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November 12, 2017 by Leanne Vogel May 30, 2018
Interview with Dr. Anthony Gustin, discussing all of your most asked questions about exogenous ketones: signs you need exogenous ketones, having carbs with ketones, exogenous ketone misinformation, fasting with exogenous ketones, and so much more. While on the tour, I received so many questions about exogenous ketones — who should use them, when to use them, how to use them, and most often: why and why not to use them. Because I can only speak from my experience and I’m not an expert on exogenous ketones, I decided it would be helpful to bring someone on the podcast who is! That’s where Dr. Anthony Gustin comes in — it’s not his first podcast rodeo, either. Last time he was on the podcast, we scratched the surface on Responsible Exogenous Ketone usage, but this time? We took it a bit further and tried to cover all the bases. Honestly, I learned so much and I’m thankful that Anthony was able to share his expertise. I hope you appreciate his message, as well as the ultimate takeaway: exogenous ketones aren’t a requirement and they’re not a replacement for eating whole foods. In today’s podcast, I chat with our guest Dr. Anthony Gustin, a board certified sports physician, functional medicine practitioner, and overall food and fitness skeptic about exogenous ketones. This episode is all about understanding the proper uses for exogenous ketones, who should and shouldn’t use exogenous ketones, plus timing, fasting, side effects, misinformation, and more. Let’s get to the interview! For podcast transcript, scroll down. SHOW NOTES + LINKS
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Again, that’s paleovalley.com/keto, for an instant 20% off savings, and if you’re unsure of the link, simply check out the show notes of today’s episode to get all of the details.If you have an idea for a podcast episode, or want to submit praise over above the review, which you can leave by going to HealthfulPursuit.com/review, those reviews are really important. Please, if you haven’t already reviewed the show, please do so. You can reach me by emailing email@example.com. I got one exciting announcement for you guys, and this ties into our entire conversation today on exogenous ketones. I chatted with my friends over at Perfect Keto, and they’re offering 20% off all of their exogenous ketone flavors, that includes their new coffee and vanilla flavors, as well as their classic peaches and cream and chocolate sea salt flavors. So you get 20% off from now, today, until November 19th, 2017, at 12:00 PM Eastern. So you can go to perfectketo.com/ketones, to check out their flavors and take a look at the offer and see if it would fit you. I personally love their new coffee and vanilla flavors, and I’ve started combining the two. I usually just add them to water. I don’t need as much as an entire scoop, so they last me a lot longer. I usually do about a quarter of a scoop to half a scoop a day, and I find that that just makes me feel better. But if you give it a try, and you love a certain flavor, I’d love to hear from you. So, we actually did an episode, Episode 41 on the podcast, about exogenous ketones, and in that episode we chatted about how to use exogenous ketones, how they’re made, why Perfect Keto is the choice that I make for exogenous ketones, and also using exogenous ketones to get into ketosis, reducing inflammation, overcoming stubborn weight, and the differences between MCT oil powder and exogenous ketones, and some signs that point to whether you should take exogenous ketones, and other signs that point to maybe you shouldn’t take exogenous ketones. So if you’re interested in that episode, I’ll include a link in the show notes, but it’s HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e41. If you listen to the podcast on any podcast player, you can also listen to Episode 41, if you’re curious about more exogenous ketone stuff. I think, overall right now, in the ketogenic space, exogenous ketones are the most controversial, less understood supplements, so I really wanted to have Dr. Anthony Gustin back on the show, to chat with us about it specifically. Now, Dr. Anthony Gustin is a board certified sports physician, a functional medicine practitioner, and an overall food and fitness skeptic. His focus has recently shifted from private practice to creating products that improve the accessibility for whole food nutrition and ketosis, with his companies Perfect Keto and Equip, in addition to publishing his health reports on his website, dranthonygustin.com. And yes, Dr. Anthony Gustin’s company is Perfect Keto, and they are a sponsor of the podcast. Podcast sponsors have zero influence on the content that I share on the show, like ever. If you know me, you know I’m a rebel, I don’t like to take instruction. So, our podcast sponsors are just there to support the show, and everything the Healthful Pursuit team comes up with for the podcast, is 100% from us, or questions from our community, and feedback from customers, and is not controlled or influenced by our partners at all. Many listeners have questions about exogenous ketones, so I thought it best to have my friend, Dr. Anthony, on to chat with us about exogenous ketones. If you remember, from Episode 41, he’ll be the first one to say that they are no magic supplement, and they’re not going to fix poor nutrition choices. So again, you can listen to that episode at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e41, and let’s get to this interview. The Keto Diet Podcast, including show notes and links, provides information and respect to healthy living, recipes, nutrition, and diet, and is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor is it to be construed as such. We cannot guarantee that the information provided on The Keto Diet Podcast reflects the most up to date medical research. Information is provided without any representations or warranties of any kind. Please consult a qualified physician for medical advice, and always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider, with any questions you may have regarding your health and nutrition program. Hey, Dr. Anthony, how’s it going? Anthony Gustin: Fantastic, how are you? Leanne Vogel: I am so good. Thanks for coming back on the podcast Anthony Gustin: Nah, I appreciate it. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, cool. So, I just want to hit the ground running with this, because we’ve had so many questions about exogenous ketones, and we just thought we should have you back on to … almost like a rapid fire question episode of all the questions that people are asking us in our Healthful Pursuit community, directed at you, to help us understand exogenous ketones and their benefits, and even how to use them a little bit more. Anthony Gustin: Let’s do it. Leanne Vogel: Okay, so, first off, we were chatting before we started recording, that I was reading in The Ketogenic Bible, if you guys don’t already have this book, you must get it, because it’s really geeky and awesome, but in there it was talking about how exogenous ketones can help create more brown adipose tissue. Can we chat a little bit about that and the benefits there? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so people aren’t aware brown adipose tissue is just a type of fat, sometimes accumulated on the neck and other places on the body, that actually help a thermogenic fat burning effect, which just means that, through heat, you burn more fat. And so, while a lot of things with exogenous ketones, since the research is still very early, we’re not sure the exact mechanism, but there have been several studies, like Ryan and Jacob in the book pointed out, that exogenous ketone supplementation, even in the presence of carbohydrates, can up regulate and increase the storage of the brown adipose tissue, which is fascinating. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, it’s so cool. I had to read that page over and over and over again, like what?! That’s really exciting and it’ll be cool to see how studies continue to support that or get a little bit more detail in all the things. Okay, let’s get started with our first question, which is what are some signs that someone should try exogenous ketones? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, a lot of things come to mind here, because I think there’s so many things you use them. And so, number one, I think if people are interested in a ketogenic diet, and want to see how it feels or how they would perform or think or operate on it, whether it be exercise, mental clarity, or just how their body would normally feel on a high level of ketones. I think that’s a good way to just have a scoop or have exogenous ketones that get our body running on some ketones. I think that if someone’s trying to increase mental performance, I think I mentioned in the previous episode, that’s primarily how I’ve been using them, to just stay sharp and focused all day long. I don’t need a lot of weight to lose, and obviously I like to lower my inflammation and all keep that at bay, but mental performance, for me, is the biggest thing. I think physical performance, if someone, not necessarily is doing explosive work, or if someone’s doing CrossFit and power lifting and things like that, I don’t think those people are a great candidate for exogenous ketones, but I think that, if you’re doing more endurance work or, for instance, I’m doing more gymnastic work now, Perfect Fit, because you actually use more oxygen when you are having exogenous ketones. I think transitioning to ketogenic diet is another way that people, some of the stuff when people have symptoms of fatigue or energy system imbalance, where they stopped carbohydrates and they haven’t started using ketones yet, so your body doesn’t really know what fuel system to use, I think that’s a good time to pop those in and kind of lessen that burden. I think going through fasting is another good time, where somebody could try exogenous ketones. So let’s say I’m going on a four or five day fast, and this is a question I actually got that I addressed on my website, which is, “Will exogenous ketones stop a fast?” In my opinion, no, because what’s happening is that you’re using the same exact molecule as you would to run on energy. And so, I think just to make fast more bearable, and to kind of supplant where you would maybe feel low energy or some fatigue in fasting, I think is a good opportunity to use exogenous ketones. And this is just a few different reasons, but I think that’s enough for now. But yeah, plenty of different reasons why people would want to try exogenous ketones, in my opinion. Leanne Vogel: Awesome. And for those people that are already eating keto, feeling great with the ketogenic diet, would you say that exogenous ketones can be helpful just to continue to boost brain function, or do you see it being a helpful supplement for people that are already eating keto and feeling great? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so this is another thing that I think I covered previously, which is that I usually get about 1.5 to 2.0 millimolar when I measure ketones in my blood, when I’m eating a full ketogenic diet, and I can’t really get above that myself, but I feel best mentally when I’m at about a 3.0 millimolar, and I can’t get there without exogenous ketones. And so, if I’m using it for mental performance, I feel best in that range, but I can’t really get there physiologically, and sometimes males can be a little harder to get higher, but I can’t get there physiologically without boosting ketone levels. And so, also, same thing with performance, it’s not turning over ketones for energy when exercising, is not really a quick process, and so if you’re burning through a lot of that energy, you can hit a wall pretty quick if you’re not taking exogenous ketones in a workout, and so that’s another good time that, even if you are doing kind of a full ketogenic diet, you can have benefits from it. I mean, this is entirely dependent on the person’s goals, and the thing is, there’s very little risk to it. And so, try it out, see how you feel, measure your ketone levels and see how you respond to it. Everyone’s completely different in this stuff. And that’s what I’ve learned so much, kind of going through and working with thousands of people now, with these products, is everyone reacts so differently to this stuff, whether that’s performance or mental capacity or whatever, it’s pretty profound how individual the effects are. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I totally agree. My husband, Kevin, he has to take probably like a scoop to feel what I can feel with just a sprinkle in water. I feel it pretty quickly. I don’t need a lot of it, whereas Kevin needs quite a bit in order to feel the same that I do. So yeah, even just with two people playing around with trying to figure out how we feel, it’s interesting to watch. Now, you mentioned a little bit about working out and using exogenous ketones. Can we dive a little bit deeper into if somebody wants to use exogenous ketones when they’re working out, when’s the best time to take them, before, during, after workout? Does it depend on the type of workout? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, I think that completely depends on two things, one, the type of workout, but also the individual, just like we were saying before. And so, I created the pre workout product, which is something that has a lot of other things in it that will help you in the beginning of a workout, say if it’s about an hour. I’m gonna give or take 15, 20 minutes, and that time, to me, I think before working out, is the best. If you’re going after that, I would say during workout, is more ideal, and I think anything longer than say a couple of hours, I would say once an hour, having maybe half a scoop of exogenous ketones, will keep that fuel system buffered. So let’s say you’re running a marathon or a hundred mile race, something like that, having, instead of taking these gel packs that have sugar, that your body’s gonna crash on, having more kind of a steady state, mixing it in with water while you’re running, for instance. And so, I think if it’s under 75 minutes or so, before is just fine. Anything over that, I would say every hour or so would probably be the best way to do it. Leanne Vogel: Awesome. And also to do with timing, we mentioned a little bit about fasting and using exogenous ketones during fasting. Is there a specific time that you’ve seen is best for the fast, like the beginning of the fast, when you get hungry on the fast? What have you seen the best timing if you’re using exogenous ketones for fasting? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, for myself, I’ve used it at two different times, and that’s one, when I get brain fog when I’m fasting. Usually, when I’m fasting, I feel pretty good mentally. There are some times where I hit a wall, without any energy coming in, and so I’ll use it then. And also, if a crazy craving or appetite surge, I use it then, to kind of bring that down. So those are two great times that I have used it to help get through 7-10 day fasts, whereas otherwise, I tried and it would be miserable. And also, people probably know this, but I would highly recommend going into a nutritional state of ketosis before fasting. It’ll make your life much easier. Leanne Vogel: Yes, I second that 100%. I don’t think I could ever have fasted as long as I do now in keto. It just comes so natural. I couldn’t imagine doing the fasts like I do now, just eating carbs. Anthony Gustin: And I’ve tried eating moderate to low carb, and then just using exogenous ketones into the fast. It doesn’t work well. It’s still pretty miserable, and so I would say switch your body entirely to nutritional ketosis, if you’re getting into fasting, and then from there you can use ketones, but otherwise, it’s so much harder, so much harder. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, definitely. Even to do with timing too, is there a wrong time to take exogenous ketones, like say, somebody takes them right before bed, is that gonna be a nasty situation? Anthony Gustin: It’s just entirely depending on the goals of the individual. I don’t take them before bed, because I don’t feel any benefit from them, but some people, especially in our Facebook group, said it helps them sleep deeper. I don’t know if they’ve quantified this at all. I’d be interested to see data on different stages of sleep and things like that. I don’t there is any data that exists looking at that, but some people say that it helps them sleep deeper. I haven’t felt that effect, but it’s just one of these things where, if you ask yourself what is your goal, and it could be sprinkled anywhere in the day, depending on your goal, in my opinion. So, if that’s in the morning for appetite suppression or mental focus, if that’s at night, because it helps you sleep better, if it’s before a workout or after a meal, because it helps with blood sugar regulation, these are all things that are completely independents of the individual. And so, you just gotta test it, and if it fits for your goal and you feel like you look, feel, or perform better, then I think that’s a good time for you, but I haven’t seen any time where it’s like, oh, you had it at 3:45 PM, shucks, too bad. You shouldn’t have done that. So, I don’t think there’s any time in the day where it would be a bad idea. The only time it would be a bad idea is if it didn’t fit with your goals. Leanne Vogel: Okay, cool. And let’s chat a little bit about exogenous ketones and who should not use them. We chatted a little bit about this in our previous episode, but specifically, there were questions of, “If I’m pregnant, can I take exogenous ketones, are they safe?” Anthony Gustin: So, this is kind of a loaded question, because people, again, are individuals, and you need to talk to your doctor, full disclaimer. I cannot give any advice, obviously, to people who are pregnant. There should be no problem, because the molecules are bioidentical to what you would be using if you were in nutritional ketosis and pregnant. I think that you need to talk to your physician before, though, and I also, if you’re pregnant, there’s no reason to make any changes while you’re pregnant or trying to be pregnant, in your nutrition or lifestyle at all. You should keep it pretty stable, so you know what to expect, you know how you’re gonna respond. Everyone’s completely different in this aspect. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for any reason. We have a lot of great articles on the website now about female hormones and pregnancy with ketones, but my advice for people who shouldn’t take it, not necessarily that they shouldn’t take exogenous ketones, but when ketosis is not necessarily right for them, or even worth it, would be any times where you’re trying to grow. And so, if you’re trying to grow muscle mass, or if you’re doing explosive workouts, it’s not great. If you are, let’s say, a young child, not really worth it. You need to get some surges in some insulin and get some growth response in different types of hormones, and that could be with a growing fetus. So we just don’t know, there’s not a lot of research out on that right now. And so, I would say, if you’re already in a state of ketosis, and you’re going into pregnancy and have already been using the product, should be no problem, but I wouldn’t switch mid-pregnancy and start adding the stuff in, too many variables, and it’s just not something that I think would be beneficial. Leanne Vogel: Awesome. And then the same sort of line, what is a healthy way to use exogenous ketones, that’s not focused on weight loss or more of that disordered mentality? You see other products, exogenous ketone products, saying, “Have your cake! Have exogenous ketones too, and you’ll still lose weight!” How can one just use exogenous ketones from a place of, I just want to have better brain function and be a more balanced human? Any tips on that? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, in full reality here, the biggest thing you could do to have better brain function is not take ketones, it’s to eat real food. And so, if you’re not doing that, and you’re eating cake and sweets and all these things and have a terrible lifestyle, you’re not getting sleep, you’re not having any stress management, you’re not good with relationships in your life, then, I’m sorry, but exogenous ketones are not gonna save you. I wish that were the case. That would be great. But yeah, I think that not just with nutrition, but the whole lifestyle in general, should be taken care of first, before you add anything in. These things are called supplements, so that should be supplementing proper nutrition and proper lifestyle. That’s my opinion on it. So, to add into the question of who shouldn’t be taking them, people who think that they’re gonna get benefits to replace bad lifestyle choices. Does that make sense? Leanne Vogel: Oh, totally it does, and this is why, when it came to exogenous ketone products, I chose Perfect Keto, because the fact that you feel that way, it’s just like … so great. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, there’s been probably more times than not, where somebody asks what they could use the product for, and I started digging in a little deeper and asking the questions about how their lifestyle is. I’m like, no, you don’t need to be buying exogenous ketones right now. You need to be just buying kale and eating that instead. You need to get some micronutrients and some real food in your body, and see how you feel and get a baseline, and at that point say, “Okay, I’m gonna add this in to get a little extra here of there.” Leanne Vogel: More of my interview with Dr. Anthony Gustin after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Simply check out the show notes of today’s episode to get all of the details.So, one of the questions we also got is people saying that if you use exogenous ketones after having too many carbs, what happens, because I think there’s a lot of mentality, and unfortunately other exogenous ketone products and companies have made this a mentality of that, have your cake, eat your exogenous ketones, everything will be fine. So, what happens if we were to have the chocolate cake, and then take the ketones? Can we kinda go through what happens in the body metabolically? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, I think there are two sides of this camp, and I think they’re both wrong. Leanne Vogel: Okay. Anthony Gustin: I think that there’s one side that says, “Oh, it will erase all bad problems. You can use it to fix just anything.” And there’s another side of the camp that says, “Oh, it’s dangerous and it’ll kill you, or it’s just a complete waste.” And both of these, in my opinion, are completely incorrect. So, I guess, first thing to dissect here would be saying, how much is too many carbs? I mean, that’s an individual thing, depending on insulin sensitivity in the individual, if they just worked out, if they didn’t, but if it’s a poor food quality choice, then yeah, nothing’s going to erase that, ever. But what happens is, even … they’re doing a lot of studies now, based upon what happens in the body in the presence of carbohydrates and exogenous ketones, and they’re not dangerous at all, so we can just forget about that and kind of remove that entire camp. But also, they do not erase bad decision, and so it’s not just carbohydrates aren’t just carbohydrates. And so, if you have inflammatory foods, you’re never gonna fix that problem, but one thing that happens is ketones are preferentially taken up in both the brain and the heart, in the presence of carbohydrates. So, let’s say I ate some sweet potatoes, and not chocolate cake, because I probably wouldn’t do that, and then I had exogenous ketones after that. If my body says, okay, we have carbohydrates and we have ketones in the bloodstream, from an exogenous ketone source, we’re gonna use the ketones in our brain for energy, and not the carbohydrate. And so, you can actually still have mental benefits. And same thing with heart, as far as pumping energy through, the muscles are kind of like a hybrid, that they’ll kind of go back and forth and use both. But preferentially, in the heart and in the brain, they both use ketones, even in the presence of carbohydrates. There’s also other studies that show that ketones, exogenous ketones, actually help lower blood glucose, independent of insulin secretion. So, what this means is that you can use less insulin secretion to reduce blood glucose in your bloodstream, and so this isn’t like a magic eraser. So, like I said, food quality 100%, first priority in any nutritional program, and so never eat crap and then try to feel like exogenous ketones are gonna help with that. But if you have blood sugar regulation problems, it looks like ketones can be used to help regulate that, independent of insulin secretion. And so, the reason why you wanna do that, is all the studies coming down about inflammatory disease long term, basically come from too much insulin in your bloodstream for too long, so your cells get desensitized to that, and you can’t basically push carbohydrates where they need to go whenever you do need them. And so, taking ketones can help remove the carbohydrates, the blood glucose, out of your bloodstream, without using as much insulin, so that’s a good thing. So it’s kind of like in between with all these things. There’s not one weird answer. It depends on the individual, what they’re eating, what their goal is, what they’re trying to get out of it, but 100%, food quality first. That can’t be emphasized enough. But those kinda things makes sense as far as it’s not dangerous, but it’s also not a magic eraser, but it’s also not useless, and so it’s kind of this gray area. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I love it though, and there were a lot of questions about, “Is it okay to use exogenous ketones if I had a sweet potato at dinner,” or yeah. Anthony Gustin: Yes. Leanne Vogel: Okay, cool. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, 100% fine. I do that frequently as well. There are times when I eat a little bit more carbohydrates, because I’m traveling somewhere, and I want some local food that’s delicious, or I am training harder, and I want some carbohydrates to fuel, or I want more fiber and I load up on a bunch sweet potatoes, tons of different reasons. And I will have exogenous ketones after that, and I can tell you, I do my blood work all the time, that there’s been no changes. There’s metabolically no reason why it would be bad for you. Our bodies are always using some level of ketones endogenously, or blood glucose, it’s just to what level. And having a supplement of exogenous ketones is not in any way dangerous. It does not change any biological processes like people are saying it does. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I think there’s this thought of, if you have a sweet potato, and then you take the ketones, it somehow neutralizes those carbs. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so there’s a lot of those things. People say that your body can only run on one fuel system and not the other, which is incorrect. There’s some people that say that, “Oh, all the exogenous ketones will be stored as fat,? which is just silly, because it’s like 14 grams of beta-hydroxybutyrate, and it’s water soluble, and so you would just actually … Even if your body wouldn’t be able to use any of that, you would just excrete it in your urine, but you don’t, because your body does use some. People say, “Oh, well then you’ll use the exogenous ketones and you’ll store all the carbohydrates as fat,” which is just completely incorrect as well. So there’s all this misinformation about this, because , in my opinion, a lot of people writing about ketosis currently, don’t do all of the work in understanding the science of what happens as things are metabolized throughout the body. And so, it’s never as clear as, oh, it’s this or that, it’s carbs or ketones. That’s not the case, and so there’s always this kind of gray area that you have to dive deep and really understand. But like I said, food quality first, and then after that, goals, but do not worry. Your body can handle it. It’s a very complex machine. Leanne Vogel: Completely. Any other things that you hear, like misinformation specifically, with exogenous ketones, that you think our readers, or listeners rather, would benefit from, like things that you hear where you’re like what, where did you even … how? No. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, a bunch actually. So, I think that another one is kind of in the same realm, if you take exogenous ketones it will stop fat burning. I just … there’s no reason why this is the case. Again, it’s such a small amount, and it does elevate and probably actually help with couple of things, appetite suppression, up regulating monocarboxylic acid transporters, so actually having better utilization of ketones, even when you’re not using it, lowering inflammation. There’s a lot of different reasons why actually increasing brown adipose tissue, like we talked about earlier, and so there’s actually a lot of reasons why it would help with fat loss. It’s not like it’s a magic pill for fat loss. I’m not saying that, to be very clear. But it, in no way, would stop fat burning. And that’s like saying, if I were to eat 14 grams of fat from coconut oil today, I would stop fat burning. No one would ever think that ever. And so, with that same logic, it would mean that I need to fast and never eat 14 grams of fat, or I wouldn’t lose any fat, and so that’s one thing that’s all over the internet. People are like, oh, calories matter. And it’s like, this is somewhere between 15 and 60 calories. It’s not a calorie issue. Another one is that ketones and ketosis in general, this doesn’t really have to do with exogenous ketones, but ketosis in general, which is something I’m obviously a huge fan of as you are as well, but that it ruins women’s health and hormones. Yeah. One of my biggest gripes, and I wrote this article that I ended up putting 40 sources in it and it was like 15 pages long on my website, but there is, again, no reason why this would be the case. And it’s just because of lifestyle error, and under eating, or over training, or a variety of other mechanisms, and not ketosis itself. And I’m sure you can probably go on forever about this as well. Leanne Vogel: Oh, I could. It’s so … everyone I meet, that has hormonal problems on keto, specifically women, when we go through what they eat in a day, I’m like, yeah, well, if you’re only eating 500 calories a day, plus forcing yourself to fast, yeah you’re gonna have hormone problems. It has nothing to do with keto. Anthony Gustin: Plus eight CrossFit workouts a week and cardio on top of that and stressed out- Leanne Vogel: Sleeping fours a day. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. Those are the problems to address, and not … ketosis is not making women’s thyroids fall out of their body, so that’s another one. I think that ketones are bad when you’re fasting is another one that, again, it’s a bioidentical molecule, so actually, the more you … most of the reason, they’re doing a lot of research that shows that most of the reason why fasting is beneficial, is because of the way beta-hydroxybutyrate endogenously works on tissues. And so, in my opinion, that might actually be better at enhanced fasting with exogenous ketones, because they are, again, literally bioidentical to ones that you make in your body. So your body cannot tell the difference. They’re the same molecule, no difference. And so, that’s a pretty huge one I think. I’m probably gonna do some tests on myself, through a three or five or seven day fasts, with just water versus with an excessive amount of ketones, and then doing all these measurements to make sure, in myself, that we’re getting the same inflammation reduction, we’re getting the same autophagy, and other mitochondrial benefits, and fat loss. I get muscle gain usually when I fast, and so I want to track all those things with and without. And so I want to track all those thing with and without, and so I’ll probably do five to eight servings of exogenous ketones per day, if my gut will allow that, just to see differences in fasting, so I can put that whole thing to rest as well. Leanne Vogel: You mentioned if your gut will allow that. Can you elaborate? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, I think one of the questions that you wanted to go over, that people have asked is, it says up to three times a day, is that necessary, and do you need to take that much. So, first of all, exogenous ketones in general, are not necessary. I think they’re beneficial for a lot of different reasons, but they’re not necessary. You don’t need them for any certain reason. I think they’re useful of course, that’s why I have them … I use them all the time, but unnecessary as far as if you just want a base level of nutrition. However, we put an upper limit of three times per day on there, because what happens is, especially if you’re not used to it, your gut, when it uptakes so much beta-hydroxybutyrate, and your body’s not used to using it, will say, “Okay, we have enough energy, we need to stop taking this stuff in,” and it will start flushing the contents of your gut out, and that makes for a mess in the bathroom, and so we don’t want that. And so, a lot of times, when people are just starting, we recommend maybe a half scoop, and then going up from there, if they’ve never been in ketosis, they’ve never had ketones before. Leanne Vogel: I have an interesting story to share with you. My brother-in-law used to sell Keto OS, all about Keto OS, and really pushed it, really passionate about it, and he had a call with his team lead, and he was just like, I just really need to know how much BHB is in this. Of course, they won’t tell him. So I was like, you know what friend, just take my Perfect Keto. You can have this entire chocolate sea salt one. Just take it, try it. He had a quarter of a scoop and he called me and he’s like, “My gut, it hurts, I’m in pain. What’s wrong?” And I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s because there’s actual ketones in this, and the product you were taking …” at three packs a day, he never experienced that feeling. I’m like, “Back it off, sprinkle it in water for the next couple of days and work your way up.” And he’s like, “Whoa, I actually feel the difference.” I’m like, yeah, it’s because you were taking not a good product before. So, that was a really good indication that the product is just so much stronger, and you do have to baby step it if your body’s not used to it, but he thought he was, because he was taking another product that isn’t as high quality. So I thought you’d enjoy that story. Anthony Gustin: Well, I mean, I’m not gonna be too bias here, but I like our product, because I know what we put in it and we make it very clear. Some people don’t do that with their products. But yeah, it’s kind of a good point. If your body’s not used to taking that many grams of beta-hydroxybutyrate, you can have a response, but just grate it up. So start slow, and then add it up. It’s not like three is a magic number. Three is not a magic number is an entirely independent thing for the individual, so sometimes less and sometimes more, depending on the goals. There’s some days, like when I’m traveling or fasting, I’ll have three to five scoops. It just depends entirely on the day. Leanne Vogel: Yes, I totally agree with you. So, we talked about this in the last episode, but I just want to go through this a little bit more. How does the body process exogenous ketones specifically? Can you store them like you would sugar? Anthony Gustin: No, because they’re not sugar, and sugar’s stored very differently. So sugar is stored as, eventually as triglycerides essentially. Unless you’re talking about carbohydrates as glycogen, so that’s kind of a completely different way. And the exogenous ketones are processed the same way as endogenous ketones are processed, and so what happens is, your body basically breaks it down, and it can go into energy systems and carb cycle pretty much immediately. And so, when you’re at a point, it’ll basically recycle them in your body and float around your bloodstream, and if you’re not using them, then you’ll just urinate them out. And so there’s no storing them, that’s where if you have a coconut oil, for example, or MCTs, your body can store that, MCTs less so, but coconut oil more so. It just depends on the length of the chain of the fat, and how it’s stored. And so, it’s not a reversible process to go from a beta-hydroxybutyrate molecule to a triglyceride, to be stored as adipose as fat. And so, there’s some reversible and irreversible biological processes, and this one is if you have exogenous ketones, they don’t turn back into fat or sugar. I don’t know why they’d turn into sugar. That’s a question people as too, does this store as fat, and this is another reason why I don’t think it’s even possible to have enough exogenous ketones to increase fat gain. Leanne Vogel: because what you’re saying is, if you just take too much, you’ll pee it out. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. Leanne Vogel: Cool. Anthony Gustin: Or it will be self-limiting, and we just talked about how that’s not fun either. Leanne Vogel: More of my interview with Dr. Anthony Gustin after this message from one of our podcast partners.
