20

votes

Carbs and Ketosis Simultaneously? Hack My Experiment.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 11, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I started this question as a response to dooliemcjules' question about VLC, Crossfit, and ketosis. My answer quickly moved in the direction of my pet topic, and I've been wanting to ask about this for a while, so here goes:

I'm no longer doing VLC, but I continue to be interested in being in ketosis. I believe that it provides neuroprotection and that it also may play a part in lifespan extension (implying a shorter morbidity tail, which is what I'm primarily interested in).

The VLC diet was a great hack for initially losing that 30 pounds I needed to lose, but after about four months it stopped being all that effective at further leaning out. I continued VLC for several years, but I had problems with it, not the least of which was that Crossfit workouts just wore me out and made me want to sleep all the time. There were also other problems like random bouts of insomnia and random bouts of intestinal distress. Adding some carbs back in helped immensely.

But then the ketosis goes right out the window...

So, I've been spending a lot of time wondering if you can have a higher-carb diet and still be in ketosis. Over at Perfect Health Diet, Paul Jaminet has some interesting posts about therapeutic ketogenic diets for children with NBIA. Part 1. Part 2.

So we have three ways to make the diet ketogenic:

1) Make Wilder???s ???ketogenic ratio??? high by eating a lot of fat, very few carbs, and not too much protein.
2) Supplement with the ketogenic amino acids lysine and leucine.
3) Supplement with coconut oil or another source of short-chain fats.

If we do (2) or (3), then the diet can be ketogenic even if it has a fair number of carbs.

EDIT: I meant to include a mention that there's a lot of discussion out there about using MCTs in conjunction with IFing.

I recently started my N=1 experiment. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are about one-half MCTs, and so are a good source. However, I'm one of those folks who finds coconut oil unpleasant (haven't tried palm kernel oil). So I bought a bottle of 100% MTC oil and some powdered 100% leucine, and I'm experimenting with ways to incorporate these into my daily diet. 1 Tablespoon of MCT oil and 5g powdered leucine daily. Other than these supplements (and some vitamins), my diet is almost 100% real-food Paleo.

Preliminary results are that I seemed to have obtained a new superpower: I can make ketostix turn deep, dark purple, even while consuming 75-100g carbs daily. This is definitely a change from before.

Questions:

EDIT: Just to be clear, the goal of this hack is not necessarily to lose fat. The goal is to induce ketosis without being VLC. Why? To gain the possible benefits of ketosis: neuroprotection and life-span extension.

  • Am I out of my mind? You can't have it both ways. This could never work. Thoughts?

  • The MCT oil is flavorless. The powdered leucine tastes like crap. If I can't figure out a way to make it more palatable, I'm going to have to abandon it. How do you make leucine more palatable? I swear, I'm going to need psychotherapy to get over the flavor and aftertaste.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

For the VLC scenario, that is correct. But, is that brain transition due to the absence of glucose or the presence of ketone bodies (or both)? I'm not sure if anyone really knows what happens in the presence of both adequate blood glucose and circulating ketone bodies. I do know that the MCT oil gets me going like a rocket.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Also, Corinne, Do you eat fruit? I didn't see a mention of it

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Corinne, I want to make it to where you are more than anything, I've read your story and would love any advice, if you feel comfortable reaching out, it would mean the world - [email protected]

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Corinne, This story is incredible. Do you think that it is attainable by others? or that something about your makeup allows for the best of both worlds? This is my goal, 100% to be eating a reasonable amount of carbs but in a ketogenic state...i tried upping my coconut oil recently and gained a lot of body fat, which i am now tring to loose. So i am a little worried about trying this. Any advice?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Ambimorph, what great news about ZC helping your friend. That is most encouraging news.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 07, 2011
at 09:46 PM

Ok I'm totally buying MCT oil now.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:53 PM

There is much yet to be learned about brain cancer. Anecdotally, I have an acquaintance who has brain cancer, quite advanced, and he was given up for dead by his practitioners. A few months ago he went on an ad libitum ZC diet, and is now in remission. Lower calories would likely help him further, but I don't know if it's strictly *necessary*.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:10 PM

