What are Exogenous Ketones?
With the popularity of the Ketogenic Diet taking off. There has been a whole line of new health supplements that have been made available. One of those products is called Exogenous Ketones. But what are they exactly? And more importantly what are their uses?
Definition of Exogenous Ketones.
First, I would like to define the terms that are being used. This is to make sure that we all understand what is being discussed. Exogenous, according to Merriam – Webster, means: Introduced from or produced outside the organism or system. So, to sum it up, it means that these ketones are made outside of the body, or are synthesized.
The definition of ketone doesn’t exactly help to understand what they are in simple terms. But for the sake of thoroughness, I will include it as well. According to the Free Dictionary ketones are a class of acidic organic compounds that have a carbonyl group linked to two carbon atoms. Ketones are formed in states of carbohydrate deficiency such as starvation or in conditions such as diabetes, in which carbohydrates cannot be normally utilized.
How Ketones are Created and what they do.
According to this study. Ketones are produced by the liver as a result of incomplete oxidation of fatty acids. This occurs when the body switches fuel sources from carbohydrates to fats. When a person eats a ketogenic diet. The body is kept in a state of ketosis. Which the body responds to similarly to what occurs during starvation.
One of the effects ketosis produces is the suppression of feelings of hunger. Actually, it isn’t just hunger that it turns off, it also stops cravings for grains and sweets. It was a bit strange for me when I first started to crave fat and salt as opposed to another slice of toast (or even bag of chips!). It was fascinating to learn that my cravings for salt were a normal part of the process of transitioning to ketosis. Since sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium are all electrolyte salts, this is no surprise. It is helpful that I use Pink Himalayan sea salt. Which is known to be rich in trace minerals.
What are the uses and benefits of Exogenous Ketones?
So, the question remains, how can exogenous ketones be used and is there any benefit? According to this article by the Ketovale team, there are a handful of situations where these supplements can come in handy. I really liked this post as it takes the same stance as me. It states that the best way to achieve ketosis is to eat a ketogenic diet.
They do list a few specific ways that exogenous ketones can be advantageous. One of them is when a person is first transitioning to ketosis. And the individual is experiencing the Keto Flu. Taking ketones at this time can give you some of the energy you will need to stay focused. As well as energy to get through your busy schedule. It can also assist your body in learning how to produce ketones. A lot of exogenous ketone blends contain the electrolytes needed to support your body through the transition.
Other uses of Ketones.
According to the same article, ketones can be utilized to help lengthen the time you are fasting. Basically, what this is saying is that if you start to feel hungry. Say in the morning. But are wanting to extend your period of fasting. Taking exogenous ketones can allow you to get passed the hunger pangs you are experiencing.
Of course, you could also have a cup of coffee. And add a tablespoon of butter from grass fed cows. Plus, a teaspoon of MCT oil but that is a whole other post.
Exogenous Ketones Can Help Weight Loss too!
As far as weight loss is concerned. The article by the Ketovale team, mentions the potential benefit of adding exogenous ketone supplementation. They provide the most benefit when a person reaches a point that they are struggling to lose any additional weight. This is referred to as a weight loss plateau. If you add exogenous ketones at this time. And continue to remain active. While sticking to a good ketogenic diet. You can give your body the extra energy it needs. And attain a deeper state of ketosis.
Summary and Personal Experience
In summary, exogenous ketones may prove valuable on your journey to taking charge of your health. But I remind you, there is no replacement for dedicated, consistent effort on your part.
I spent a few months taking exogenous ketones. And I tried several brands. A couple I purchased. And several that a friend allowed me to take several days-worth. I definitely had my preference. But each one did a few noticeable things for me.
On the days I ate more carbohydrates than I had intended. The exogenous ketones helped my body to adapt to eating fats quicker. They also seemed to help me process whatever remaining carbohydrates that were in my system. I was able to document this based on my blood sugar readings. As well as the amount of insulin I needed to inject per meal.