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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My Notes: Measuring Ketones For Cancer and More About Ketones

Ketonix breathalyzer kit from

Ahava Emunah Lange: summary of notes. 

Measuring Ketones

Ketogenesis and measuring ketones 
When your body becomes a fat-burner vs a glucose-burner, you produce measurable ketones which, can be measured in 3 ways.
  1. Urine strips (dip-sticks such as Bayer brand)
  2. Blood strips (glucometer for ketones such as FreeStyle)
  3. Breathalyzer device (I use Ketonix)

Burning fat vs being in Ketosis
Fat adapted vs Ketosis

Why measure Ketones? 
Different people have different goals for using the Ketogenic Diet which, I prefer to call the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Ketogenic isn't a fad-diet. There's a growing community of people who mostly focus on a common goal of losing weight by eating Ketogenic. 

Measuring for disease management
The use of a Ketogenic Lifestyle for management of disease such as cancer, diabetes, depression, epilepsy etc changes the emphasis and requirements. When using Ketosis as a metabolic treatment, there's no option of "cheating" or going on-and-off of the Ketogenic Plan. When you experience therapeutic results from being in ketosis, there's really no other option than to follow the regiment. Measuring ketones at different times of the day and during different situations can be part of maintaining a healthy treatment plan.

Measuring For Dieting/Fat/Weight-loss
It's not necessary to constantly measure ketone bodies levels religiously. Ketone production are the RESULT and NOT THE CAUSE of fat burning so the ketone levels aren't predicative of weight or fat-loss. A scale and tape measurer are the best measurement tools for actual weight loss. According to "Keto Gains": Chase results -NOT ketones.

Experiencing and witnessing higher levels of ketones viewed via various testing methods can be emotionally encouraging to a person who is in the beginning of their journey. Usually the urine strips are the first choice for this type of measuring as they're readily available and inexpensive.

Unfortunately, there is an online phenomenon of self-proclaimed Ketogenic "experts" and enthusiasts using their knowledge to bully followers in online support groups and in online comments sections. My philosophy is if you're knowledgeable and can help others - just do it! No need to make someone's mistake into an opportunity to belittle or shame them online. YUCK.

Nutritional Ketosis Range
Jeff Volek PhD, RD and Stephen Phinney MD, PhD agree on a blood level nutritional ketosis range of:
BLOOD LEVEL (BOHB): 0.5 - 5.0 mmol/L

Ketone levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Urine ketones: highest in the morning
Blood ketones: highest later in the day

Quick fixes to increase ketone levels
  1. Eat a fat-rich meal
  2. Eat MCT or coconut oil
  3. Exercise
  4. Fasting
  5. Use of exogenic ketones (supplements) - these are usually expensive and I'm unsure of their long-term effects. There are also ketone salts and esters which, I personally don't know much about and haven't found scientific basis for using them.

Other methods to kickstart or boost ketones involve the use of fasting. This seems to be a controversial subject for some however for the use of ketogenesis for management of disease, especially cancer, CR (calorie restriction) is an approved and valid method. The hardcore weight-loss gurus will possibly knock you out for suggesting CR. I've experienced that online.

Interpreting Ketone Measurements: supplies information on the effects of:
2. Sleep
3. Stress levels
4. Exercise
5. Learning how to interpret personal level fluctuations

Urine Levels of Ketones
Ketones found in the urine are being excreted - NOT being used as fuel in the body. Over time, ketones may not show up as readily in urine. This is possibly a sign that the body is utilizing ketones more efficiently and therefore not being excreted as much into the urine.

Blood Levels of Ketones
A person whose body is better adapted to USE ketones for energy won't excrete as much ketone into the blood. This situation can be compared to that of a well-trained athlete who utilizes ketones efficiently - uses them and therefore doesn't excrete them as much.

Ketones and Fatty Acids - Body Fuel
The body is capable and runs on 3 types of fuel for energy:
  1. Blood glucose (measurable)
  2. Ketones (measurable)
  3. Fatty acids (not measurable)

Astrocytes are cells that break up fats into ketones. These cells export ketones to be used by neurons. There is evidence that the brain participates in ketone production.

