Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our
pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs
and tears. Through it, in particular, we think, see, hear and distinguish
the ugly from the beautiful, the bad from the good, the pleasant from the
unpleasant. It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious, inspires
us with fear, brings sleeplessness and aimless anxieties. . . . In these ways
I hold that the brain is the most powerful organ in the human body.
Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies”, are energy molecules created by the liver from the breakdown of fats. Your body makes ketones when you don’t have access to carbs or enough glucose stores (glycogen).
They are all made by the liver and used as energy when glucose isn’t present. Of the three ketone bodies, BHB is the one your body can use most effectively for energy.
AcAc is the precursor of BHB, although it can also be turned into energy.
Both BHB and acetoacetate are directly responsible for moving energy from the liver into other tissues in the body.
Acetone is simply a byproduct of making BHB and can’t be used for energy, so it’s excreted through your breath and urine. That’s why breath acetone levels can be used to estimate your level of ketosis with a breath meter. It’s also one of the possible causes of keto breath.
Although most people run on carbohydrates (glucose), studies are now showing that burning fats (ketones) for energy is the healthier alternative.
Your body can burn two fuels for energy: carbs or fat. Carbs are converted into glucose whereas fats are converted into ketones by the liver. The process of turning fat into ketones is called ketogenesis. Whenever you stop giving your body a constant supply of carbs and glycogen stores are emptied — such as during a ketogenic diet, fasting, or intense exercise — your body seeks out stored or dietary fat to turn it into ketones for energy.
The longer your metabolism burns fats for fuel, the more efficient it becomes at making more BHB and less acetone. BHB can be used for energy because it’s highly stable whereas acetone gets lost through respiration and sweat. When you become efficient at burning fat, making ketones, and using those ketones for energy, it means you’re fat-adapted.
Why Your Body Favors Ketones Over Glucose for Energy
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is your body’s energy currency. The more ATP your cells make, the more energy you have to power through the day. Research shows that ketone-derived ATP generates more energy than glucose-derived ATP, which means running on ketones is better for your energy levels. Additionally, using fats as energy stabilizes your insulin and blood sugar. This helps decrease inflammation and regulate hormonal function, including the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which control your appetite. When you start using ketones, you’ll notice you no longer feel hungry every two or three hours like you usually would on a carbohydrate-heavy diet.
Studies show a wide range of benefits of running on ketones, such as:
- Improved mental functioning. BHB (Beta-hydroxybutyrate) is your brain’s preferred ketone body for energy. Studies have shown that ketone bodies (mainly BHB) help improve cognitive performance as well as reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Increased satiety. When running on ketones, you feel satiated for hours thanks to the regulation of the hormones ghrelin and leptin.
- Higher energy levels. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, while protein and carbs only provide 4 calories per gram each, so you enjoy more energy from a high fat diet. In addition, ketone-derived ATP provides more energy to your muscles than glucose-derived ATP. This means endurance athletes like marathon runners can benefit from using ketones as their main source of energy.
- Longevity. The process of making ketones increases the production of antioxidants and triggers anti inflammatory genes, which contributes to a healthier and longer lifespan.
- Better workout performance. When you exercise, your muscles absorb ketones faster, and ketones boost your muscle performance and increase fat loss.
- Blood glucose control. Using ketones for energy instead of glucose keeps your blood sugar in check and increases insulin sensitivity, which improves your metabolic function.
- Disease prevention. Thanks to the antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects of ketone production, your cells have more protection against neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases.
Ketones Are The Preferred Source of Fuel For Your Body
The research is clear on the efficacy of using ketones as the primary source of energy for your body. Running on ketones leads to increased fat loss, improved mental clarity, better mood, higher energy levels, a longer lifespan, and better workout performance. And even though the studies on ketones and the keto diet are recent, using ketones is nothing new. Our ancestors depended on ketones for thousands of years and babies are literally born in ketosis due to breast milk’s fatty composition. We evolved to run on ketones, and that’s why ketosis has so many health benefits.
