May 12, 2016
Intermittent fasting and fasting for health is burning up facebook and the internet in general. Fasting is no longer considered a fad. So many people are entering into a state of “nutritional ketosis” to keep seizure activity under control, activating longevity genes and altering DNA outcomes, decreasing inflammation, enhancing immunity and of course, absolutely crushing weight loss and insulin resistance.
Considering that over 50 % of our population today is pre-diabetic, being in ketosis could have immensely profound effects on glucose and insulin responses for the masses. Many doctors today are opening their eyes to the science because it can no longer be ignored. Just being in ketosis mimics fasting. Ketosis is a nutritional state where we are using body fat as our fuel source. Fasting can regulate a broken metabolism. Look what these doctors are learning!
Fasting and Leptin
If you experience frequent hunger, fasting helps to normalize insulin, leptin and ghrelin hormones which all play a role in hunger and satiety. Fasting even shows promise in reducing oxidative stress and increasing anti-oxidant activity. This can reduce cellular damage and hinder the aging process. It’s one of the best “antioxidant” strategies humans have. And it’s built in. All we have to do is access it. Fasting has been shown to promote a surge in HGH (human growth hormone). This hormone helps build muscle and lowers disease biomarkers. Research has shown that HGH can increase by as much as 1,300 percent in women and up to 2000 percent in men by fasting even for brief periods of 16- 24 hours.
Intermittent fasting or I.F. as it is called is being used by so many recently because of the dramatic effects on fat loss and weight loss. Typically this is combined with a higher fat, low carb, moderate protein diet. But fat loss and weight management is just a side benefit. This hack actually signals our DNA in many profound ways. It is long known that C.R. or, “calorie restriction” helps us to live longer. I.F has been shown in studies to be even more beneficial on our longevity and just caloric restriction alone. Fasting is ONE BADASS of a health hack. We live longer when we eat less.
WHY Ketones Matter
It is explained that the mechanism behind WHY fasting hinders aging is because it affects the signaling mechanism mTOR. I will not “mind melt” you, but suffice to understand that mTOR “helps us” when we are younger. But in adulthood can cause us to age faster. I.F. inhibits this process of aging to a pretty decent degree. The presence of ketones in the blood and fewer calories overall helps us stay younger at the DNA level.
So what is the definition of intermittent fasting anyway? Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple explains it best. He used the terms “to eat in a compressed eating window” and each person’s window might be slightly different. Typically it is done by fasting from dinner until around noon the next day. This would create roughly a 16 hour fast. Others will fast from dinner on one evening until dinner of the next evening. 24 hours in total. To do that, you must be “keto-adapted.” This means “conditioned” to use fat as the primary source of fuel. This process, when done with diet alone, could take from 1 to 6 weeks. Most fail because they don’t give them selves time to adapt properly.
Ketones in the Lab
Diseases of metabolism are being blamed for everything from Type II Diabetes to perhaps even cancer. Studies are now being conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida and what is emerging is that cancer could possibly be a disease of faulty metabolism. More research is needed to make the claim according to Dr. Angela Poff, who is heading up this research at USF.
What Dr. Poff is seeing in her lab is that “KETONES themselves “are having profound effects in numerous areas and starving the cancer metabolism. When ketones are circulating in our bodies some pretty impressive things occur. Including the cessation of growth in cancer cells. Research is confirming numerous health benefits when your body is in ketosis. Researchers are also finding that metabolically, cancer cells do not use the same mechanism as healthy cells. Since sugar feeds cancer, being in ketosis is showing to cut off cancer’s life-blood. Cancer cells recede, die and apparently cannot spread.
Watch Videos HERE on Cancer and ketones
How to Increase Ketones
When food was scarce, our bodies will take glucose that is stored in our liver and muscles and begin to use it for fuel. When we use up this stored fuel, and no more of this type of fuel is ingested (indicating scarcity) , our bodies begin to utilize stored fats as a source of energy. Some dietary fats like MCT’s (found in coconut and palm oil) go directly to the liver and are turned into ketones by the liver. We can benefit from the use of MCT’s fairly quickly after ingestion. All other dietary fats are broken down as follows:
Ketones themselves are emerging as a “superfuel” but also so much more than just a fuel source. Ketones are showing amazing anti-inflammatory properties! I myself have witnessed this magical phenomenon when taking the product shown below. Although I have been mainly in ketosis for the past 10 years or so, I never experienced the anti-inflammatory benefits of ketones until I tried this:
This product gives you ketones directly just by drinking them. You can experience all the benefits of ketones and even I.F. after just one serving. By using this product, Ketosis can be achieved without the typical restriction of dietary carbohydrates usually necessary to enter into ketosis! It’s no wonder it is already winning awards for innovation of its technology. You see, through diet, when our bodies see this “temporary shortage” of glucose as fuel; we will turn on our fat mobilization processes. This is called “nutritional ketosis” and we are now running on ketones for energy. Ketones, as explained by Dr. Jeff Volek, are like “water soluble fats” inasmuch as they are able to cross the BBB or the “blood-brain barrier.” It is because they cross this barrier that our brains can use ketones as brain fuel. Not too many substances have this capability to cross this barrier.
