Supplemental Ketones: beta-hydroxybutyrate is it worth it?

Beta-hydroxybutyrate

Beta-hydroxybutyrateWhat is Beta-hydroxybutyrate?  More importantly, is it worth the money as a supplement?  We’re going to take a deep look at this new supplement trend and see what all the fuss is about.

When I first stumble on a new supplement, I always look at it with skepticism.  I’m looking to see if this is a scam or is it real?  You should always look at a supplement with skepticism.  Typically the bigger the claim, the flashier the marketing, the greater the odds of it being total junk.  Time will tell if this is the real deal or not.  I have just ordered a KAN of Keto/OS from Pruvit. (if you think I’m going to dig around to find the little colon that goes over the letter “u,” you’re nuts.)

Pruvit’s got some big claims out there and I’m going to test drive this stuff over 30 days.  We’ll do a before and after comparison, body composition analysis, skin pinch at the abdominal and I’ll also review on how it makes me feel.

My intention here is to keep it real.  Very real.  So, here’s what we know so far:

  • Pruvit is a business opportunity.  I’m a business man.  I decided to register as a distributor.  I’m a firm believer in committing first and figuring it out later.  If you follow the link up there (or this one:  http://de3ank.pruvitnow.com/) and decide to buy some product to join me on this experiment in skepticism, I’m going to get paid.  Not a lot, but I will.  Like I said, keeping it real.
  • The two main ingredients in Keto/OS are MCT oil and Beta-hydroxybutyrate.  We’ll look at both in a moment.
  • Keto//OS claims to be “the first natural consumer product to provide elevated blood ketone levels to the body.”  What I’m looking to figure out over the next 30-45 days is will Keto//OS or supplemental ketones help a person reap all the benefits of being in ketosis better and will it have a measurable impact on body comp and brain function?

I want to get two things straight here:

no-shortcuts The first is there are no shortcuts.  None.  Not even steroids are a short cut.  If you juice but don’t work out, nothing will happen.  Bodybuilders and athletes whether natural or on the gear, both bust their ass, watch their diet with laser precision and put in a ton of time and passion into what they do.  There is no substitute or shortcut for hard work, discipline, and consistency.  This is not a discussion of the morality of performance enhancing drugs, I’m only pointing out that regardless of what was in his blood, Lance Armstrong still had to practice, train really freaking hard and eat right.  And so it goes for everyone else.  No magic beans.

Secondly, a supplement is just that.  It’s an add, an addition too.  If you’re eating like crap and not exercising, you’re not going to lose any weight by taking this or any other product.  If your nutrition isn’t right and your exercise routine dialed in, don’t bother with supplements.  #CommonSense.

OK, let’s handle the MCT part first.  MCT stands of Medium Chain Triglycerides.   I’ve been taking MCT oil myself for quite some time.  Usually at the start of the day in my coffee with organic grass fed unsalted butter.  You know the stuff under a different name I assume…

My friends at Onnit.com sum it all up quite nicely and say it better than I could:

“For proper development and maintenance, the human brain requires healthy fats. Adding supplemental MCTs into the diet can help satisfy that need. For high-intensity athletes and those following a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet, MCTs can serve as a vital source of energy to fuel yourself through even the most intense workouts. Medium Chain Fatty Acids also provide more energy than carbohydrates and can aid in high cognitive output without the energy crash. Due to MCTs natural effect on leptin receptors, MCT oil can aid in keeping you feeling full and satisfied for hours.”

So from here, let’s get a snapshot of Ketosis, ketones, what they do and why you might want to shift to this lifestyle.

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat instead of sugar for fuel.  Over the years, our bodies have become quite proficient at using glucose (sugar) for its primary energy source and then storing excess sugar as fat to use later in case of famine.

So when you stop ingesting carbohydrates and sugar, the body will eventually run out of stored glucose in the liver and muscles and switch over to fat as a fuel source.  Essentially, the body breaks down fat for fuel and produces ketones to use in the absence of the sugar.

beta-hydroxybutyrateThere are three types of ketones your body produces.  You have acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate.  When you pee on a keto stick, acetoacetate concentration is what is being measured.  Mainly because acetoacetate is the fist ketone your body produces when you’re in a fasted state or out of sugar.  Beta-hydroxybutyrate is synthesized by the liver from acetoacetate and can also be used as an energy source by the brain when blood glucose is low Remember, the keto stick will not tell you how much acetate or beta-hydroxybutyrate is in your system, only acetoacetate.  And also, keep in mind that it’s excess acetoacetate being measured which means that there’s too much here, so the body is kicking the rest out in the urine.

Remember, the keto stick will not tell you how much acetate or beta-hydroxybutyrate is in your system, only acetoacetate.  And also, keep in mind that it’s excess acetoacetate being measured which means that there’s too much here, so the body is kicking the rest out in the urine.  At some point, the stick will be irrelevant as your body gets more efficient at using fat for fuel.

Probably enough science for now.  Let’s get back to Pruvit and Keto//OS.  The big fat claim is that Keto//OS puts you into ketosis in about an hour.

Note:  Pruvit does offer a 3 serving sample pack for people to try it for themselves at 14.95 which I did and can attest that within one hour, my keto stick changed color.

They suggest you have two servings a day.  One in the morning and a second mid day.   This should keep you in ketosis the whole day apparently while you gradually shift your diet to a full ketogenic diet or something more Paleo or Primal.

I had already been in ketosis for about two weeks when I did the three-day trial which is why within four hours or so, I was back to a low level on the stick (https://twitter.com/DavidRBradley/status/708013019477872640).

What the 30-day beta-hydroxybutyrate test drive will tell me

I’m looking for the answer to two real questions and also these are the two main reasons I’m interested in this product for myself and the potential business opportunity it presents.

  1.  Will supplemental beta-hydroxybutyrate support the claims of cognitive improvement?  Will this make my brain perform better?
  2.  Will supplemental beta-hydroxybutyrate support the claims of improved physical performance, body composition and reduced belly fat?

I will report back here during the 30-day trial at least once a week and will post shortly my baseline measurements, current exercise routine and diet.

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