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Simply check out the show notes of today’s episode to get all of the details.Could the body become dependent on exogenous ketones or stop producing as many endogenous ketones, because they’re taking exogenous ketones? This is probably the number one question I get all the time is, no, no, no, I’m not taking that product, because then my body will become reliant and I’ll stop producing ketones. Thoughts? Anthony Gustin: Yes, so this is another thing where people just misunderstand biology entirely, and so there’s things called negative feedback loops, when this does happen. So let’s say, you start taking a supplement, and your body stops … Anabolic steroids are a good example of this. So, if you take testosterone injections, your body says, “Oh, we have enough of this, we just stop producing this.” And then, if you go off them, there can be a lot of consequence from that, if you don’t do it properly. And so, that does not happen with ketones, exogenous ketones. There’s no mechanism, there’s no negative feedback loop, is what you would call this, that would stop, where your body would have this thing that would go back and say, “Okay, we have enough of this stuff, let’s just stop making it.” Same thing here, if you … this is completely antithetical to ketosis in general. This is like saying if you ate fat, your body would stop burning fat, and stop using fat as fuel, which we all know is not true, because of the now, literally thousands of reports that I’ve heard from people about weight loss and ketosis. And so, it actually helps, exogenous ketones and ketosis in general, help fat burning over the long run, and help your body use fat as fuel. And essentially, what your body’s doing using fat as fuel, is breaking it down into ketones. And so, it’s the exact opposite, so it would be more so of a positive feedback loop, meaning the more you have, the more you actually use. So it’s a complete opposite. Leanne Vogel: Okay, awesome. Anthony Gustin: And no dependency, yeah, and actually increase endogenous ketone production. Like I said before, if you have more of a certain channel your body’s using, that put ketones in general, beta-hydroxybutyrate into your cells for energy production, then what happens is, your body will say, “Oh, okay, well we have all this availability to use this stuff, let’s just make more of that fat.” And so, you using exogenous ketones will not make you dependent on exogenous ketones. If anything, it will give you the opposite, and help you burn more endogenous ketones. Good question though. Leanne Vogel: Setting the record straight for sure. I think that’s one of the biggest things. And there’s also a lot of misconception in keto, that if you eat too much fat, you’ll start gaining weight, or you’ll stop burning fat, because you’re eating fat. I think that there’s just a lot that needs to be cleared up on that, so thanks so much for going through the details of those pieces. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, and that’s pretty much the same exact thing, when you get those questions, and you’re probably like, oh, wow, we’re still here? I think that’s how it is with exogenous ketones as well. It’s just the breakdown of fat. And so, it shouldn’t really be thought of as nutritionally different than MCT oil or coconut oil. It’s actually even more of a breakdown of that same fat, and so that’s how I look at it. Leanne Vogel: Completely. Okay, so let’s chat a little bit more of the side effects, because we chatted about the gut and the reaction that you’d have if you took too much at once. What does it mean, and I’ve never experienced this, but somebody asked, what does it mean if somebody feels hungover after drinking exogenous ketones? Why would one respond this way? Anthony Gustin: I don’t know, but one of the things that I think this person may be experiencing is, when you haven’t had ketones before, or you haven’t been in a state of ketosis, and you haven’t, especially your brain hasn’t run on them, it can be a little overwhelming. You might get kind of a brain foggish feeling, where it’s like, “Oh, why is my brain working like this.” And not to say like you have some super power now, but it’s just something like a mental state, or a physiological state, where you’re not used to it. And so, let’s say you’ve only been at one millimolar before, and you’ve been in nutritional ketosis, but then you take a scoop or two of exogenous ketones, and now you’re at 3.5 millimolar, your body probably has just never experienced that before, and so that might feel a little weird. I don’t know if they mean like the next day, to have headaches and dehydration like you would when you drink alcohol, but- Leanne Vogel: Yeah, they didn’t get into it, but I remember when I did keto for the first time, I experienced that. It was sort of like I got more brain fog, or maybe it was more brain capacity, that I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so my brain was just really fast, and I was having a really hard time at things. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, exactly. And if your brain is running on a different energy system for the first time, you’re gonna not feel normal. You’re not gonna have perspective on what that even is. Maybe there is some neuro pathway type of modulation that’s going on there that obviously hasn’t been studied, but maybe you’re using different parts of your brain, because there’s more oxygen to be used. And maybe that just feels weird when you first do it, but as far as you wake up and you roll out of bed and you want to go puke because you’re all hungover, I don’t know- Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Did you mix vodka with your exogenous ketones? Anthony Gustin: Which is a weird trend that I’ve been seeing people doing. Leanne Vogel: What? Anthony Gustin: And so I would say, that’s not a great way to take exogenous ketones. You have keto cocktails with exogenous ketones, and I just don’t get it, but it’s kind of funny to me. Leanne Vogel: That’s like when I went to a kombucha launch party in Montreal, and they had cocktails with kombucha in them. I’m like guys, this doesn’t make sense. You’re mixing kombucha, gut healthiness, with alcohol, complete opposite. What is happening right now? Anthony Gustin: That type of alcohol, ethanol, will probably actually just kill all the beneficial bacteria in the kombucha, which is kind of hilarious to think about- Leanne Vogel: Yeah, they didn’t even have virgin cocktails. I’m like, “What is happening right now?” So, okay- Anthony Gustin: Oh, they only had that? Leanne Vogel: Yeah, they only had alcohol with kombucha. That was like the party. Anthony Gustin: And not just the kombucha alone? Leanne Vogel: No. It was the strangest thing. It was so funny. Okay, so, another question, I received this also when I was on the book tour. A couple of mentioned it. What does it mean if somebody gains or stalls weight when using exogenous ketones, no matter what the brand, even when drinking plenty of water, doing everything right, eating under 20 grams of carbs? Thoughts? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, again, I’m gonna go back to the sheer impossibility of any brand, no matter if they disclose their ingredient label or not, causing any type of stalling or gaining in weight. It’s too negligible. It’s like saying eating two almonds a day is gonna cause any kind of weight stalling or weight gain. I think there’s probably some underlying thing, maybe it’s hormonal, but these products do not modulate any kind of hormones. Too many variables to tell, especially in the individual level, but again, I don’t care whose product it is, anyone of our competitors, ours, whatever, it’s just I do not see this as any type of contributory effect to stalling or gaining weight. And yeah, I just don’t know how else to address this question, because I’ve gotten this question a bunch as well, and I’d say if that’s the case, like you start working and you’re hitting a point, there’s a lot of different variables you could address here. But I can, with near certainty, guarantee that no one’s exogenous ketone products are gonna be causing any kind of weight gain or weight stalling. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, I think where I’ve seen it, and also personally for myself, just hormonally, is if I take too much exogenous ketones, especially if I’m busy or traveling, and I’m prolonging fasting, and not eating enough and also stressed, sometimes my hormones can do weird things. So that’s the only thing I can think of, is if you’re using exogenous ketones, you’re maybe prolonging a fast that perhaps you shouldn’t do, because you’re maybe hormonally imbalanced, and then, because you’re not eating, or because you’re eating so little for long periods of time, perhaps that could cause a weight stall, because you’re not eating, because you’re not hungry, because of the exogenous ketones. That’s the only connection I’ve been able to make. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I can buy that, as well as probably a hundred other reasons. Leanne Vogel: Yes, exactly. Anthony Gustin: But not one of those reason would be exogenous ketones, in my opinion. I know that might seem like, because I have a product that’s exogenous ketones, but again, go buy my competitor’s products, and I’ll tell you any one of the competitors, of people who have exogenous ketones, none of their products will do this either. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s how I see to, and I think a lot of people think that if they can just find that one thing, that everything will be better. And often times I’m asked, how did you get over amenorrhea? What’s the one thing? And it’s like, well- Anthony Gustin: One crazy trick. Leanne Vogel: No, there was like 400 different things that all worked together to create the reality. It wasn’t just one thing. Anthony Gustin: Such is the human body, huh? Leanne Vogel: Completely. It’s be so much easier if we could just connect it to those things, like a car, where it just tells you what the problem is, and then you’re like, beep boop beep boop, and then it’s fixed, but unfortunately we’re not there yet. Anthony Gustin: Someday. Leanne Vogel: Yes, totally. Okay, so we chatted a little bit about other companies, and I’d love to chat about the new products on the horizon, like ketone esters, that give you a quick shot of energy, and other ketone-like products. Any thoughts on up and coming keto trends? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, keto esters are kinda cool, because they raise your ketone levels way more, but it’s for a shorter period of time. We are not going to launch a keto ester product until they become palatable, because our main goal is to make ketosis more accessible, and that comes with making things taste good. And so, if we can’t do that, we’re not gonna launch a product, even if it’s gonna be effective. That’s just one of our many values is it needs to be accessible to people, and that means being delicious. And so, if it’s not the case, then we’re not gonna do it, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think people should use them. I think that keto esters, which some companies are coming out with now, I’ve had them, and again, I have a pretty strong stomach, but those things are brutal. They are not good, but they do raise ketone levels pretty high. I experienced, actually, last time, that effect that I don’t know if the keto hangover person was mentioning, but almost like a different state of brain fogginess, probably because I had not been to that level. I didn’t test that day, so I don’t know what I got up to. But times when this would work would be maybe when doing physical activity, where you once want a tiny little shot, and having it in liquid form might be a little nice, or you really want a boost for lots of different training modalities, but also like Dom D’Agostino is doing a lot of research on keto esters, and oxygen utilization for deep sea diving, for let’s say Navy Seals and things like that. And so, in application like that, where the oxygen utilization is way improved in ketone ester, great for that person, but I think that for a general person, ketone ester is probably not gonna be that useful, but a lot of cool, very specific applications. This is kind of how it comes with all the stuff. The more specific the product, the more specific the application. And so, you’ve got the ketone esters on one end, and I’m sure they’ll make crazy modifications that will be even more specific after that, and then you go to beta-hydroxybutyrate, exogenous ketone salts, which are, I’d say fairly specific for people who want fairly specific goals on a ketogenic diet. And you go to MCT oil and MCT oil powder, and then you go to coconut oil, you go to coconuts. And so, it kind of throws this change to people who only eat only food products, to people who eat coconut oil, MCT oil, and so the more specific your goals are, the more specific the product can be. And so, ketone esters probably have a lot of use cases for very specific things, but definitely, I think, some cool applications. But yeah, same as I was saying before, test it out, and kind of have a hypothesis of, “My goal is this, I think using the ketone ester will have this effect on my body, for this reason,” and then try it out and see how you feel. And if it works for you, then it works for you, and that’s how I feel about it. Leanne Vogel: Awesome. Anthony Gustin: I mean esters in particular. Leanne Vogel: Totally. And you mentioned MCT oil powder, and I love that you kinda created a staged approach to MCT oil powder versus coconut oil, and then exogenous ketones being on the other side. I recently did an MCT oil powder video, just talking about how I’ll never drink MCT oil again. I’m totally done with it, because the powder’s just so much easier to travel with, to you use. I don’t have to use a blender anymore to make my fatty coffees. I just mix it with a spoon or with my frother. Can we chat a little bit about the difference of MCT oil powder and exogenous ketones, because when I made that video, people were like, I don’t take exogenous ketones, blah blah blah. And I’m like, they’re not exogenous ketones, it’s MCT oil powder. So can we just go through the difference of the two? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, the difference between MCT oil powder and exogenous ketones is MCT oil powder is obviously powder made from MCT oil. So question again is how do you do that, and so I don’t know of any other companies right now that are doing this, but what we do is we use acacia fiber. Other companies are probably not doing this because it’s super expensive to do. And so, people say like, oh, yours is super expensive compared to other ones. They use corn starch in all sorts of other stuff, and don’t use high amounts of MCT oil, but we use acacia fiber, and you basically attach the oil to a fiber, and acacia fiber is good for your gut and basically gut bacteria, food. And so, it’s 70% MCT oil, and then 30% acacia fiber, which is what, it’s called spray it on, and so that makes a powder. It’s like you said, it’s beneficial because it’s not in the oil form. You mix it easier and travel with it and not spill it everywhere, and get it all greasy and messy. And the difference between the exogenous ketone and that, is that MCT oil powder, and MCTs in general, which are medium chain triglycerides, some of them will break down into ketones, so that’s obviously great. But then some of them will also be used just for general energy balance, and so while ketones are kind of like short lived, I would say think about MCT oil as being a longer energy source that your body can use and recycle, and work in a little bit different way than just going straight into the cell. And so, exogenous ketones aren’t MCT oil, but MCT oil can be considered kind of exogenous ketones, they just break down into ketones, so you can get shorter term energy with exogenous ketones, and longer term energy with MCT oil. And then also think about it as like, if you’re looking to increase ketone levels in your bloodstream, the same thing as the effect, so if you have a longer effect, you’re gonna have less of an overall increase in ketone levels with MCT oil, but you still should have some, a little bit, but the effect is just much longer, whereas exogenous ketones, you’re gonna have a way higher bump, but in ketone levels, but it’s gonna be for a shorter period of time. Does that make sense? Leanne Vogel: Yep, totally, it does. That’s how I use it. That’s exactly how I see it. