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Why you most definitely do not want to be wasting your money on exogenous Ketones.

It was back in 2015 when I was first introduced to the multi-level marketing world of exogenous ketones.  And weren’t the advocates excited- “Not yet here in Australia” “It will be huge- the next big thing” “it puts you into instant ketosis”.  And all walks of life seemed to be keen- stay at home mums, corporates, personal trainers, this wagon was that of a steam train.   Now I must say, at first listen, wow didn’t these sachets seem too good to be true.  Still to this day I will get a prospective- or what I think is a prospective client call, to talk me around to eventually asking if I would be interested in trying exogenous ketones- that is, they have them and they want to sell them to me, because you see, if I’m specializing in the ketogenic diet, then I must need this right? My clients will get better weight loss results, right?  Wrong.

Frist of all, I do have a personal opinion on the ethics of Multi-Level Marketing, and hey, I never said I was a great business person, but I just don’t do multi-level products, especially from a professional point of view, being a health care practitioner, I feel it is kind of a kin to the “free trip to Barbados” paradigm pharmaceutical companies have for Dr’s that make the quotas on their prescribing medication.

People selling MLM are so excited because they are about to hook some more dollars, not because the product they are trying to sell you is all that great, so don’t let their excitement confuse you, they are excited by the possibility of making more money from you- not the miraculous, brand new, aint nothing else like it product they are selling.  I suppose I should just mention, I am specifically talking about exogenous ketones MLM and my own opinion on why I don’t recommend them.

Ok enough about opinion, lets move on to the facts.

There are two forms of Ketones- the ones our body makes naturally when we are on a low carb diet- called endogenous ketones, and then there are ketones we can eat, powdered ketone salts called exogenous ketones.

It has been said that taking exogenous ketones can actually help as a therapy if you have cancer, that under the guidance of a holistic medical doctor or specialist practitioner, exogenous ketones will help to shrink tumour’s.   

I think most of us are aware these days that cancer cells need glucose to live grow and multiply.  Cancer cells love a high sugar / high carb diet. Those cells cancerous tumour growing cells thrive on an abundance of glucose.  So having Ketones in your blood is the way to go, denying cancer of the food it needs to grow- glucose.

The question you need to ask yourself is, why are you taking Exogenous Ketones? If the answer is weight loss, then exogenous ketones are going to actually slow your progress.

On a Low Carb High Fat diet, the actual metabolic process of making ketones has benefits within itself.  And also, the end product-  the ketones themselves are a therapy.

It is the process of making Ketones which is doing the metabolic marvel.  You are not making ketones if you are eating exogenous ketones.
The reason you are on a low carb or ketogenic diet is to burn your fat stores- right?  To make ketones from the fat you are storing.  You are not going to lose fat stores if you are eating ketones, your actually adding energy into your system.   Sure, Ketones are great for therapeutic benefits, they feed our brain they feed our organs, however if weight loss is your goal-  the quickest way to burn body fat is to limit your carbohydrates, which will lower your insulin and make ketones yourself- for free!

And for the Insulin resistant (most typical Australians) and Diabetics out there; know this- if you make ketones, your insulin is low- winning.  If you are eating exogenous ketones and not lowering carbohydrates, its not going to do anything to lower your glucose or insulin levels.
Not eating low carb and taking ketones to be in ketosis = a big fat fail.

From a cellular point of view, once you have eaten carbs, you have a high level of insulin in your blood, you will be driving glucose into your cells which will then compete with the ketones you have eaten in trying to access the Krebs cycle and produce energy.  The cell can only take in so much, and it will choose glucose first when your still eating carbohydrates, leaving your exogenous ketones on the outer- quite literally.
You are actually using less ketones and the body will eliminate them- out via your now expensive urine.

Exogenous Ketones are fantastic for the elderly, those with Alzheimer, Parkinson’s, there is very good evidence ketones will provide a backup method for fuelling their brain when glucose is prevented from doing its job in these situations.

The pathway of exogenous ketones has not totally been figured out, the science still needs to be done.  I’ll just say that again, the science still needs to be done.  The only people putting money into the study of exogenous ketones is that of multi-level marketing schemes with an obvious vested interest.  There have been small studies done, such as this one in the link here below,  However no outcomes as to the effects of taking high amounts of exogenous ketones.  

Our body can make its own endogenous ketones naturally and we see the therapeutic benefits from those.  Multi-Level, powdered form of exogenous ketones does not have the same metabolic pathway within our body as endogenous ketones that we make naturally by eating a low carb high fat ketogenic diet.   We don’t fully know the effects of taking sachets and sachets of powdered ketones- the science has not been done, can our metabolic pathways handle this caloric amount of beta Hydroxybutyrate?  Another question to ask is what were these metabolic pathways doing prior to having to metabolize exogenous ketones- what are we displacing. Nobody really knows the answer to this.

The take home from this is that the best way to get ketones in your blood is to go low carb and manufacture them naturally- this is the only way you are going to get the improved health benefits and metabolic benefits anyway- so why bother taking exogenous ketones for weight loss or diseases such as diabetes.   If you are Diabetic or insulin resistant and thinking of taking exogenous Ketones, sure you will get the mental clarity, focus and appetite control, but the reason you are taking them is to stop the progression and reverse your diabetes, right?  If you are not low carb, you will still have glucose and insulin in your system, you will not get the health benefits or reverse your diabetes.  That can only be done with diet.

You cannot medicate your way out of something you ate your way into- you must eat your way out.

Whilst following a low carb, higher fat diet, MCT Oil such as brain octane is a product I do recommend to assist your body to make ketones, MCT oil is a derivative of coconut oil- but it is not coconut oil, coconut oil will not do the job MCT oil does.  MCT is an extraction of coconut oil and more potent.  Sure, add coconut oil to your diet, but the inclusion of MCT as well will improve your ketone production- naturally.