscle). Yet exercising muscles keep asking for glucose and the body keeps trying to meet the call by sending more and more glucose into blood, this causes your BGL to skyrocket upward while your muscles are starved of the glucose they need to fuel exercise. Of course the body is a clever thing, when it can’t get enough glucose to add to the exercise fuel mix it looks for an alternate fuel source to meet exercise energy demand. When there’s no glucose the body relies on fat (free fatty acids) only for fuel (body fat is broken down, then released into blood as free fatty acids). This may sound like a positive thing to people wanting to lose or manage their weight but be assured it’s a BIG NEGATIVE! When the body breaks-down fat for energy in the absence of glucose it produces ketones which are acidic. Ketones leave the body in urine, perspiration and the breath. Another thing about ketones is they don’t smell so good, that’s why malodorous (tec talk for bad smelling) breath is a common indicator of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. If ketones build-up to high enough levels they can cause an imbalance in the body’s delicate pH balance and this can lead to a serious, potentially life threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. When Continue reading >>

Too Many Ketones Can Cause Ketoacidosis, Which Is Very Dangerous. Can Keto//os Create Ketoacidosis?

Too Many Ketones Can Cause Ketoacidosis, Which Is Very Dangerous. Can Keto//os Create Ketoacidosis?

Ketosis is NOT diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious complication of uncontrolled diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones in conjunction with high levels of glucose. You can consider comparing therapeutic ketosis to ketoacidosis to be like comparing a fireplace to a house fire. Fire is a great and useful thing when controlled and in the proper situations, but it also has the potential to become very dangerous if not used properly. Ketones are therapeutic and beneficial when in a certain blood level, but are very dangerous at extremely high levels. In therapeutic ketosis, total blood ketones are in the 0.5-5mM range while in ketoacidosis, blood ketones are typically >20mM. This is a huge difference. There is no reason to be scared of elevating blood ketones to the levels seen in therapeutic ketosis, but rather this level of ketosis is associated with many health benefits (improvements in metabolic health, weight loss, neuroprotection, etc). Until very recently, the only way you could receive the many benefits of ketones would be consuming a calorie restricted or carbohydrate restricted ketogenic diet. The benefit of exogenous ketones with KETO//OS the first of its kind that is exclusive worldwide with the Pruvit product is that since you are consuming (at least in the part of the BHB-salt), pure ketones, making it easier to elevate blood ketones to therapeutic levels. This also means, though, theoretically, you can elevate your blood ketones to any level depending on how much of the product is consumed. So, is it possible to elevate your blood ketones to a dangerous level with this product? Yes, technically it could be done; however, it would require consuming much more than the recommended use in one sitting. On average Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus with Ketoacidosis in Dogs Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot absorb sufficient glucose, thus causing a rise the blood sugar levels. The term “ketoacidosis,” meanwhile, refers to a condition in which levels of acid abnormally increased in the blood due to presence of “ketone bodies”. In diabetes with ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis immediately follows diabetes. It should be considered a dire emergency, one in which immediate treatment is required to save the life of the animal. This condition typically affects older dogs as well as females. In addition, miniature poodles and dachshunds are predisposed to diabetes with ketoacidosis. Symptoms and Types Weakness Lethargy Depression Lack of appetite (anorexia) Muscle wasting Rough hair coat Dehydration Dandruff Sweet breath odor Causes Although the ketoacidosis is ultimately brought on by the dog's insulin dependency due to diabetes mellitus, underlying factors include stress, surgery, and infections of the skin, respiratory, and urinary tract systems. Concurrent diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, cancer may also lead to this type of condition. Diagnosis You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile and complete blood count (CBC). The most consistent finding in patients with diabetes is higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood. If infection is present, white blood cell count will also high. Other findings may include: high liver enzymes, high blood cholesterol levels, accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine (azo Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Certainly a low carb approach doesn’t work with Type 1’s, right? What about the dangerous risks of hypoglycemia? Actually, this thinking is repeated over and over. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, those using a low carbohydrate high healthy fat (LCHF) approach have much more stable blood sugars, some nearly eliminating hypoglycemic episodes altogether. It really makes perfect sense. Why this reasoning is shunned, defies logic. Think about it…less (fast acting, blood-sugar-spiking) carbs, less insulin, less hypos. Before we go further in this post, I’d like you to read this powerfully compelling account of Dr. Keith Runyan, MD, a Nephrologist, who is a Type 1, and who successfully uses a carb restricted approach to manage his diabetes. Please read his story (link below). There is no way I could do this story justice in fewer words. The entire article is needed to understand its full impact. Afterwards, I would recommend his accompanying video. Nutritional Ketosis vs Diabetic Ketoacidosis Much of the backlash from mainstream beliefs regarding the use of carb restriction with Type 1’s stems from the lack of understanding about the difference between nutritional ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis. I’m going to quote directly from Diabetes Daily Website. Here is the content of their article entitled “Why DKA and Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same”…(read the full article HERE) “There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstanding lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50g of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person into a state of “nutritional ketosis.” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of Continue reading >>