Using ketones is like putting premium fuel into your car instead of regular gas. They are the alternative fuel that your body runs better on. If you’re currently on a carb-based diet and you’re not feeling your best, you can benefit from switching to a better, cleaner fuel. Ketones transform how your metabolism works so you can optimize your health and well-being, as well as prevent chronic diseases like type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and the metabolic syndrome.
BHB VS. GLUCOSE AS FUEL
If you’re curious to know exactly how BHB compares to glucose in terms of energy, here’s a breakdown of their:
Creating energy generates harmful by-products called free radicals, or oxidants. These molecules can damage cells and DNA, and they’re inevitable.
During the production of ATP, the oxidants O2∙− and H2O2 are leaked. These are “tamer” free radicals that can be easily countered with antioxidants.
However, under the wrong circumstances, they have the potential to run wild and turn into the most damaging free radicals: reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and hydroxyl radical (∙OH), which are responsible for most oxidative damage.
Therefore, it’s necessary to minimize free radicals during energy production and optimize antioxidants.
The fuel your body uses and the resources they consume to create ATP influences how many free radicals are created and suppressed.
The fewer free radicals a fuel creates, the more efficient it is.
Glucose goes through a slightly longer process than BHB before entering the Krebs cycle.
Through glycolysis, glucose turns into pyruvate, and then pyruvate is turned into acetyl-CoA, which can enter the Krebs cycle.
This path from glucose > pyruvate > acetyl-CoA eats up significant resources.
One glucose molecule consumes 4 NAD+ molecules, which turn into 4 NADH.
The ratio of NAD+/NADH matters because it regulates oxidant and antioxidant activity:
- NAD+ is the “good” molecule. It protects against oxidative stress, especially the oxidant H2O2, and improves autophagy (cleaning up damage cells). NAD+ is consumed as fuel for chemical reactions (like ATP production) and turns into NADH.
- NADH is also necessary, mainly to produce ATP, but it doesn’t protect against damage. When there’s more NADH than NAD+, more free radicals are produced and helpful enzymes are inhibited.
In other words, the ratio of NAD+/ NADH should stay high. Low NAD+ causes serious oxidative damage.
Because glucose consumes 4 NAD+ molecules from the get-go, it tips the scale towards more NADH, which can cause more oxidative damage.
BHB skips glycolysis. It only has to convert back to AcAc and then to acetyl-CoA before entering the Krebs cycle, a process that uses up half the resources as glucose.
One BHB molecule consumes only 2 NAD+ molecules, which turn into 2 NADH.
This means BHB is more efficient than glucose and protects the NAD+/NADH ratio.
In fact, research shows BHB not only preserves but increases the NAD+/NADH ratio, which can:
- Protect against oxidative stress and oxidants created during energy production
- Support mitochondrial function and biogenesis
- Provide anti-aging and longevity effects
- Increase the amount of free NAD+ than can be used for optimal gene expression
BHB also reduces free radicals through protective proteins that only activate when your body runs on ketones:
- UCP: Fats accelerate the activity of the UCP protein. UCP kills the free radicals that leak during the creation of energy, preventing oxidative damage in the mitochondria.
- SIRT3: When your body switches from glucose to fats, a protein called Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) increases. It activates a powerful antioxidant called of MnSOD and other mitochondrial antioxidant systems to keep oxidants low during energy creation. It also stabilizes the FOXO genes, which protect against oxidation.
Using BHB for fuel is more efficient than using glucose because it consumes less NAD+ molecules, increasing the NAD+/NADH ratio,
which prevents oxidative damage and promotes longevity.
It also fights the damage of inevitable free radicals by activating powerful antioxidants, which glucose doesn’t do.
The energy yield is measured by two things:
- Number of ATP molecules created per molecule of BHB or glucose
- Usable energy from each ATP molecule
Each molecule of glucose and BHB creates different amounts of ATP, which carries usable energy to your cells.
When ATP releases this energy inside your cells, it’s called ATP hydrolysis. The amount of energy released can be measured in kilocalories, through an equation called the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG).
