What Are Ketones? How Can They Help Me Burn Fat? And Why Should I Care?
If you were to Google “what are ketones” you will most likely find quite a bit of information on ketones, ketosis, etc. from diabetes sources, and at the top of the page you will find this:
“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.”
So what does this mean in plain English?
As stated above, in order for our cells to be able to “burn” carbohydrates or “sugars” for us to use as energy, they (carbs & sugar) must enter the cell, where they get shuttled into the mitochodria, the “powerhouse of the cell” where they get converted into energy through a complex cycle called the Krebs Cycle, also known as the Citric Acid Cycle.
The way that carbohydrates enter our cells is with the secretion of insulin, a hormone that binds to receptors on the cell membrane to allow sugars (carbs) to enter the cells and be stored as glycogen, a “chain” of sugar molecules hooked together.
Typically, people with Type 1 Diabetes, do NOT produce insulin, and because of that, the carbohydrates that they consume cannot make it into their cells to be transformed into energy.
This is why Type 1 diabetics rely on insulin injections for their entire life. This is why most of what you will find online regarding ketones refers to Type 1 diabetics; when they do not take their insulin injection, and or their blood glucose levels drop considerably, their bodies cannot make energy from carbohydrates (due to carbs and sugars not being able to enter the cells where the mitochondria is located) and the body has to find some other source of energy. That other source of energy is stored fat.
Now, before I go any further, let me be VERY CLEAR, in that ketosis for a Type 1 diabetic is a very serious matter and can lead to death. So anyone who is a Type 1 diabetic should never ever allow their body to go into ketosis at all.
For those of us who do not have Type 1 diabetes, and for those of you geeky enough to want to know the rest of the story, I have provided the pathway in great biochemical detail below.
Here’s the Facts:
When we go on a low to no carbohydrate diet, our body will eventually turn to fats for energy, and it is this breakdown of fats that leads to “ketosis.”
The cool thing about ketosis and the ketone bodies it produces is that it leads the body to further break down fats for energy. Hence, a diet low or in absence of carbohydrates is called a ketogenic diet.
Back in 1972 Dr Atkins coined the term “BDK” which stands for “Benign Dietary Ketosis” in an effort to point out the difference between diet induced ketosis and ketosis experienced by Type 1 diabetics when their blood glucose levels drop below normal and or safe levels due to starvation or not taking the proper and necessary amount of insulin their bodies require for the amount of carbohydrates they ingested.
The low down for the rest of us is that research shows that when we eat a low or no carbohydrate diet, our bodies mobilize stored fat and break it down into “ketone bodies” so that the mitochondria in our cells can turn those ketone bodies into energy.
As an additional benefit, ketone bodies tend to provide more ATP (energy) than carbohydrates or glucose molecules and use less oxygen in that production of energy. Another benefit is that ketone bodies can cross the blood brain barrier and provide that needed energy to the central nervous system and the brain.
Now here is the “rub”; in order for our bodies to go into ketosis, or better stated, BDK (benign dietary ketosis, as Dr Atkins would like us to refer to it), we must:
1. Stop consuming carbohydrates, and
2. Deplete the carbohydrates stored in our body.
Our body “stores” carbohydrates in the form of “glycogen” in our liver and in our muscles. Obviously, the more muscle you have, the more glycogen you have stored, just as the gas tank in a semi truck will hold more fuel than that of a VW bug.
Up until now, depleting your carbohydrates would require fasting, starving, low carbohydrate diets, prolonged exercise and/or a combination of all of these.
Through these means, it normally takes approximately three to four days to get into full blown ketosis.
On your way there, you feel horrible-you cannot think straight, you forget things, conversations and thoughts disappear into thin air, your breath stinks and you are extremely thirsty and you have to eat every two hours just to remain “functional.”
Often times this horrible feeling is referred to as the “keto flu” because you truly do feel as horrible or worse than when you have the flu.
However, once your body is in full ketosis, you will feel like a Superhero able to walk through brick walls and lift the entire gym for reps!
What if there was a way for you to skip the “keto flu” symptoms?
And, instead of three to four days of misery you could reach full ketosis superhero status IN LESS THAN ONE HOUR without any of the discomforts and all of the benefits?
Would that appeal to you?
Would you be interested in a new revolutionary product that tastes like orange juice that you can mix in water, drink it, and in be full blown ketosis in 60 minutes or less, and allow you to transition your diet to a low to no carb diet without any of the cravings and all of the fat burning benefits?
If your answer is a resounding YES!, your wait is over!