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

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 >>

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 >>

K Is For Ketones

K Is For Ketones

Ketones are good for you. No, they’re bad. With one exception, I don’t think that there’s any diabetes disagreement that is more serious than this one about ketones. The exception is whether a low-carbohydrate diet is something that you should follow, particularly if you want to lose weight. Is a low-carb diet good or bad for you? Actually, some of the reason that we differ on the answer to that diet question is because we can’t agree on ketones. We do know what ketones are. Ketones are acids released into the blood when your body breaks down its stores of fat and burns it for energy. Two things can cause your body to do that. One is when you don’t have enough glucose to use for energy. The other is when your insulin level is too low. In either case your body then make ketones, which are waste products that might cause the acid level in your blood to become too high. Since ketones are a waste produce, you pass them in the urine. That means you can detect them with a urine test, which has been the traditional, but sometimes messy way check them. Now, however, you can do that with a blood test that measures a specific ketone called beta-hydroxybuyric acid. In fact, two meters will measure either your ketones or your blood glucose. Abbott Diabetes Care offers the Precision Xtra. Polymer Technology Systems has the CardioChek, which can also measure lipid levels. It’s handy to have a meter that measures both, because when are your blood glucose level is higher than 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/L), you need to test for ketones too. But it’s not only when your blood glucose is high that you might have ketones in your blood. You may have ketones if you are pregnant and have diabetes. That’s the third major type of diabetes, which we call gestational diabetes. And if you Continue reading >>

Exogenous Ketones: What They Are, Benefits Of Use And How They Work

Exogenous Ketones: What They Are, Benefits Of Use And How They Work

Exogenous ketones have become a popular nutritional supplement since their introduction in 2014. Like with any new supplement, though, there tends to be a lot of misinformation that you have to sift your way through to find the reliable data. So, this article does the hard work for you and gets right to what the true benefits and drawbacks of exogenous ketones are. We also cover what forms of ketones to consider, how they function in the body, and their role in future research. What Are Ketones? Our bodies use ketones via our mitochondria to generate energy. They are an alternative fuel source to glucose. Ketones are simple compounds because of their small molecular structure and weight. Specifically, they are organic (carbon-based) compounds that contain a central carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom and two carbon-containing substituents, denoted by “R” (see chemical structure below). In humans, there are 3 different ketones produced by the mitochondria of the liver. These are also often referred to as ketone bodies. The three ketones are: Acetone Acetoacetic Acid Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid (also known Beta Hydroxybuyrate or BHB). Other chemical names include 3-hydroxybutyric acid or 3-hydroxybutyrate. BHB is not technically a ketone since it contains a reactive OH-group in place of where a double-bonded oxygen normally would be as you can see in the diagram below. Yet, BHB still functions like a ketone in the body and converts into energy much like acetoacetate and acetone. This happens via the acetoacetate and acetyl-CoA pathway. Note that acetone conversion to acetyl-CoA is not efficient due to the need to convert acetone to acetoacetate via decarboxylation. However, BHB still functions like a ketone in the body and can be converted to energy (via acetoace Continue reading >>

Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis

Ketones in the urine, as detected by urine testing stix or a blood ketone testing meter[1], may indicate the beginning of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a dangerous and often quickly fatal condition caused by low insulin levels combined with certain other systemic stresses. DKA can be fixed if caught quickly. Diabetics of all species therefore need to be checked for ketones with urine testing stix, available at any pharmacy, whenever insulin level may be too low, and any of the following signs or triggers are present: Ketone Monitoring Needed: Little or no insulin in last 12 hours High blood sugar over 16 mmol/L or 300 mg/dL (though with low insulin, lower as well...) Dehydration (skin doesn't jump back after pulling a bit gums are tacky or dry)[2] Not eating for over 12 hours due to Inappetance or Fasting Vomiting Lethargy Infection or illness High stress levels Breath smells like acetone (nail-polish remover) or fruit. Note that the triggers and signs are somewhat interchangeable because ketoacidosis is, once begun, a set of vicious circles which will make itself worse. So dehydration, hyperglycemia, fasting, and presence of ketones are not only signs, they're also sometimes triggers. In a diabetic, any urinary ketones above trace, or any increase in urinary ketone level, or trace urinary ketones plus some of the symptoms above, are cause to call an emergency vet immediately, at any hour of the day. Possible False Urine Ketone Test Results Drugs and Supplements Valproic Acid (brand names) Depakene, Depakote, Divalproex Sodium[3] Positive. Common use: Treatment of epilepsy. Cefixime/Suprax[4] Positive with nitroprusside-based urine testing. Common use: Antibiotic. Levadopa Metabolites[5] Positive with high concentrations[6]. Tricyclic Ring Compounds[7][8] Positive. Commo Continue reading >>

Ketones And Exercise – What You Need To Know

Ketones And Exercise – What You Need To Know

A researcher on diabetes and exercise describes why exercise elevates risk of DKA for people with Type 1 diabetes. In a new set of guidelines for Type 1 diabetes and exercise, I and my fellow researchers warn that people with Type 1 diabetes need to monitor for elevated levels of ketones during exercise. If you have Type 1 and exercise regularly, testing for ketones could save your life. Ketones develop in our bodies when we mobilize fat as fuel. Fat is an important energy source that is used by the body at rest and during exercise. Ketones are a general term in medicine used to describe the three main ketone bodies that the liver produces – acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. Read “Too Many with Type 1 Don’t Test for Ketones.” sponsor Ketone bodies help fuel the brain and skeletal muscle during times of prolonged fasting or starvation, so in a way ketones are very important for survival. We actually have enough stored fat to generate energy for days, but this can cause a number of metabolic problems, the most important of which is ketoacidosis. In Type 1 diabetes, ketone levels can rise even without starvation, if insulin levels drop too much and levels of other hormones like glucagon and catecholamines rise. This rise in ketone levels in diabetes can cause a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Read “How DKA Happens and What to Do About it.” The symptoms of ketoacidosis include: A lack of energy, weakness, and fatigue Nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, decreased appetite Rapid weight loss Decreased perspiration, foul or fruity breath Altered consciousness, mild disorientation or confusion Coma sponsor The reasons for developing high ketone levels in Type 1 diabetes include: Missed insulin injections Failure of insulin Continue reading >>