Blood Brain Barrier is a protective mechanism that our brains use that works to keep out certain chemicals that might not belong there. Ketones are welcome in our brains! In the work of Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, a neuroscientist, he has shown that ketones reduce brain inflammation. This mechanism is being studied in all areas of brain health with great success. With research funded by the U.S. Government, Dr. D’Agostino was tasked with creating something in supplement form, that would help to eliminate oxygen seizures for Navy Seals while diving with their oxygen rebreather equipment. Dr. D’Agostino has created this “exogenous” source of ketone technology. This means that the ketones were created outside the body rather than inside. This is very exciting because mankind has never seen this type of technology. Ever.
Ketones and the Brain
It was the benefits of being in ketosis that let Dr. D’Agostino to create a way to supplement ketones and enjoy the benefits of ketones without the dietary restriction.
For over 100 years, nutritional ketosis has been used as a therapy for drug-resistant seizures and epilepsy. The drugs used to treat epilepsy are very hard on the human liver and many who need the drugs cannot take them for this reason. Ketogenic diets have been safely used and still are a viable therapy today with those who suffer not only from epilepsy but also any neurodegenerative or neuroinflammatory state.
Research also suggests that intermittent fasting boosts production of a protein called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This means “better” brain function.
Dr. Dom’s research is showing promise in decreasing the brain inflammation associated with PTSD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, ADD and ADHD and even bipolar disorder and anxiety. I have personally witnessed a most miraculous response using these supplemental ketones on a family member with PTSD and social anxiety. Within 40 minutes I watched an alcoholic who was in pain and lacking cognitive function, explain how these “exogenous ketones” made is brain feel “like it is supposed to.” It also decreased his want for alcohol and cigarettes for about 7 hours.
Ketones and Addictions
Could ketones be a future adjunct treatment for alcoholism?
Entering into ketosis is a daunting task for some people due to the fact that all sugars from every source must be eliminated completely for weeks. The average person loses patience and sometimes never sees the benefits of this. Those with mood and brain metabolism that altered are also less compliant. Taking ketones externally is a great solution. While some people are very good at making their own, the calorie and carb restriction required makes it near impossible for some.
Type 2 diabetics have more difficulty getting into ketosis as well. This is due to their impaired glucose metabolism and insulin responses. The use of an exogenous ketone supplement could possibly be the answer for many people to help drive down the insulin response.
Know Your Ketones
Beta –hydroxy- butyrate (BHB) is the ketone that we find in the blood. This is the gold standard for identifying if our level of ketosis is ideal. We want to KNOW that we are in a place that will reap the most benefits. Most scientists agree that this level is somewhere between 1 and 3 MMOL (millimolar). Anything over .5 MMOL suggests that we are in that “native” zone with the most benefits seen over the 1MMOL mark.
Ketoacidosis is a condition that occurs to only those individuals who are type 1 diabetic and who do not produce any insulin on their own. I have seen much confusion by medical doctors over the distinction. It would take about a level more that 3 to 10 times greater than the therapeutic level of BHB in the blood to cause this to occur. Much greater than the safe levels of what is seen in nutritional ketosis. This video should allay the confusion that is felt in the medical community. Approximately 25 MMOL would be seen in the blood of someone experiencing ketoACIDosis.
Acetoacetate is the ketone that is excreted in the urine. Our bodies assure that we do not have excesses, so unused ketones are excreted in the urine and can be measured on a ketone dipstick. The stick will turn pinkish to purple when detected. This is a great method to use when first on a ketogenic diet or when fasting. Over time, the body gets more efficient at using ketones and the urine content typically diminishes. Ketones can also be detected in breath. Acetone is the name of the ketone body that is expelled in our breath.