But actually, I'm not sure those studies can distinguish between being a poor user or a poor switcher. The latter might be more plausible, given the fact that LC diets are so effective for the obese. Maybe the fact they they switch to fat burning and stay there is the key.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:07 PM

That's a neat idea, Don. J. Stanton discussed a couple of studies about it here: http://www.gnolls.org/2407/when-satiety-fails-why-are-we-hungry-part-4/

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:39 PM

"Also, fat people have defective mitochondria, that can't as effectively use fat for energy." Which is apparently normalized by ketones in some people like Corinne. Depression may just be low cellular energy in many people; Cellular energy that doesn't switch well between a high and low insulin environment. Are obese/formerly obese poor users of glycogen or FFA? Or is it the switching that's the problem?

030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Yeah, I definitely eat in excess of 3500 cals a day, Ambimorph. I can't imagine not eating that much, I would go insane. I am at my target weight after making all of these adjustments. I didn't know a bout leucine, so I may try adding that to my routine. I am just using a shit ton of coconut oil and MCT oil. It has made all of the difference to me. I'm so glad I am figuring out what works for my body.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:35 AM

It's not a perfect measure , because ketostix only measure acetoacetate, not beta-hydroxybutyrate.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Well, I tend to think that the ketonemia is the important factor, too - in part because of the paper ambimproh references, and several others. Still, as others have pointed out, it's worth trying to determine this for sure. As for the dark chocolate idea - now i can't consider any other way.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Also, I'm glad to hear from another person who eats so many calories. I can't tell you how many times someone has basically told me I either can't count or am lying about my calorie intake.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:50 AM

I'm emphasizing the brain in my post because (1) I think that's where the mood effects are, and mood is important for me, and (2), smcdow was interested in neuroprotection.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Also, fat people have defective mitochondria, that can't as effectively use fat for energy.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:39 AM

Maybe I'm not understanding your point, Don. The effects on the brain *are*, in part, on mitochondria. Higher dependence on ketones gets around the damage, lowers inflammation and ROS production, increases glutathione, and on and on. There are many mechanisms.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Precisely what i do as well. I go thru a gallon of coconut oil per month in my house

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Likely Corinne has long-standing mitochondrial damage that is normalized by higher levels of ketones. That's likely different than ketogenic affects on the brain. If you search lef.org you will find a short paper referencing studies on the elderly with oxidation damage to mitochondria. That is likely a better model for zero carbers than epileptics or cancer treatments.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I don't believe there's a regulatory aspect to urinary ketone secretion. It's simple a rough percentage of ketones in the blood.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 10:16 PM

But glucose is always present in the circulation.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I don't blame you! Especially after hearing from Corinne who had success without the vile stuff. ;-)

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I'm pretty sure it's going to be just the MCT oil for me.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:38 PM

What does the brain do if both glucose and ketone bodies are present in the circulation?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:38 PM

the brain will use glucose if present. that's why epileptic keto diets are lower protein in addition to very low carb. Also keto as a brain cancer treatment needs to be very low calorie in addition to low carb

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Ambimorph is correct. Quick and dirty here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:33 PM

I disagree. The mere presence of ketones appears to have the metabolic, neuroprotective, and life-extension properties regardless of other factors. It's not about the ketones in your urine, it's the ketones in your blood. See the paper I referred to.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:30 PM

That's very encouraging, Corinne, and brave of you. As you can see from my answer, I have health issues that are at stake, too, and though I've thought about this a lot, I haven't taken the leap. So, you haven't played with leucine, right? This is all just MCT?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:29 PM

That's a really fascinating story. It's great that this worked for you. I'm struggling to think of a biochemical explanation. The MCT has improved your metabolic flexibility substantially, but how?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:25 PM

That was just an estimate. The study in Jaminet's post you referred to used 45.5g and that was on children.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I see; for some reason I always assume that everyone is trying to lean out.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Thanks for the story. I was pretty sure I wasn't the first person to have thought of this...