Testing For Ketones

Testing For Ketones

Copyright © 1998 [email protected] All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your health provider. This particular web section is designed to present more than one view of a controversial subject, pro and con. It should be re-emphasized that nothing herein should be considered medical advice. Contents What are Ketones? What Causes Ketones? The Ketone Controversy Ketone Tests vs. Other Urine Tests Testing and Managing Ketones Kmom's Ketone Story Ketone References What are Ketones? Ketones are formed when your body's fat stores have to be accessed for energy. Normally, you eat food and then the body converts it to glucose/blood sugar for use as energy by your cells. Your insulin is then like a key, unlocking the door to the cell so it can access this blood sugar. In pregnancy, placental hormones make you more resistant to your own insulin (in essence 'warping' the key to the door) and make it harder to get that glucose from your blood into your cells. So while your blood remains high in blood sugar, your cells can be starving. The fetus absolutely must have energy, so if your pancreas cannot make enough insulin to overcome the hormone-caused resistance, the cells start accessing other sources of energy, like fat stores. The by-product of this is ketones. Ketones may be dangerous when pregnant, although this is controversial and still being studied and disputed. There were several studies that showed that babies exposed to a lot of ketones had learning problems and reduced IQ later in life. These have since been disputed by other studies, but just in case, everyone plays it safe during pregnancy, which is very prudent. What Causes Ketones? Ketones usually occur because you are ei Continue reading >>

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

Should Endurance Athletes Go Keto? Ketosis And Ketogenic Diets For Endurance Athletes

When it comes to weight loss and endurance performance, dietary ketosis is the strategy everyone is asking about this year. On the surface, ketosis or a ketogenic diet offers everything an endurance athlete could dream of: endless energy, freedom from bonking, and an efficient pathway to weight loss. The diet has been all over mainstream magazines, it’s the subject of several new books, and the supplement companies have already jumped in with new products and a ton of marketing dollars. So, is it time for cyclists, triathletes, and runners to go Keto? First, a refresher course on what a ketogenic diet is. To achieve dietary or nutritional ketosis you need to severely restrict carbohydrate intake (fewer than 50 grams of CHO/day) so the body transitions to using ketones for fueling muscles and the brain. Ketones are produced from fat, which is why nutritional ketosis is so appealing to sedentary people as a weight loss solution. It’s appealing to athletes because we have a virtually unlimited reserve of fat calories to pull from but can only store 1600-2000 calories worth of carbohydrate in muscles, blood, and the liver. An athlete fueled by ketones would be theoretically “bonk-proof”, since bonking is the result of running low on blood glucose. [blog_promo promo_categories=”coaching” ids=”” /] Dietary ketosis for athletes is one of the most hotly contested subjects right now. Proponents point to the metabolic advantage of relying on fat instead of carbohydrate, and critics point out the physiological limitations of eliminating carbohydrate as a fuel for performance. You’ll find bias in both groups, either because scientists and coaches (including me) have been in the high-carbohydrate camp for many years, or because there’s a lot of money to be made b Continue reading >>

The Truth About Ketosis & Low-carb Diets, Backed By Science

The Truth About Ketosis & Low-carb Diets, Backed By Science

A lot of people are confused by the term “ketosis.” You may read that it is a “dangerous state” for the body, and it does sound abnormal to be “in ketosis.” But ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether from the fat in the almonds you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of it gets converted to energy, but ketones are also produced as part of the process. When people eat less carbohydrates, their bodies turn to fat for energy, so it makes sense that more ketones are generated. Some of those ketones (acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate) are used for energy; the heart muscle and kidneys, for example, prefer ketones to glucose. Most cells, including the brain cells, are able to use ketones for at least part of their energy. Is ketosis a bad thing? There is an assumption that if a body is burning a lot of fat for energy, it must not be getting “enough” glucose. However, there is no indication, from studying people on reduced carbohydrate diets, that this is the case (though there is usually a short period of adjustment, less than a week, in most cases). It takes about 72 hours to burn up all of the reserve glycogen (sugar loads). Although it’s true that our bodies can’t break fat down directly into glucose (though, interestingly, they easily use glucose to make fat), our bodies can convert some of the protein we eat into glucose. Indeed, this works well for people who don’t tolerate a lot of sugar, because this conversion happens slowly so it doesn’t spike blood glucose. What is the danger of ketosis? It is important that if you are following a ketogenic nutritional pro Continue reading >>

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