In this context, ΔG represents the kilocalories released by each individual molecule of ATP.
Energy Yield of Glucose
One molecule of glucose makes about 30-34 molecules of ATP. It was widely believed the yield was 36-38, but newer sources find that was an overestimation.
The official change in free energy (∆G) is -7.3 kcal/mol.
This means each molecule of ATP generates about 7.3 kilocalories.
The total energy released by one glucose molecule would be:
34 ATP*7.3 kilocalories = 248 kilocalories.
Energy Yield of BHB
One molecule of BHB makes around 21.5 molecules of ATP. This is less than glucose, but remember it’s more efficient and creates fewer free radicals in the process.
In addition, ketone-made ATP releases a higher number of usable kilocalories (∆G). There is no official ∆G for this ATP, but one of the first studies on the topic found a change in free energy of -13 kcal/mol, which was confirmed by follow up studies.
This means each ATP molecule generates 13 kilocalories, almost double than ATP from glucose.
The total energy released by one BHB molecule would be:
21.5 ATP*13 kilocalories = 279 kilocalories.
Glucose yields more ATP molecules, but the total energy released by each ATP is lower than BHB.
BHB creates fewer ATP molecules, but it’s cleaner and releases more total energy per ATP molecule.
Why MCT Oil Is The Ultimate Ketone Energy Source
When your body uses ketones as its main source of fuel instead of glucose (from carbs), it can enter and remain in a state of ketosis.
MCT oil is powerful because it helps make ketones readily available for your body to use, making ketosis easy to achieve and maintain.
Unlike almost all other foods, the two MCTs used in MCT oil are swiftly absorbed and metabolized as energy in your body, making them the perfect fuel.
Because they’re efficiently burned, saturated fats and MCT oil in particular, have two positive effects on weight:
- Lower propensity to be stored as body fat. MCTs are rapidly metabolized and used for energy.
- Higher calorie burn. MCTs have a thermogenic effect (burning calories to create heat). This fat-burning process results in a metabolism boost.
There are 4 reasons why MCT oil can be burned as fuel so effectively:
- MCTs reach your liver quickly. They don’t have to go through peripheral tissues first, like LCTs do.
- MCTs don’t have to be broken down into smaller molecules. Unlike long-chain fats, the body can absorb MCTs more efficiently due to the size of their carbon bonds.
- MCTs cross the double membrane of the mitochondria quickly (the energy “factory” of the cell).
- MCTs don’t need the presence of an enzyme called carnitine to be converted to energy, like LCTs do.
In conclusion, MCTs can be quickly converted into ketones because they need less steps to be metabolized in your cells. MCT oil provides the most effective MCTs that turn into energy faster.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil is the combination of the two fatty acids C8 and C10, or pure C8, extracted from coconut and palm oil.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. You may also see them called MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).
They’re “medium” because they only have 6-10 carbon atoms.
MCTs are a form of saturated fatty acids and there are four different types based on their carbon length.
MCTs make a quick energy source because they don’t rely on other enzymes for absorption in your body.
The oil is made from pure MCTs extracted from whole foods, specifically coconut and palm oil.
Let’s take a closer look at each medium-chain fatty acid.
The 4 Different Types of MCTs
MCTs are known for being quickly absorbed by your body and metabolized into energy in the liver. They’re the most efficient saturated fats in terms of energy production.
They create ketones, an energy molecule. Ketones are an amazing source of energy for your body in comparison to glucose because they produce far less molecules that react with other molecules when they are metabolized.
There are the four MCTs found in food:
If you’re wondering why your MCT oil tastes a bit off or creates a tingle in our throat, it most likely has too much caproic acid (C6) in it. While it doesn’t taste the greatest, there’s usually not enough of it in coconut oil or MCT oil to taste it. It converts quickly to ketones. C6 makes up about 1% of the total MCTs in coconut oil.
Caprylic acid makes up 12% of the MCTs in of coconut oil. This type of MCT helps you maintain a healthy gut thanks to its strong anti-microbial properties. This is the most efficient fatty acid after C6 because it converts rapidly into ketones in your liver. That’s why it’s the main fatty acid in MCT oil, as we’ll see later on.
