facebook pixelKeto Chow Blog - 42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 11: soaring ketones, thoughts on exogenous ketones
Chris Bair holding bacon
Jan 15  ·  3 min read
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42 Days of Keto Chow – Day 11: soaring ketones, thoughts on exogenous ketones

Day 11. I still haven’t had “breakfast” yet today. At 07:30 I went in to get a crown, 3 hours later it’s done but I’m still numb and not particularly hungry yet. Fortunately for me, when I do eat I’m not going to need to chew. Got the crown today so I could squeeze it in this last week of my “day job” before I quit on Friday. It’s a little scary but mostly I’m looking forward to only having a single full-time job next week.

My blood ketones are predictably coming up with the insanely low net carb count I’m doing with the oil. Yesterday I got up to 3.2 mmol/dL:

Now, your level of blood ketones is NOT an indicator of how much weight you’ll lose, and unless you are doing a ketogenic diet for treatment of epilepsy or Alzheimers you really don’t need to stress about ketone levels. Still for my own tests, it’s cool to see the levels going up. It’ll be interesting to see if/how they go down when I start on heavy cream again this Friday. Speaking of Ketones, let’s talk a little about taking artificial, or “exogenous”, ketones.

To start off with: I’ve been doing a ketogenic diet for over 3 years and to date, the only exogenous ketones I have taken were in a competitor’s keto “meal replacement” (at 200 calories I wouldn’t consider it a meal but whatever) that had beta hydroxy-butyrate salts in it (ketones). It wasn’t very good and I didn’t even finish the one drink (and I still have 11 in a box somewhere). Aside from that, I’ve never bothered. I figure I want to use my own fat to make them, and doing it that way is cheaper anyhow. I’ve heard a lot about exogenous ketones and I think they do have their place with:

  • High-performance athletes that need a jolt of energy faster than MCT oil can provide
  • Treatment of epilepsy or Alzheimers
  • People new to Keto that aren’t making enough ketones themselves yet but they also don’t have enough glucose left.

For that last group using exogenous ketones could be a good way to get through that first week in conjunction with extra electrolytes. The problem with exogenous ketones is there are a lot of unknowns right now in what the long-term effects are, mostly due to the “handedness” of natural vs. artificial. Within organic chemistry, you’ll often have molecules that can be assembled in two different ways, one a mirror image of the other. When life on earth creates the molecule, generally it’s always done the same way due to RNA sequences and other proteins that are running things. When you create a molecule in a lab, all bets are off and you will often end up with both types. Our enzymes know what to do with the ketones made in our livers, they don’t really fit the mirror image ones. Another problem is that in our bodies you have all 3 of the ketones being produced in concert, with the ratios of each tightly controlled. When you take only one of the ketones artificially it can mess things up because ketones aren’t just a fuel, they also act as a powerful signaling pathway that tells our cells what to do. This is of even greater concern when you take artificial ketones while still eating a carb-heavy diet full of glucose. We are not designed to have high glucose at the same time as high ketones, it’s simply not how things work.

So, in case you’re wondering if I’m going to add ketones to Keto Chow: the answer is “No.” =)