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Ambimorph provided a link in her answer below to a study that is apropos to this question: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649682/

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:46 PM

I'd like to direct attention to the study that Ambimorph linked to in her answer below.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Correct. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original question. The goal of this hack is not to lose fat. The goal is to produce ketones without having to go VLC. Possible benefits of ketosis are neuroprotection, and life span extension.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:37 PM

20g per day? That's four times as much as I was going to use.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Are you saying that the presence of blood glucose inhibits the neuroprotective qualities of circulating ketone bodies?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:34 PM

Correct. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original question. The conundrum and the goal is to figure out how to get the (possible) benefits of ketosis (neuroprotection, life span extension), but without having to go VLC.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Thanks, Corinne. One of these days I'll work up the courage to try this, I'm sure, but I just lost the extra weight I put back from my last experiment, lol. Another worry for me is the joint pain -- I seem to have some sensitivity to plants beyond the carb issue. But I'm all about the coconut oil! Keep up the great work.

030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Rose, the times I tried to add back starch and veggies I gained weight and had auto immune symptoms (why I went ZC in the first place ) returned, too. But adding all of that MCT oil changed everything. Heck, I'm much leaner now that I was doing ZC! I couldn't quite lose that last 20, but it melted off once I switched to this new routine. I'm not saying you should try this, just reporting what happened with me. The social thing really did mess with my head, I didn't have the mental strength or ability to keep up with it over time.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Wouldn't that insulin also decrease lipolysis? Maybe you're not trying to lose fat?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Amazing story! And congratulations. I've only been ZC two years, but the couple of times I've tried adding veggies/starches back in have resulted in the return of RA symptoms, plus 15 or so pounds I never wanted to see again, lol. Fortunately for me, I don't find it any more difficult to avoid salad than to avoid cake, and so I still get to eat with family, go on dinner dates with friends, and so on. I can see how it would be rough if you felt isolated and unable to join in regular social eating activities. Good for you for having the courage to try something new!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:16 PM

Yeah, we're talking something like 20g of leucine a day, which is going to be several teaspoons, which may work out to tens of capsules.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Heh. As you've learned, you can absolutely get into ketosis without introducing carb starvation, and that's a much healthier way to do it. Now, whether "deep ketosis" is beneficial is open to question, it can be therapeutic for some conditions, I think intermittent ketosis is generally desirable, but not all the time, it opens up vulnerability to infection with pathogens that can metabolize ketones. I think you'll find extra carbs is highly beneficial for athleticism. Best, Paul

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I suspect that 100g/day carbs (my target) would be sufficient.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:06 PM

You can purchase capsule filling devices, but even the cheapest, manually operated model is still pretty expensive.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I'm not sure that decreasing FFA release would matter.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:40 PM

How would you decrease FFA release without insulin?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Yes. The same thing happens under VLC conditions -- that is, FFAs are preferred over ketones. Either way, the possible benefits of ketosis still exist.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Unless my memory fails me, I recall that muscles start using ketones first, then after 2-3 days, the brain starts using them. By that point, muscles are getting like half their fuel from ketones.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:17 PM

There's also the fact that your muscles will be sopping up glucose for glycogen repletion. 100g day carbs doesn't go all that far. If there are ketone bodies circulating in the blood, some of them are bound to make into the brain. I believe the brain will use them, even in the presence of glucose.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Let me rephrase-- if the liver is stable able to provide the brain with non-ketone fuel (from your carbs, from gluconeogenic amino acids) then why would there be a neuroprotective effect from the MCT-derived ketones? Muscle would use those ketones before the brain would, right?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 05:31 PM

Right. My goal here is to enhance the "true" ketosis that would be happening anyway. Thanks for the ideas. I think I'll try the capsule shells. Kind of obvious now that you mention it.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Good questions. How much carb does it take to completely fall out of ketosis? I believe that at 100g/day (my target), there would still be a small amount of ketosis. This hack hopefully will increase that. According to the PHD posts, this does help children with NBIA, so in my mind, there's got to be some neuroprotective quality to it. You burn MCTs almost immediately after ingesting them. There's not much else the body can do with them. So, yes, there's fat burning in any case.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Fascinating! I will be watching the results of this very closely, if you're willing to keep updating.