Enjoy this video on fasting courtesy of Dr. Joseph Mercola
Today, the majority of our population has fallen into the 3-5 small meals trap. We have been brainwashed to think that 3 meals a day are standard operating practice. This practice has “built in” snack breaks. Most people today have “snack mentality” so deeply embedded in their brains. Ancestrally those “snacks” were called meals and we might have been fortunate enough to have one or two of them a day! Guess what we did in between? We intermittently fasted! Even healthy snacks are not healthy if they are in between meals and cause blood sugar to rise. This includes fruit smoothies and gluten-free “what-cha-ma-call its.”
If it contains carbohydrates, is eaten between meals, and it can raise blood glucose; you may want to rethink your main meals. If we need to eat in between we are not satisfying the needs of our bodies at mealtime.
Are we “Snackaholics”
“Munching” is a practice here in the US where people just randomly shove things into their mouths even if they aren’t hungry. Rather absurd right? This insane practice keeps our pancreas working double-time to produce the insulin needed to sweep that sugar into our cells. It also shuts off our ketone producing system and keeps us from reaping the benefits of ketones and intermittent fasting. If not open to doing a fast of some kind, you may want to consider just not eating anything in between meals or after your last meal.
This can be the first step in regulating insulin and blood sugar responses. Many who have tried to fast for health reasons often never even “wean down” on their dietary sugars first. This causes extremely uncomfortable symptoms. Successfully getting to where fasting is comfortable and welcome state does not happen overnight.
You can experience insanely good benefits of fasting if a ” PRE fasting protocol” is undertaken first. Weaning down carbohydrates over a two-week period can be the key to success prior to attempting to fast for longer than 16 hours. I.F. and fasting for longer than 16 hours is best for mainly healthy individuals with normal blood sugar responses. This means a fasting blood sugar no higher than 89. For those who suffer from Type I diabetes, adrenal fatigue or pregnancy unless ok’d by your doctor
Doing It Right
Do not attempt fasting until you can get fasting blood sugar below 90. My video “Bio Hacking Blood Sugar” can get you started on lowering blood glucose. You can find the video here Check out Bio Hacking Blood Sugar . Those with adrenal fatigue should heal their adrenals first, as the body is already overburdened with “stressors” and IF (intermittent fasting) would be an additional stressor. It’s not a bad stressor, it is actually a good one. Just not with someone who has overtaxed adrenals.
“Juice fasts” may be cleansing but they may never get you into the proper state of ketosis where all the magic happens. This is because the juices of fruits contain sugars. Those sugars will not allow for deep nutritional ketosis. It may “feel” like a fast, but unless ketones are produced you won’t reap the valuable benefits of the fast. Eating too much protein can also keep us just shy of getting into a nice nutritional ketosis. That is because our bodies have a built-in mechanism in which we can make glucose out of protein. It is called
GLUCONEOGENESIS. Gluco=glucose Neo=New and Genesis =life
So, in essence, we are birthing glucose from protein. When glucose is made in this way, it still causes a spike in insulin because insulin is the method in which our bodies get sugar into our cells. Insulin draws them in. This happens a lot in high protein dieting even it the diet is low in carbs. This is why high protein diets “ARE NOT” ketogenic. So the goal is to get into TRUE nutritional ketosis and/or fasting mode to reap the benefits below.
Ketones Retard Aging
A study in the Journal CELL STEM CELL showed that being in a fasted state or in ketosis is beneficial for regenerating immune cells. In starvation mode, the body tries to save energy so it recycles immune cells and will eliminate those that are damaged. The research team found that “repeated cycles of 2-4 days without food over a 6-month period destroyed old and damages immune cells in mice.” The mice regenerated NEW immune cells! Autoimmune conditions benefit tremendously from fasting and being in a state of ketosis.
They apparently attributed this to “Autophagy.” This is when our body “takes out the cellular trash.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autophagy This process only occurs under certain conditions and fasting / nutritional ketosis is one of those conditions. Dr. Jeff Volek, a ketogenic pioneer; is currently doing research and longevity studies in his lab because when fasting and ketosis are studies in mice, it is extending the lifespan of the mice. Could this be the same for humans? Science is suggesting that this is the case. Randomized clinical trials are need to further confirm this research but outcomes look promising. Medical News Today posted this article:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295647.php Undertaking a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting will one day be a gold standard of care but our sick and diseased population cannot wait for the medical world to catch up. It’s about time we all learn how to better take care of and understand the bodies we have been given. We could be just one badass health hack away from living better than we ever imagined.
Biohacking Wellness blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Content from the Biohacking Wellness website and blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding and entertainment only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website. This article is the authors rendition of the video shared.