Suddenly observant people in the world are becoming aware of the term ketosis and what it can do about performance for athletes, benefit for diabetes and epilepsy, as well as treatment for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
I will tackle all the abovementioned topics in subsequent blogs, but want to dedicate this blog to the detail of ketosis.
Ketones form in the body when for some or other reason glucose can not be used for energy and fatty acids are being used for fuel instead of glucose.
The breakdown of fatty acids give rise to three keton bodies of which B-hydroxybutyric acid is the most important.
What are the common conditions where glucose is not available for fuel.
1) Type 1 Diabetes: body has no insulin and glucose can not be used for energy. The body has no other choice than to use ketones. Unfortunately in Diabetes type 1 patients, who do not receive insulin, the level of ketones can become so high that the patient can go into a keto-acidosis, that can be very dangerous.
2) Fasting: In fasting when there is no glucose for fuel the body resort to Fatty acids and ketones for fuel. For this reason people stranded in a boat at sea can stay alive for 30 days without food. By the way; humans are unique in the sense that they can resort to Fatty acids and ketones for fuel if they have no glucose to use.
Why did humans develop this exceptional skill amongst all animals?
They adapt over the years the mechanisms of changing their utilization between glucose fuel and ketone fuel. When they were hungry and had to hunt, they swithced to ketones which is a far better fuel than glucose, and went into top gear with performance and tact to catch a wild animal for food.
Now why is it that doctors are afraid of this fuel which can supercharge human beings? The answer is quite simple: Type 1 diabetes patients who do not get insulin go into a ketosis coma and can die easily. Their ketone levels is then in the order of 17 mm/litre. The “supercharge functional ketosis” is much lower at a level of 0,4-1,6 mm/Litre and is very far removed from the keto-acidosis of Type 1 diabetes patients without insulin therapy.
How long will it take to change the attitude of doctors towards functional ketosis? I think about 50 years. I tried to explain it in detail to a experienced pathologist the other day. Her comment; I do not want to become cachectic.
In the meantime a lot of clever people will start getting the benefit and change their lives forever.