Guest Blog by Dr. Hardick – Is There a Dark Side to Ketosis?

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The Keto Diet is getting more and more attention and seems to be the latest craze in diets.  However, most people don’t really understand what a Keto Diet is and what the benefits come with it.  Dr. Hardick in his blog, “Is there a Dark Side to Keytosis” explained it quite well in layman terms that anyone can understand, what misconceptions people have about Keto and why people lose weight on the diet.

Dr. Hardick explains, “Let’s back up and demystify ketosis, which simply means you’re utilizing ketone bodies – more commonly called ketones – rather than glucose as your body’s primary fuel.

Just like your car uses gasoline, your body needs fuel. That usually means glucose. But let’s say you’re on a very-low carbohydrate, higher-fat diet. Your body doesn’t get a lot of glucose, which primarily comes from carbohydrate and to a lesser degree protein. That means your liver’s backup glucose (glycogen) also becomes in short supply.

Unlike your car, your body doesn’t just shut down. Thankfully, you have an alternative fuel source called ketones.

Ketones are organic compounds your liver always makes. You’re cranking out ketones right now as you read this. During starvation or (more likely) when you restrict carbohydrate and increase fat intake, your body uses ketones as its primary fuel.

In other words, when your body doesn’t receive or can’t make enough glucose, it shifts to this alternative fuel. Almost every organ can utilize ketones except for your red blood cells (which don’t have ketone-metabolizing mitochondria) and liver.

Your liver, in fact, does the heavy lifting. This hardworking organ metabolizes fat into three ketone bodies: acetoacetate (ACA), beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), and acetone.(1) BHB is the first substrate that kicks ketosis into action.

Among its benefits, BHB reduces chronic inflammation and restores healthy inflammation levels. In fact, researchers believe a ketogenic diet’s anti-inflammatory effects could be thanks to BHB.”

When the body leans on another source besides glucose for energy and enters the state of ketosis, the body utilizes body fat for energy.  Patients on the Keto Diet have also reported they are more satiated with smaller amounts of food than when trying to lose weight through a low-fat diet making it easier to stick to a Keto Diet.

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