Is Ketosis safe?


“IS KETO REALLY SAFE BRO? I’VE HEARD IT’S HARMFUL!” This is something that every third person at the gym or in the office space claims – “Will it harm my body and metabolism” and it goes on. Well, the truth is that people often confuse Ketosis with Ketoacidosis, mainly because they have the same parent word - Keto. ‘’Ketone Bodies’’ or “Ketones” are very common term used in both ketogenic diet (good thing) as well as diabetes (Bad Thing).


The two are actually polar opposites and very different from each other. Let’s look at how -


What are 'Ketones'?

Often simply called ketones, ketone bodies are breakdown products of fat in the body. When there is no enough sugar for energy our body breaks down its own fat to utilise as energy by making ketones. These are acetoacetate and B-hydroxybutryrate and acetone.

"Ketogenic state" (also called Nutritional Ketosis State), achieved through significant reduction of carbohydrate intake (typically 30- 50 g/day), where the body changes from relying on glucose as its main source of energy to fat.


Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis - They are not the same!

When a diabetic (usually a Type I insulin dependent diabetes) fails to receive enough insulin, glucose remain there in blood stream without going to cells (as Insulin is required to take up the blood glucose and use it for energy in the cells) Hence, they are going into starving stage.  The body does what it would do to survive and starts making ketones from fat.


Now here is the problem: the diabetics in this case can’t produce any insulin, so there is no body feedback system and they continue producing more and more ketones without stopping.  By the time ketone levels (specially, beta-hydroxybutyrate) reach 15 to 25 mM, it quickly overwhelms the delicate acid-base buffering system of the blood, and the blood pH becomes more acidic than normal (as ketones are acidic in nature).


Imbalanced pH causes many unhealthy downstream effects making diabetic become critically ill. THIS IS KETOACIDOSIS AND NOTHING CLOSE TO WHAT KETOSIS IS!


A healthy person producing insulin, even in very small amounts, are at zero risk of keto-acidosis as body feedback system prevents the excess production of ketones to cause the change in pH.

A person who is said to be on ‘’Ketogenic state”, has beta-hydroxybutyrate levels between 0.5 to 7.0 mM.  This level is far less and therefore cannot cause any harm through acid-base abnormalities.

A person who is said to be on ‘’Ketogenic state”, has beta-hydroxybutyrate levels between 0.5 to 7.0 mM.  This level is far less and therefore cannot cause any harm through acid-base abnormalities. In short Diabetes ketoacidosis and nutritional ketosis is as similar as a house in fire and a fireplace!



Let’s Talk Proof:

Many Studies also have concern about its safety, and clearly proven that following ketogenic diet even for longer time is absolutely safe. A Study Published in Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cardiology;2004, also shows that following a long-term ketogenic diet is not just safe even have beneficial effects.


Ketogenic diet even does wonder for treating epilepsy in children. Numerous Studies have proven that following Ketogenic Diet reduce the epileptic seizures in children.


We Say – Ketogenic Diet was always safe, as our ancestors followed it, but now we have proof. So, If They have survived and emerged as stronger, sharper without any side-effect then why can’t we! So guys, now its high time we all should stop making excuses of not being on keto and start following.

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