We have are excited to share with you a supplement that provides your body with “exogenous ketones” (exogenous meaning that they are made “outside” of your body) and “trick” your body into going into ketosis and start metabolizing fat right away.
It does exist and the product is called KEGENIX.
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Furthermore, it has the right amount of green tea extract, antioxidants, etc. to suppress your appetite without making you jittery and as stated above, you mix it in water and it tastes like orange juice.
Here are some of the additional benefits that have been reported by those on the product:
• Promotes High Nitrogen Retention Protein Synthesis
• Provides Elevated and Sustained Ketones
• Promotes Sustained Energetics
• Stimulates Lipolysis (fat breakdown) for Energy Substrate Utilization
• Provides Ketones for Neuroprotection & Increase brain activity
• Promotes Triglyceride Reduction
• Promotes Ketones for Enhanced Neurological Efficiency
• Weight Loss (fat loss)
• Fast & Sustained Energy
• Reduced Brain Fog
• Increased Brainpower
• Increased Focus
• Appetite Suppression
• Assists in Abdominal Fat Loss (love handles)
• Strength Gain
• Better Mood (stabilizing/enhancement)
The Science Behind It:
Now as promised, here is the “science and pathways” involved in ketosis….
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, or in untreated (or inadequately treated) Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
These ketone bodies are readily picked up by the extra-hepatic tissues (meaning all tissues in your body other than the liver), 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. This is important because long-chain fatty acids cannot be obtained from the blood, because they cannot pass through the blood–brain barrier.
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).
They are therefore always released into the blood by the liver, after the liver glycogen stores have been depleted. (These glycogen stores are depleted after only 24 hours of fasting).
Acetoacetate consists of two acetyl-CoA molecules (without their -CoAs, or coenzyme A) combined in tandem. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a reduced form of acetoacetate, in which the ketone group is converted into an alcohol (or hydroxyl).
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 back into acetyl-CoA except via detoxification in the liver where it is converted into lactic acid, which can, in turn, be oxidized into pyruvic acid, and only then into acetyl-CoA.
Ketone bodies have a characteristic smell, which can easily be detected in the breath of persons in ketosis and ketoacidosis. It is often described as fruity or like nail polish remover (which usually contains acetone or ethyl acetate).
Fats stored in adipose tissue (aka: your fat stores) are released from the fat cells into the blood as free fatty acids and glycerol when insulin levels are low and glucagon and epinephrine levels in the blood are high. This occurs between meals, during fasting, starvation and strenuous exercise, when blood glucose levels are likely to fall.
Fatty acids are very high energy fuels, and are taken up by all metabolizing cells which have mitochondria (this is because fatty acids can only be metabolized in the mitochondria).
Red blood cells do not contain mitochondria and therefore cannot entirely burn fatty acids for energy. Although the cells of the central nervous system, do have mitochondria, but cannot utilize fatty acids because as stated above, fatty acid molecules cannot cross the blood brain barrier into the interstitial fluids that bathe the central nervous systems’ cells.
In all other tissues the fatty acids that enter the metabolizing cells are combined with co-enzyme A to form acyl-CoA chains. These are transferred into the mitochondria of the cells, where they are broken down into acetyl-CoA units by a sequence of reactions known as β-oxidation.
The acetyl-CoA produced by β-oxidation enters the citric acid cycle in the mitochondrion by combining with oxaloacetate to form citrate. This results in the complete combustion of the acetyl group of acetyl-CoA to CO2 and water. The energy released in this process is captured in the form of 1 Guanosine Triphosphate (GTP) and 11 Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) molecules per acetyl group (or acetic acid molecule) oxidized.
Once again, in plain English, ATP = ENERGY.
The ketone bodies (Acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and their spontaneous breakdown product, acetone ) are released by the liver into the blood.
All cells with mitochondria can take ketone bodies up from the blood and reconvert them into acetyl-CoA, which can then be used as fuel in their citric acid cycles.
Unlike free fatty acids, ketone bodies can cross the blood-brain barrier and are therefore available as fuel for the cells of the central nervous system, acting as a substitute for glucose, on which these cells normally survive.
In conclusion, the occurrence of high levels of ketone bodies in the blood during starvation, a low carbohydrate diet, prolonged heavy exercise is known as ketosis, and in its extreme form in out-of-control type 1 diabetes mellitus, as ketoacidosis.
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© 2016 Lucho Crisalle, CEO, Exercise & Nutrition Works, Inc.
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Quick question….how many times a day do you mix up this drink and consume it. Is it a once a day thing? Are there clear instructions that come with it?
You only drink it once per day, and yes, it does come with clear instructions on how to use it.