Ketosis is a nutritional situation where your body has raised levels of blood ketones. Ketones are end products produced when fats are broken down to release energy.

As a method of losing weight, many people nowadays follow the ketogenic diet also known as the keto diet. This type of diet is characterized by an intake of very low carbs and high fat. Normally, your body breaks down proteins or carbs to release energy. The Keto diet aims at starving the body, where the body is forced to turn to fats as a source of energy. Ketones and fatty acids are byproducts at the end.

Some people may find it hard to adhere to the keto diet consistently. For that reason, keto supplements can help them be in states of ketosis.

This article will tell you whether the use of keto supplements can help you lose extra weight.

What Is Ketosis?

You may have asked yourself the exact things that happen in your body during ketosis. Usually, the cells of your body rely on glucose as a source of energy especially when you consume a high-carb diet.

Certain foods like pasta, bread, vegetables, and other starchy foods are dietary carb sources that produce glucose in abundance. Restricting the intake of these foods, as seen in the keto diet, will force your body to seek out energy from other sources.

At such a time, fat stores come in handy. When they are utilized in excess, ketone bodies are produced. This is a state of alternated metabolism that results in what is called ketosis.

According to the study findings by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, during ketosis, your body produces two main types of ketone bodies. These are beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone.

As a result of ketosis, your brain, muscles, and heart utilize these ketone bodies as fuel. This can result in weight loss.

The Exogenous Ketone Supplements

When ketone bodies are produced in your body, they are referred to as endogenous ketones. But when you supply your body with ketone bodies from the outside source then they are called exogenous ketones. Therefore, ketones that are contained in supplements are exogenous ketones.

Exogenous ketone contains only one type of ketone, beta-hydroxybutyrate. Acetoacetate ketone cannot be included as a ketone because it is not chemically stable.

In various food and supplement stores, ketone supplements can be found in different types. The two main types include ketone salts and ketone esters.

Ketone salt is produced by binding artificial ketone bodies to salts such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, or potassium. This type of exogenous ketone can be found in powder form which can be mixed with water. It is also available as pills or drinks. Ketone salts can help increase the levels of electrolytes in the body. However, people with kidney disease other severe health conditions should not use ketone salts as this may further impair their electrolyte regulation.

Ketone esters, on the other hand, are produced by combining ketones to a compound called an ester. They are then packed in form of liquid. They normally cause longer periods of ketosis. Additionally, the taste of ketone esters is unpleasant and they are also more expensive than ketone salts.

Both ketone esters and ketone salts are can induce ketosis fully and increase the levels of blood ketones just as it would happen with following a keto diet.

In one study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, participants were supplemented with 12 g of ketone salts. The researchers found that this dosage increased the levels of ketones in the blood by up to 300%. Ideally, most ketone supplements sold out there, should ketone content of 8-12 g.

Such an increase in the level of ketones after taking a ketone supplement can help those who would like to get into ketosis without adhering to the keto diet.

Published studies have shown that taking exogenous ketone supplements can have several health benefits, losing weight being one of them. Supplementing with exogenous ketones can also help beginners of the keto diet to adapt to ketosis faster.

Doing so helps minimize the time it takes to attain ketosis and lessen or prevent the effects that come by shifting from a high-carb diet to a keto diet. These symptoms or effects that accompany transitioning into the keto diet can present with bad breath, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and muscle cramps. These symptoms are usually termed keto flu.

Exogenous Ketones and Appetite

Supplementing with exogenous ketones has been associated with significant weight loss. One way it does that is by reducing appetite and reduced food intake.

One particular study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined 15 people. They all had normal weight. After exposing them to a night fast, those who drunk ketone esters in beverages experienced less hunger by up to 50% than those who drunk sugary beverages.

The researchers think that the reason why ketone esters suppressed hunger in those participants, is due to a reduced level of hunger hormone – ghrelin particularly between 2 and 4 hours after drinking the supplement.

It is good to note that ketone supplements may not result in a significantly reduced appetite especially in those who had eaten beforehand. Some published studies observed increased levels of ketones in the blood of those who had not eaten than in participants who ate.

Downsides of Exogenous Ketones

Ketone supplements can potentially curb your appetite, but their effectiveness when it comes to weight loss is not yet known. In one way or the other, supplementing with exogenous ketones may as well hinder your weight loss program.

It is claimed that these supplements may inhibit fat breakdown naturally in the body. Some published studies have also shown that ketone supplements also contain calories, about 4 calories per gram. Excess calories may as well facilitate weight gain.


A metabolic state of ketosis is achieved when your body turns to fat stores as an alternative of energy instead of carbs. When fats are broken down, ketone bodies and fatty acids are produced as byproducts endogenously. You can also use supplemented ketone – exogenously – to facilitate ketosis. Doing so may partially result in weight loss as these supplements inhibit the fat breakdown and also contains calories.

MS, Lund University, Sweden

Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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