Like C8, C10 turns into ketones quickly in the liver. It’s a little bit slower than C8 during the ATP process, and makes up 10% of MCTs in coconut oil.
Lauric acid makes up 77% of MCTs in coconut oil. Like its fellow MCTs, lauric acid has antimicrobial properties (kills microorganisms or stops their growth). However, unlike the last two mentioned, lauric acid has a slower metabolization process. Some people debate the fact that lauric acid should even be considered a MCT due to it’s larger size and longer time to metabolize. Lauric acid is the most inefficient of all the MCTs because it can’t be turned into energy as quickly as the others. Because of this, you won’t find it in a high-quality MCT oil. The shorter the carbon chain, the more efficiently the MCT will be turned into ketones. Fatty acids with longer carbon atoms are metabolized much slower.
8 Health Benefits of MCT Oil
There are numerous benefits of MCTs — ranging from weight management and gut health to mental and physical advantages.
Here’s all MCT oil can do for you:
SUPPORTS HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS
Fats have always been known to help you stay fuller, longer.
However, more studies have been popping up showing that MCTs not only help you maintain satiety, but raise the metabolic rate at which your body functions — leading to greater weight loss and health outcomes[*][*][*].
Specifically, The Journal of Nutrition published a double blind placebo study demonstrating the difference between one group of subjects consuming MCTs and the other group of subjects consuming LCTs (long-chain triglycerides) for their fat intake. The rest of their nutritional intake was the same, the only difference being the type of fat they consumed[*].
Over the course of a 12-week period, there was about an eight and a half pound difference in overall body fat lost, and a loss in body weight too. This difference could be due to the fact that MCTs prevent fat accumulation through enhanced thermogenesis and fat oxidation — which helps your body produce ketones[*].
A double-blind study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that MCTs suppressed the accumulation of body fat in healthy men and women[*].
Another study found that for both obese and lean individuals, meals with MCTs increased thermogenesis after eating.[*]
MCTs also have fewer calories than LCTs, with 8.3 calories per gram vs 9.2 calories per gram.
Despite these promising findings, the effects of MCTs on weight loss remain moderate. A meta-analysis of 13 studies found that compared to LCTs, MCTs did decrease body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, total body fat, total subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat – but the changes were modest.[*]
In conclusion, MCTs can aid healthy weight-loss because they make you feel fuller for longer, don’t get store as fat, have lower calories, and boost your metabolism through their thermogenic effect, but the overall change is moderate.
AIDS GUT HEALTH
MCTs are natural antibiotics and are capable of killing certain types of harmful bacteria without decreasing or removing “good” bacteria. This leads to a better gut environment overall which improves the defense against harmful bacteria, fungi and other parasites.
Harmful bacteria such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, neisseria and other bacteria known to cause viruses have been killed by MCTs. Your gut affects everything from energy expenditure to your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, so it’s important to keep it balanced and healthy[*].
In conclusion, MCTs help keep a healthy balance of gut flora and improve the absorbability of nutrients.
SUPPORTS COGNITIVE HEALTH
As recent studies have shown, the connection of brain and gut health is more apparent than ever.
As the majority of our brains consist of fatty acids, it’s no wonder we get more energy and think more clearly when we provide our bodies with MCT oil and other healthy fats.
Ketones are able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and serve as fuel for the central nervous system, which means MCTs directly support brain health.
The journal Front Aging in Neuroscience recently published a study showing that subjects with memory impairment showed improvement in memory after supplementing with MCTs that produced higher ketone levels in the blood[*].
Additionally, MCTs have been shown to have a strong blood sugar stabilizing effect that may help reduce inflammation and improve brain function[*].
HELPS PREVENT HEART DISEASE
In addition to MCTs providing natural antibiotics for immune and gut health, studies have shown the potential for MCTs to aid in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study showing that the consumption of MCTs for 8 weeks resulted in a significant decrease (-14.54%) in blood triglyceride levels — a common marker of cardiovascular disease — in hypertriglyceridemic patients compared to consumption of LCT oil[*].
Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition supports the above findings showing that consumption of MCTs in overweight men lead to improvements in overall lipid profiles — specifically showing increases in LDL particle size (the big “fluffy” LDLs that are associated with decreased cardiovascular risk) [*].
Furthermore, a study from the journal of Metabolism concluded that overweight women consuming MCTs improved their overall cardiovascular risk profile [*]. However, in this study the MCTs were combined with phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids so it is hard to conclude if the results were solely due to the MCTs themselves or the combination of these oils.
In conclusion, MCTs might be able to help in the prevention of heart disease by keeping blood triglycerides stable and modestly reducing LDL (harmful) cholesterol.
CAN HELP MANAGE DIABETES
Studies have shown that MCTs play a possible role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Specifically, the journal of Diabetes and the journal of Metabolism published studies showing that MCT consumption improved insulin sensitivity — a key factor in diabetes prevention and management– in both diabetic patients and nondiabetic subjects[*][*].
MCTs are also a promising supplement for people who already suffer from Type 1 diabetes. A small study found that ingesting MCTs prevented the decline in cognitive performance during hypoglycemia in people with Type 1 diabetes. The effect was the most positive in verbal memory.[*]
INCREASES EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
Over the years, MCTs have become a staple in the diets of both recreational and elite athletes. This is no surprise due to the fact that MCTs have a high energy density, are rapidly absorbed in the body and can quickly convert into clean and sustainable energy.
Research is continuously emerging in this area but one fairly recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology showed that recreational athletes significantly reduced blood lactate levels and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during moderate-intensity exercise while also extending the duration of high-intensity exercise when consuming MCTs[*].
Another study from the Journal of Applied Physiology found that endurance-trained cyclists who consumed MCTs during moderate-intensity exercise for two hours had significant improvements in time-trial performance during high-intensity exercise[*].
The research in this area is still in its initial stages, but with more and more athletes making the conversion to low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets, there is no question that the scientific evidence will follow and the benefits for all different types of exercise will become more clear.
MCT oil should be a go-to supplement for all keto-ers because on top of providing those health benefits, it helps increase blood ketone levels.
Taking MCTs can significantly increase ketone levels within an hour.[*] This makes it ideal for taking it when you’re trying to start ketosis, get back into keto or need a boost of energy when you’re already in ketosis.
HELPS TO KEEP YOU SATISFIED
MCT oil helps keep you satisfied and curb hunger, so it makes for a great ket-friendly snack. Instead of having butter coffee, you could add MCT oil to your coffee and reap even more health benefits while keeping hunger at bay.
Adding MCT oil or MCT oil powder to your keto snacks helps you three-fold: its boosts ketones, gives you health benefits, and keeps you satiated.
Coconut Oil vs. MCT Oil
The main difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is their MCT content.
Coconut oil is 55% MCTs, while MCT oil is made 100% of MCTs.
Furthermore, coconut oil contains all 4 medium-chain fatty acids, including large quantities of lauric acid, the least efficient MCT. MCT oil only uses the two most efficient MCTs for energy: caprylic and capric acid.
MCT oil is actually a byproduct of coconut oil. You could think of MCT oil as the fast lane to getting the most efficient fats from coconut oil.
Here’s how both compare:
Coconut oil and MCT oil have different benefits.
If you’re looking to stay healthy and simply add more MCTs to your diet, coconut oil is enough.
However, if you’re looking to gain all the advantages of pure MCTs and fuel your body with Ketone Energy, MCT oil is the best choice.
Ketone Energy MCT Oil is made up of 95% C8 Caprylic Acid MCTs!