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6 Answers

12
030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:00 AM

This is my life. I love this question, because it seriously is my life.

I was ZC for three full years, eating only meat and the fat in which the meat resides. Three years. It's a long time to avoid dinner parties, dates, meals with family and friends. I managed to stay pretty darn pure during that time.

The reason I ate ZC was because I lived with disfunctional eating for most of my 45 years. I had a bottomless hunger; I couldn't eat one plate of food, I had to eat three. Or four. I can't begin to explain the hunger of the dog that haunted me. Every meal was an opportunity to continue feasting until my belly extended into unknown dimensions.

I started four years ago by eating a standard low carb diet. I ate meat, cheese, fat, green veggies, tomatoes, and some of those Frankenfoods and so called "Candy Cigarettes" like artificial sweeteners, almond flour, coconut flour, pork rinds from a bag. My hunger started to abate. The extra pounds I carried began to disappear into some unexpected ether. I could last four, maybe five hours between meals. I can't begin to explain how much my life changed. I stopped thinking about food, I stopped planning my life around grocery shopping, around the times my family wouldn't be at home to watch me gorge. My life became almost normal.

The more I constricted carbs, the more my life made sense. When I finally gave up carbs altogether - and by carbs I mean anything other than meat or fat, as I know that liver and heart and eggs have some amount of carbohydrate, but for the intent of this post I will consider those amounts unconsiderable...

I kept a ZC diet for three years. I didn't think about food, almost had to force myself to eat. I ate upward of 3500 calories a day, though I am 45 and 5'6" and a woman. I lost all of the weight I needed to lose, and my body wanted to move, wanted to celebrate its new freedom.

But living ZC is frakkin' tough. No salad. No nothin' other than ribeye and loin cut and drumstick and wing. I ate butter, I drank cream. And I found that if I tried to be social, I would fuck up my diet; I would find myself face-down in the N6-laden dressing or attacking a plate of lasagna. My life revolved not around the pursuit of food for once, but the avoidance of food. Either way - SAD or ZC - my life was fucked.

I started reading all that I could, and decided to try something new. I've been doing this for three months, and I am astounded. What I've done is a bit crazy, and a bit smart. I added a bunch of carbs - 150 grams a day of carbs - and at the same time I added crazy amounts of MTC and coconut oil. I thought that if I could keep some semblance of ketosis going, I could be social. Isn't that nuts? I didn't make the switch for basic body health but for mental health. And the results?

  1. I eat potatoes, root veggies, and green veggie along with my meat and fat.
  2. I don't eat grains or any "Frankenfoods."
  3. I eat more than 6 tablespoons of MTC and coconut oil a day.
  4. I eat more than 3500 calories a day, and exercise three times a week other than basic walking here and there.

AND

I feel the best I have ever, ever felt in my entire life. Times a million.

I can eat out with friends - a Cobb salad, perhaps, or a nice sirloin and eggs with hashbrowns.

I feel strong.

I don't think about food.

And... I ended up losing weight, though I eat in excess of 3500 calories a day, and my workout consists of three hour-long crossfit workouts a week - so that I look pretty damn hot for 45 and don't ever, ever, ever think about food except when I know I "should" eat.

I can't begin to tell you how my life began when I added carbs and then added MTC and coconut oil. It's a miracle.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:29 PM

That's a really fascinating story. It's great that this worked for you. I'm struggling to think of a biochemical explanation. The MCT has improved your metabolic flexibility substantially, but how?

030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on September 13, 2011
at 12:36 PM

Rose, the times I tried to add back starch and veggies I gained weight and had auto immune symptoms (why I went ZC in the first place ) returned, too. But adding all of that MCT oil changed everything. Heck, I'm much leaner now that I was doing ZC! I couldn't quite lose that last 20, but it melted off once I switched to this new routine. I'm not saying you should try this, just reporting what happened with me. The social thing really did mess with my head, I didn't have the mental strength or ability to keep up with it over time.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Also, I'm glad to hear from another person who eats so many calories. I can't tell you how many times someone has basically told me I either can't count or am lying about my calorie intake.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Precisely what i do as well. I go thru a gallon of coconut oil per month in my house

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Thanks for the story. I was pretty sure I wasn't the first person to have thought of this...

