Ketosis, What Is It?

Ketones burn more cleanly, and we have less residue as a consequence of that.

Hi again, there, folks, Dr. Mike Breen here from the Chiropractic Family Care Centre and the Healthy Transformations program. A little video blog today about ketosis. Boy, this is a hot topic in nutrition and has been for the last few years. What is it? Everyone’s heard about the keto diet and without any kind of disparagement, a lot of people don’t know what the keto part means of the keto diet, and how are they supposed to? The keto part refers to ketones, and ketones are the byproduct of fat consumption. When we eat fats, our body, the liver, converts these fats into these energy packets, if you wanna call it that, and these are called ketones. Ketones then travel through the body to all of the cells, the ten trillion cells of our body, and can be used as a source of energy.

Now for the most part, because of our high-carbohydrate or sugar-laden diets, the cells of our body become more adapted to using sugar, or glycogen rather, for energy production, but cells have the capacity to use both sugar, I should say, either sugar or fat. In some cases, they can move back and forth fairly easy if they’re well-trained. But the whole process of the keto diet is to have a higher fat content and thereby get the cells prepared and adapted to the use of fats for energy.

Now an important point here is that ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis. Some people have heard a little bit about ketoacidosis and how remarkably dangerous it is, and that’s the fact. And yet, ketoacidosis and ketosis are not the same thing. Ketoacidosis occurs when we have, in primarily in diabetics, when we have both high sugar and high ketone levels at exactly the same time, due to the failure of proper insulin production and the inability to drive sugars into the cells. So if you don’t have diabetes and you have normal pancreatic, or insulin function, ketoacidosis just won’t happen from consuming olive oil. So ketosis then is a cellular function whereby we use fats.

What’s the benefit? Well one of the things that’s interesting about ketosis is that the cells actually burn fat more efficiently than they burn carbohydrates. If you can think of it like a car, and that when the body’s actually burning ketones, the amount of exhaust that’s actually produced from the car, which is us, is much less than the exhaust that comes from the burning of carbohydrate, or sugar, or glycogen. Our bodies use sugars fairly, reasonably well, and yet the consequence of that produces free radicals which then leads to inflammatory states and a whole bunch of other things, whereas ketones burn more cleanly and we have less residue as a consequence of that. So that’s one of the reasons why ketosis is valuable.

The other thing that’s quite interesting is that, that I suggested just a moment ago, is that the use of sugar from an engine perspective, leads to an increase of cellular inflammation. It’s a complex relationship between sugar and insulin, and a number of other factors that actually lead to this effective called, chronic low-grade cellular inflammation. When we consume our fats and get into a state of ketosis, that phenomenon goes down to a large extent. So reducing sugars in the diet and increasing fats is a very, very valuable way to improve your health. And so, ketosis then, really just refers to the nature of what energy system the cells are using, and the keto diet is one way to get to that. If you’d like more information about this, please reach out to myself at drmichaelbreen.ca. Or at the Healthy Transformations website, healthytransformations.ca. See you soon, bye.