- Bypasses normal digestive processes and crosses your intestinal membrane directly to your liver to be used as a clean-burning fuel for your entire body and brain
- Because of its water-solubility, it crosses your blood-brain barrier to provide your brain tissue with fuel, unlike other types of fat
- Is a great way to get extra fat, and because it is completely odorless and flavorless, and actually enhances flavor, you can add it to foods and beverages for extra fat calories
- Because of its rapid conversion to energy, it helps squelch hunger pangs, and boosts satiety and satisfaction when following a ketogenic diet
Ketone Energy Advantages for Athletes
While dietary needs vary across gender, sport, and individual athlete, Ketone Energy has proven advantages for performance athletes. When athletes burn ketones instead of glucose, they experience increased cognitive and physical performance. Cognitively, the brain operates better on ketones versus glucose from sugar or carbs. Ketones are an efficient, slow-burning fuel source with preserved uptake by the brain, leading to heightened levels of concentration and longer periods of focus. Ketones also increase the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which works to support the brain’s existing neurons while encouraging new neuron and synapse growth.
Physically, keto-adaptation—the body’s transition to burning fat instead of glucose for energy—has been shown to help improve endurance exercise capacity in athletes, as well as improve fat mobilization and oxidation during exercise performance. Keto-adaptation also helps improve aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacity in endurance athletes. Ketone Energy minimizes the breakdown of lean muscle tissue and increases the body’s ability to maintain lean body mass while burning fat, which is beneficial for performance athletes’ body composition. Additionally, ketones increase mitochondrial glutathione levels, subsequently feeding the mitochondria better and leading to more rapid recovery between exercise sessions.
Taking Endurance to the Next Level
The greatest potential physical outcome of keto-adaptation for athletes is improved endurance capacity during competition. Performance athletes, like ultrarunners or soccer players, who are keto-adapted have been shown to experience increased endurance and less central fatigue during the course of their competition or match. On the keto diet, the body taps into slow-burning fat storage, which can help prevent athletes from “hitting the wall.” This is especially beneficial to those athletes who can’t easily digest foods while exercising—e.g. a tennis player between sets. During keto-adaptation, liver and muscle glycogen deposits are maintained, attenuating the glycogen depletion observed in athletes consuming high-carbohydrate diets. With the absence of glucose to burn, athletes shouldn’t experience the peaks and valleys of varying blood sugar levels.
Ketone Energy is suitable to adopt during the off-season, too. Athletes looking to improve their fat-to-muscle ratio, especially those who are required to meet certain weight goals for their sport, may benefit from an off-season keto diet. The keto diet benefits athletes’ off-season training, as well. Exercising while glycogen storage levels are low is a training technique popular for improving mitochondrial function and a key strategy athletes can utilize if they’re looking to improve endurance. By reducing oxidative stress, gut and immune functions are better supported, helping athletes sustain their health while they rest. Ketones also provide substrates to help repair damaged neurons.
Competitive athletes are always looking for an edge: a means to run a millisecond faster or reach a fingertip higher. For a clean boost, We recommend that athletes’ look no further than the Ketone Energy. With benefits spanning from increased cognitive functioning to enhanced physical performance, ketones are the body’s natural resource for unlocking athletes’ innate potential.
- McSwiney FT, et al. Keto-adaptation enhances exercise performance and body composition responses to training in endurance athletes. 2018;81:25-34.
- Volek J, et al. Comparison of energy-restricted very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets on weight loss and body composition in overweight men and women. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):13.
- Page KA et al. Diabetes 2009;58:1237-1244 and Ota M et al. Psychopharmacology 2016; 233(21-22):3797-3802.
- Volek JS, et al. Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci. 2015;15(1):13-20.
- Hartman AL, et al. The neuropharmacology of the ketogenic diet. Pediatr Neurol. 2007;36(5):281-292.
- Gasior J, et al. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketognic diet. Behav Pharmacol. 2006;17(5-6):431-439.
- McSwiney FT, et al. Keto-adaptation enhances exercise performance and body composition responses to training in endurance athletes. 2018;81:25-34.
- Jarrett SG, et al. The ketogenic diet increases mitochondrial glutathione levels. J Neurochem. 2008;106(3):1044-1051.
- Volek JS, Phinney SD. The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Beyond Obesity LLC. 2012.
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