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:14 AM

Amazing story! And congratulations. I've only been ZC two years, but the couple of times I've tried adding veggies/starches back in have resulted in the return of RA symptoms, plus 15 or so pounds I never wanted to see again, lol. Fortunately for me, I don't find it any more difficult to avoid salad than to avoid cake, and so I still get to eat with family, go on dinner dates with friends, and so on. I can see how it would be rough if you felt isolated and unable to join in regular social eating activities. Good for you for having the courage to try something new!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:30 PM

That's very encouraging, Corinne, and brave of you. As you can see from my answer, I have health issues that are at stake, too, and though I've thought about this a lot, I haven't taken the leap. So, you haven't played with leucine, right? This is all just MCT?

030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Yeah, I definitely eat in excess of 3500 cals a day, Ambimorph. I can't imagine not eating that much, I would go insane. I am at my target weight after making all of these adjustments. I didn't know a bout leucine, so I may try adding that to my routine. I am just using a shit ton of coconut oil and MCT oil. It has made all of the difference to me. I'm so glad I am figuring out what works for my body.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Thanks, Corinne. One of these days I'll work up the courage to try this, I'm sure, but I just lost the extra weight I put back from my last experiment, lol. Another worry for me is the joint pain -- I seem to have some sensitivity to plants beyond the carb issue. But I'm all about the coconut oil! Keep up the great work.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 07, 2011
at 09:46 PM

Ok I'm totally buying MCT oil now.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Corinne, This story is incredible. Do you think that it is attainable by others? or that something about your makeup allows for the best of both worlds? This is my goal, 100% to be eating a reasonable amount of carbs but in a ketogenic state...i tried upping my coconut oil recently and gained a lot of body fat, which i am now tring to loose. So i am a little worried about trying this. Any advice?

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:51 PM

Also, Corinne, Do you eat fruit? I didn't see a mention of it

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Corinne, I want to make it to where you are more than anything, I've read your story and would love any advice, if you feel comfortable reaching out, it would mean the world - [email protected]

8
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:24 PM

I have a question about this part:

"I'm no longer doing VLC, but I continue to be interested in being in ketosis. I believe that it provides neuroprotection and that it also may play a part in lifespan extension (implying a shorter morbidity tail, which is what I'm primarily interested in)."

Do you think these benefits accrue simply by producing ketones, or by being in a typical keto diet context of low carboydrate? It may be a mix of those two, or even predominantly the latter.

NEUROPROTECTION: If the liver is producing ketones despite having an adequate glycogen supply, I would presume the brain would not need to totally switch to ketone use.

LIFE EXTENSION: This seems to be partially due to fat burning vs carb burning. If you are still eating carbs, they will be burned, no?

So in summary, I am curious as to whether this diet is really doing what you want it to do. You can have your ketones and eat them too, but that also means you can have your carbs and eat them too.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Let me rephrase-- if the liver is stable able to provide the brain with non-ketone fuel (from your carbs, from gluconeogenic amino acids) then why would there be a neuroprotective effect from the MCT-derived ketones? Muscle would use those ketones before the brain would, right?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:17 PM

There's also the fact that your muscles will be sopping up glucose for glycogen repletion. 100g day carbs doesn't go all that far. If there are ketone bodies circulating in the blood, some of them are bound to make into the brain. I believe the brain will use them, even in the presence of glucose.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Unless my memory fails me, I recall that muscles start using ketones first, then after 2-3 days, the brain starts using them. By that point, muscles are getting like half their fuel from ketones.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

For the VLC scenario, that is correct. But, is that brain transition due to the absence of glucose or the presence of ketone bodies (or both)? I'm not sure if anyone really knows what happens in the presence of both adequate blood glucose and circulating ketone bodies. I do know that the MCT oil gets me going like a rocket.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Good questions. How much carb does it take to completely fall out of ketosis? I believe that at 100g/day (my target), there would still be a small amount of ketosis. This hack hopefully will increase that. According to the PHD posts, this does help children with NBIA, so in my mind, there's got to be some neuroprotective quality to it. You burn MCTs almost immediately after ingesting them. There's not much else the body can do with them. So, yes, there's fat burning in any case.