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, and if you’re going for, for instance, caloric load and getting calories up there, MCT oil can be used better than exogenous ketones, which, in my opinion, the verdict’s kind of out on if it even has a caloric load to it. But MCTs are also more satiating and I’d say better tasting than ketones, and so you don’t have to put them with salt, they can be really creamy and really satisfying. And so, if you’re really trying to curb hunger, MCT oil or MCT oil powder can be one of these things that you can put in to help that, as far as if that’s one of your goals, is to reduce that. Leanne Vogel: And it tastes so good. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, it tastes incredible. I love MCT oil and MCT oil powder, stuff’s fantastic. It’s, like you said, super easy to travel with. I don’t ever eat when I’m traveling anymore, which is kind of … I always get this weird stare from the flight attendants on, I just took a 15 hour flight from Australia, and then I took a 14 hour flight to Argentina, and I didn’t eat on any of these flights, and I just get these weird stares, like I’m some freak who doesn’t eat. But I’ll mix in MCT oil powder to coffee, say, and it’s completely satisfying. I will not need that. But if I have exogenous ketones, I’d need to take them once every three to four hours, where I can go almost a whole flight just having one coffee with two or three scoops of MCT oil powder in it, so different use cases. Leanne Vogel: I feel like we would be awesome flight buddies, because I do the exact same thing, and people look at me like I’m strange, like who’s the girl that doesn’t want dinner? And I’m like, I am just totally happy over here with my MCT oil powder. Anthony Gustin: We’ll do a little cheers with our fatty coffees. My friend and I were flying to, I think, from Australia to Tennessee, and one of the snacks they were serving was a pizza sandwich with a side of a cookie. Leanne Vogel: What? Oh, my gosh. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, and so it was essentially a piece of pizza wrapped in this baguette, with a cookie on the side. Leanne Vogel: Sounds really great. Anthony Gustin: It was before we were supposed to go to sleep, so I wonder if they were just trying to put everybody into a coma. Leanne Vogel: Yeah. And it likely worked. It’s so fun to watch the people eat all the cookies and things, and they’re all just dozing off about 20 minutes later, and I’m working away, drinking my fatty coffee. And I had a question too, about Keto Collagen, and the difference between Keto Collagen and exogenous ketones, because we get that question a lot. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so collagen is a protein, and so exogenous ketone is, like I said, the breakdown of a fat essentially. And so, the Keto Collagen product we have, is five grams of MCT oil powder, so you’re getting that fat that kind of helps boost energy and provides a little bit of increase in ketone levels, as well as it slows digestion of protein down. And so, when you have collagen or powdered protein, a lot of times what happens is, because it’s in a powdered form, you digest it very easily, which spikes your blood sugar a little bit, and kicks you out of ketosis. And so we pair those two things together, so that is blunts the response of the protein, and give you this nice, healthy fat, and stable energy source, and with a collagen peptide. And so, collagen peptides are essentially the part of the protein that people don’t get enough of. And so, I think that there’s enough, people get enough protein in general just eating muscle meat of animals, and from most plants, so I think a combination of those two things, most protein sources are covered. But collagen is specific, where it’s sort of hard to get unless you’re eating certain parts of the animal. And so, what happens is, people overeat protein, the general protein, and don’t get enough collagen or gelatin, and then their muscles are taken care of, but then their skin, their joint services, and their connective tissue, all kind of gets brittle over time, and their gut, all gut and all blood vessels, all that stuff’s made of collagen. And so, I think to me, it’s the most underutilized protein source. And so, having that helps bolster all those things and improve all of those areas, hair, skin, nails, joint services, like I said, gut, blood vessels, all that stuff, is improved with using collagen. And so, we pair that MCT oil powder plus the collagen peptides, so that it’s a keto friendly source of protein, that most people don’t get, versus exogenous ketones, just the breakdown of fat for energy, so completely different. Leanne Vogel: Amazing. So great. Perfect. Where can people find you if they want to learn more from you? Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so, personally, I am on Instagram the most, just @dranthonygustin, and so I’ll be posting most of my keto meals on there. That’s pretty much all it is, and just me interacting with people. And then, the page for Perfect Keto is @perfectketones on Instagram, and then perfectketo.com. We have now, at this point, almost 200 articles, and we’re trying to do as much as we can helping people get started on the keto journey, and have as much help as they need, and then start there. And then, if they need anything supplementary, then our products are obviously there to help them along the away, but the core of what we’re trying to do is provide the information, so people can make the best decisions on what’s best for them, and then after that, if they need a product, they can have a product. Leanne Vogel: Yeah, awesome, I’ll include links to the MCT oil powder, the video I did about MCT oil powder, exogenous ketones, Keto Collagen, and we set up a little offer for everyone listening, for exogenous ketones. If you go to perfectketo.com/ketones, you’ll get 20% off one of the flavors, or all of the flavors. You can get as much as you want, 20% off, until November 19th at 12:00 PM Eastern. So go and enjoy and get the things and drink them and let us know what you think. So thanks for coming on the show Dr. Anthony, so great to have you, and I hope, one day, you’ll come back and we’ll chat more about all the awesome things. Anthony Gustin: Love to, Leanne. Thanks so much for having me. Leanne Vogel: And that does it for another episode of The Keto Diet Podcast. Thanks for listening in. You can follow me on Instagram by searching Helpful Pursuit, where you’ll find daily keto eats and other fun things, and check out all of my keto supportive programs, bundles, guides, and other cool things, over at HealthfulPursuit.com/shop, and I’ll see you next Sunday. Bye.
My team and I work on finding the best products that not only have quality ingredients, but care about their customers. It has taken us years to find products with ingredients and integrity that I can stand behind. These brands want to be part of our community, and this blog post is one of the ways we’re sharing their awesomeness. Opinions in this blog post are never ever influenced by the partner. Like, never!
HI! I’M LEANNE
Nutrition educator + keto enthusiast. I want to live in a world where every woman loves her body, nourishing fats are enjoyed at every meal, and the word “restriction” isn’t in the dictionary.