Ketone supplements: what they are and what they are for

Keto drinks, i.e. the drinks they contain ketones, represent the supplements most popular of the moment. Available in various flavors, for example, strawberry or chocolate, they are found in soluble powders or capsules. They come purchased, mostly online, by men and women eager to quickly dispose of the pounds accumulated during the "stop" of the quarantine and return to show off an enviable line, in view of the dreaded costume test.

How ketone bodies work

But how do these work chetonic bodies inside our body? They keep really promises so much advertised? Accelerate fat burning, strengthen muscles and give a boost of energy? Unfortunately no.

This is yet another marketing gimmick, not supported by scientific evidence. Indeed, think of taking the shortcut of ketones exogenous (ie taken from the outside and not produced by our body) does not make you lose weight and is harmful to health. The doctor , a doctor specializing in food science and pharmacology in Milan, explains why say no to ketone supplements.

How and why endogenous ketones are produced

I ketones are acid substances synthesized by the liver from fats. In the case of "extreme" diets, in which the share of simple and complex sugars is reduced to a minimum, the body human activates a life-saving mechanism to produce energy, which is essential to keep all vital functions unaltered. Not being able to get it from carbohydrates, the first energy source, mobilizes storage fats that arrive in that laboratory of analysis, synthesis and transformation called the liver. "This organ transforms fats into ketone bodies which, entering the Krebs cycle and the cellular respiration chain, they are converted into ready-to-use energy»Explains Dr. . «Thanks to this rescue maneuver also i brain neurons they do not have an energy deficit but they receive the nourishment necessary to function at their best ».

The ketone products available on the market

I ketones that enter the composition of the most varied supplements and that perfectly mimic those produced by our organism are three: theacetoacetic acid, L 'beta hydroxybutyric acid and acetone. But there are slimming products which also enclose derivatives of ketones, such as diketones of which the most used is diatecyl, or precursors of the same such as the ultra-publicized MCT (Medium Chain Tryglicerides).

M is an acronym that refers to medium-chain fatty acids present mainly incoconut and palm oil which are very rich in C8 (caprylic acid) and di C10 (capric acid), two "raw materials" immediately transformed by our liver into ketones. For this reason theMCT oil is the ingredient in many drinks with a pleasant flavor (vanilla, coconut, banana, cocoa and other greedy flavors), promoted both as a meal replacement and as a smart drink for athletes aiming to increase their energy levels.

Why ketones don't work

In the logic of the manufacturing companies to supply i ketones from the outside it should induce our body to use these as an energy source. It is as if we were giving him the message that we are on a diet, when perhaps we continue to follow the same diet, without any caloric restrictions. "Our body, however, is an "intelligent machine" who does not allow himself to be easily deceived », warns Dr. . "If you receive the ketones from the outside, he is certainly not tempted to use the lipid reserves to produce them himself. Thus fats are neither mobilized nor “burned”, as is boasted by misleading advertisements. Indeed, if you find them ready and available, the rebound effect does not activate that physiological process of chetogenesis necessary to lose weight.

The same goes for those who resort to ketone supplements while following a strongly hypoglucidic diet. If you are deficient in sugars, the body already makes them up by itself and there is no need to take other sugars with various drinks and tablets. A fact that not only "slows down" lipolysis but also involves an excess of ketones, endogenous and exogenous, destined to accumulate inside the organism ».

All the risks of a ketone surplus

When these acidic substances exceed the limit values ​​a negative health condition called ketoacidosis. "The pH of tissues and blood, which is normally neutral (between 7 and 7,4) progressively drops towards acid values, such as 5 or even 4", continues Dr. . "Such acidosis tissue involves a overload of work for the kidneys, called to dispose of a flood of acid waste, especially if the use of supplements it is associated with a highly unbalanced high-protein diet that penalizes carbohydrates.

By also affecting proteins, again as a compensation mechanism, the body is thus in a condition of "auto-intoxication", full of ketones e tossine acid that the kidneys try to excrete in the urine. A stress that often raises the blood urea, an indicator of kidney function. It is therefore necessary to reverse the direction of travel and return to a situation of metabolic rebalancing, if you do not want to run into problems: headaches, weakness, lack of strength and concentration, nausea, vomiting, mental confusion and neurological disorders. Not to mention the breath that tastes of acetone, exactly like that of small children who, with a high fever, refuse to eat ».

Why it is important to follow a balanced diet

Instead of straining the body with these waste substances, it is good to follow one balanced diet letting him activate the chetogenesis to meet their energy needs. "Personally I do not recommend ketone supplements either both diets with a very low glycemic index », continues the expert.

"For lose weight, just reduce the percentage of carbohydrates and simple sugars to 40 percent of the daily caloric intake: 70 grams of pasta or brown rice and 50 grams of bread, biscuits, rusks or crackers they are enough not to go into ketosis pushed but stimulating enough to start the fat burning process ».

In other words, shortcuts are useless. To lose weight gradually and steadily, with stable results over time, it is better to consult a dietician who can prescribe well-balanced low-calorie diets instead of relying on the latest wonders screamed at by Dr. .

article published on June 22, 2021

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