6
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:24 PM

This is an excellent question, and something that I've been thinking a lot about, too. I have had to go to a ZC diet to get my weight and mood needs met, and one hypothesis about why VLC isn't good enough for this for me is simply the degree of ketosis. I too have bought MCT oil and leucine, but I haven't started experimenting with adding carbs yet, because I'm still stable, and reluctant to try to fix something that isn't broken.

My suspicion is that this could work, simply because it seems to help epileptic children. I think (don't have ref at this moment) that there is some proportion of children that get remission just on MAD (modified Atkins), but others who have to use the more traditional MCT oil supplemented diet to get better. Of course, that diet has calorie restriction, too, so it's not really clear what is doing what. But my point is that inducing deeper ketosis through factors other than the carb level does seem to help some people, and if so, then it must be affecting the brain in a positive way.

Also, if you look at this study, (which is one of my favourites), it seems to indicate that the ketones alone are the powerhouse. See especially section 5.1 which talks specifically about injecting ketone bodies or ingesting MCT oil independent of diet.

Trying to choke down leucine is one of the very few times I've resorted to using a sweetener in the last couple of years. It's nasty! It also doesn't mix in water, which is annoying. The capsules that Simibee mentioned is a good idea, but it would take a lot of them to get substantial amounts in.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:16 PM

Yeah, we're talking something like 20g of leucine a day, which is going to be several teaspoons, which may work out to tens of capsules.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:06 PM

You can purchase capsule filling devices, but even the cheapest, manually operated model is still pretty expensive.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:07 PM

That's a neat idea, Don. J. Stanton discussed a couple of studies about it here: http://www.gnolls.org/2407/when-satiety-fails-why-are-we-hungry-part-4/

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Likely Corinne has long-standing mitochondrial damage that is normalized by higher levels of ketones. That's likely different than ketogenic affects on the brain. If you search lef.org you will find a short paper referencing studies on the elderly with oxidation damage to mitochondria. That is likely a better model for zero carbers than epileptics or cancer treatments.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:39 PM

"Also, fat people have defective mitochondria, that can't as effectively use fat for energy." Which is apparently normalized by ketones in some people like Corinne. Depression may just be low cellular energy in many people; Cellular energy that doesn't switch well between a high and low insulin environment. Are obese/formerly obese poor users of glycogen or FFA? Or is it the switching that's the problem?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Also, fat people have defective mitochondria, that can't as effectively use fat for energy.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:50 AM

I'm emphasizing the brain in my post because (1) I think that's where the mood effects are, and mood is important for me, and (2), smcdow was interested in neuroprotection.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:37 PM

20g per day? That's four times as much as I was going to use.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 01:39 AM

Maybe I'm not understanding your point, Don. The effects on the brain *are*, in part, on mitochondria. Higher dependence on ketones gets around the damage, lowers inflammation and ROS production, increases glutathione, and on and on. There are many mechanisms.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:10 PM

But actually, I'm not sure those studies can distinguish between being a poor user or a poor switcher. The latter might be more plausible, given the fact that LC diets are so effective for the obese. Maybe the fact they they switch to fat burning and stay there is the key.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:25 PM

That was just an estimate. The study in Jaminet's post you referred to used 45.5g and that was on children.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I don't blame you! Especially after hearing from Corinne who had success without the vile stuff. ;-)

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:39 PM

I'm pretty sure it's going to be just the MCT oil for me.