Coconut oil contains fatty acid and lauric acid which, appear to be good substrates for that process and is likely to be helpful against neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's.
Ketones = incomplete oxidation (burning) of fats.

How and why we produce ketones
Fat adaption vs ketosis

Definition: the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy-rich ATP.

Pyruvate converts to Acetyl CoA from pyruvate or fatty acids/fats. The product of this cycle can go one of two ways:

1. Acetoacetate CoA to acetocetate AcAc which produces Acetone which, is a breath ketone and Beta-hydroxybutrate which, is a blood ketone.

2. Succinate enters the cycle from 2 directions: Citrate to isocitrate to beta-ketoglutarate from succinyl CoA originating from succinate OR succinate to fumerate to malate to the byproduct: OAA oxyaloacetate.

Amino acids can be used as substrates for pyruvate synthesis or OAA synthesis. If amino acids are converted into glucose via glyconeogenesis - they can become pyruvate again.

It's necessary to keep carbohydrates LOW ENOUGH to force the body to turn to a different fuel source = FAT

Keep insulin LOW ENOUGH for the body to turn to fat for fuel.

Insulin inhibits lipolysis
Most people don't go out of ketosis from eating too much protein. The body will still burn fat even without generating high levels of ketones.

Ketosis lifestyle vs metabolic treatment
When using the ketogenic lifestyle for disease management 
keep ketones high! When treating a disease, ketosis levels need to be more extreme and patients must be more vigilant.
Using ketosis for weight-loss involves a completely different goal, diet, and lifestyle when compared with use of ketosis for metabolic treatment of disease. Using ketosis for good health and weight-loss is beneficial to health no matter what but is NOT a fad-diet.

Benefits of ketosis:
  1. Weight-loss
  2. Blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity
  3. Increased satisfaction -- decrease in unhealthy food cravings

Fast well - Feel well
Here is the is the " secret to the magic" of ketones:
Deplete glucose -- produce ketones
True ketosis occurs when ketones are naturally released as a byproduct of training the body to be a 


As a result: the body receives high energy from consuming fat.

Artificially driving up ketones can lead to failure. Nutrient dense food will nourish mitochondria and reduce unhealthy cravings and seeking carbohydrates.

The best exogenous ketone supplement:


All information provided here is a culmination of my personal research, reading, listening, and watching videos and podcasts. I am NOT a nutritionist nor a medical doctor. I do not provide medical services or treatment plans. This post is intended as an update of my own interest in the Ketogenic Lifestyle. Always consult with your medical team about your treatment.


  1. I have been a low carber for 16.5 years now. Was a complete carb addict before. Resolved various health issues and I am sure prevented others from developing by going low carb Also lost 100lbs. After I had my first child the weight wouldn't budge and kept creeping up despite remaining low carb It took some years to find the answer and I'm sure that sleep deprivation (from having babies) played a huge part because it raises insulin, but for the past 1.5 years I have added fasting to my life and I also cut out all sweetener. And I'm nearly back to my lowest weight. You're 100% right, this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle that takes us back to where our bodies can be healthiest. My blood work is perfect, my lean body mass is where it should be I have ideal levels of the 'dangerous' visceral fat around my organs, my bone mass is right where it should be... I have a ton of energy and I feel great. I'm almost grateful for the struggles I had for so long with my weight because they led me here, to feeling liberated and satisfied and focused on food for health... Which also happens to be delicious. I never would have believed I could be here, at age 45, feeling better than I did at 20. Wishing you the very best,hoping that ketosis continues to help you. Deborah

    1. Im so glad that you found a healthy lifestyle that works so well for you Deborah! Thinking of food as furl instead of a recreation seems to be the healthiest outlook. For years i actually stopped enjoying eating. Now that im altering my mindset i find myself actually enjoying the flavors of some foods! This is a miraculous breakthrough for me. It certainly helps me to be open about it. Im admittedly obsessed at the monent! Its great to be abke to read the scientific publications and i enjoy learning the actual science behind how and why the incorporation of metabolic therapy can help save lives! Thank you for dharing your personal experienced with me here! May you be blessed eith continued good heslth!

  2. refuah shleimah
    I lowered my carbs to lose weight. Overweight should be my biggest problem.

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