5
Medium avatar

on September 12, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Wouldn't the fact that you're excreting ketone bodies so heavily tell you that it's not the preferred energy substrate when fatty acids and glucose are available?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I see; for some reason I always assume that everyone is trying to lean out.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:40 PM

How would you decrease FFA release without insulin?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I'm not sure that decreasing FFA release would matter.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:43 PM

Correct. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original question. The goal of this hack is not to lose fat. The goal is to produce ketones without having to go VLC. Possible benefits of ketosis are neuroprotection, and life span extension.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 09:17 PM

I suspect that 100g/day carbs (my target) would be sufficient.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Yes. The same thing happens under VLC conditions -- that is, FFAs are preferred over ketones. Either way, the possible benefits of ketosis still exist.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 13, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Wouldn't that insulin also decrease lipolysis? Maybe you're not trying to lose fat?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 11:39 PM

I don't believe there's a regulatory aspect to urinary ketone secretion. It's simple a rough percentage of ketones in the blood.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:34 PM

Correct. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original question. The conundrum and the goal is to figure out how to get the (possible) benefits of ketosis (neuroprotection, life span extension), but without having to go VLC.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:35 AM

It's not a perfect measure , because ketostix only measure acetoacetate, not beta-hydroxybutyrate.

1
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:23 PM

I honestly don't see why there's any reason you can't have your proverbial cake and eat it too, as the production of ketone bodies is what is important here, regardless of whether this happens through avoiding food which inhibit ketosis or consuming foods which induce it. Also, even with the level of carbs that you are consuming you are most likely slipping in and out of ???true??? ketosis overnight anyway.

Just a quick suggestion for getting the leucine powder down - buy some of those cheap gelatine capsule shells and fill them up with the powder. Alternatively, melt a square of dark chocolate, stir in the powder and form into little lozenges. When set the chocolate will contain the dry powder and provide a pleasant tasting coating, allowing you to neck back the leucine.

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 11, 2011
at 05:31 PM

Right. My goal here is to enhance the "true" ketosis that would be happening anyway. Thanks for the ideas. I think I'll try the capsule shells. Kind of obvious now that you mention it.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on September 14, 2011
at 02:08 AM

Well, I tend to think that the ketonemia is the important factor, too - in part because of the paper ambimproh references, and several others. Still, as others have pointed out, it's worth trying to determine this for sure. As for the dark chocolate idea - now i can't consider any other way.

0
C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

on September 13, 2011
at 12:53 AM

i am confused. you can eat a high fat diet and have carbs but just b/c your showing ketones just means your spilling over excess ketones in your pee. theres no advatage to that. if your eating glucose prodcuing food your going to produce glucose, and burn glucose.you dont get to pick which you run off of unless you purposely diet. i am guesinng with the carbs your eating close o underprotein? what are your stats?

i am not saying you CANT eat this way, just that it isnt doing what you think it is, theres no advantage to turning sticks colors. a longterm keto dieter wont even turn the sticks colors

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Are you saying that the presence of blood glucose inhibits the neuroprotective qualities of circulating ketone bodies?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8

(641)

on September 13, 2011
at 09:38 PM

What does the brain do if both glucose and ketone bodies are present in the circulation?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Ambimorph is correct. Quick and dirty here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55612/yet-another-ketosis-question/55635#55635

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 14, 2011
at 03:53 PM

There is much yet to be learned about brain cancer. Anecdotally, I have an acquaintance who has brain cancer, quite advanced, and he was given up for dead by his practitioners. A few months ago he went on an ad libitum ZC diet, and is now in remission. Lower calories would likely help him further, but I don't know if it's strictly *necessary*.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 13, 2011
at 08:38 PM

the brain will use glucose if present. that's why epileptic keto diets are lower protein in addition to very low carb. Also keto as a brain cancer treatment needs to be very low calorie in addition to low carb

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 07:33 PM

I disagree. The mere presence of ketones appears to have the metabolic, neuroprotective, and life-extension properties regardless of other factors. It's not about the ketones in your urine, it's the ketones in your blood. See the paper I referred to.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 13, 2011
at 10:16 PM

But glucose is always present in the circulation.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on October 11, 2011
at 03:06 PM

Ambimorph, what great news about ZC helping your friend. That is most encouraging news.

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