Let’s start by assessing the science of exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones are a supplement that are produced artificially in a lab, and that are thought to mimic the effect of ketones in the body to benefit various health conditions (1). Exogenous ketones are produced from various sources, including artificial sweeteners and even coffee and alcohol, and different companies produce different types of them. Some are made from fats, others from carbohydrates, and some are just a combination of both.
Exogenous ketones, also known as ketone supplements, are marketed as an easy way to increase ketone levels in the blood, thereby helping with fat loss. When it comes to losing weight, exogenous ketones are nothing short of miraculous. Which is why there’s so much hype around them…
When it comes to weight loss, there are two kinds of people, those who choose to eat less and exercise more and those who choose to eat less, exercise less and use exogenous ketones. For those who choose to eat less and exercise more, our bodies are quite set in their ways, which is why it’s important to have some options in place if you’re going to be exercising less and cutting calories. If you’re someone who has been looking to lose weight, but you’re not sure where to start, you might want to consider using an exogenous ketone supplement.
Is taking ketone supplements a revolutionary addition to a low-carb diet, or should we be skeptical of businesses that make broad claims about their benefits? This post will teach you all you need to know about exogenous ketone preparations, as well as an experiment we performed with them in our Stockholm headquarters. What happened when we put the ketone supplements to the test? Are they effective? Continue reading to find out what we think!
As the keto diet becomes more popular, more keto items emerge on the market. Exogenous ketone supplements are one of the most popular and well-known, claiming to improve the effects of the keto diet and even provide some of its advantages without the carbohydrate restriction.
There is a lot of money to be made selling these supplements, and some businesses are earning a lot of money. Furthermore, the claims regarding their advantages are so wide that they may seem a little far-fetched, and one of our favorite fads is deceptive marketing.
As a result, we decided to look into nutritional supplements and the businesses that offer them. As a result, we decided to perform our own experiment to evaluate certain supplement claims.
Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt guided me through each step, checked the design of the experiment and its implementation (as far as possible) for scientific accuracy, and edited this text to ensure its quality and validity. I (Kim) researched the topic, planned, and conducted the experiment under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, who guided me through each step, checked the design of the experiment and its implementation (as far as possible) for scientific accuracy, and edited this text to ensure its quality and validity. Other ketology specialists and researchers were also contacted for comment on the experiment’s design and findings. It is stated in the text when this occurred.
If the claims regarding the advantages of exogenous ketones are correct, this is fantastic news for individuals who want to enhance their keto lifestyle but don’t have the financial resources to do so. However, dependability and friendliness are two of our key principles, and it’s critical for us to verify assumptions in marketing claims and ensure that customers receive what they’re promised when they spend money on a product.
So keep reading to learn more about the most recent experiment, style!
- Exogenous ketone preparations are what they sound like.
- What are the advantages of exogenous ketones, according to the claims?
- Problems with additives are possible.
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You may discover more about the experience by clicking on any of the links above or by scrolling down. Alternatively, you may watch this video. It quickly explains the procedure and provides a behind-the-scenes peek at how the testing were conducted at our Stockholm office!
Exogenous ketone preparations are what they sound like.
What exactly are ketones?
The liver starts to turn fat into ketones, tiny molecules that may be utilized as fuel when your blood sugar is low, when you restrict carbohydrates and consume a modest quantity of protein.
Ketones, rather than glucose, are linked to a variety of advantages, including hunger management, better mental function, more constant energy, and greater physical endurance.
Learn more about ketones and the advantages of going into ketosis.
What are exogenous ketones, and what do they do?
You’ve probably heard the words endogenous and exogenous used in relation to ketone supplements, but what exactly do they mean?
After a period of carbohydrate and sugar restriction, the liver produces endogenous ketones. The term derives from the Greek word endon, which means “within.”
However, scientists have discovered a method to give ketones to humans, typically in the form of a drink, implying that ketones may be ingested from outside the body. Exogenous ketones get their name from the Greek word exo, which means “outside.”
Ketone esters vs. ketone salts
Let’s start by distinguishing between ketone salts and ketone esters, which are two distinct kinds of exogenous ketone supplements.
A ketone body is joined to a ketone precursor to form keton esters. There aren’t many medicines like these on the market, and their benefits seem to have a deeper scientific foundation.
We shall not address ketone esters since they vary significantly from ketone salts, which are the treatments that have been aggressively promoted and launched in recent years. Because of their disagreeable flavor, keton esters may be difficult to market. We’ll be able to dig further into Ester in the future.
Ketone salts are made up of a ketone body and a mineral ion, most often sodium. Ketone bodies come in a variety of forms, but ketone salts utilize beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).
Many businesses offer exogenous ketones in this form, and we see excellent marketing techniques and wide claims of advantages. From now on, we’ll refer to ketone salts when discussing ketone supplements or exogenous ketones in this text.
What are the alleged advantages of using ketone supplements?
When a prospective customer visits the websites of various businesses offering ketone supplements, they will come across a variety of claims regarding the advantages of using them. These are some of them:
- Accelerated weight loss/increased fat burning
- Improving focus and maximizing intellect
- Increased vitality
- Improvement in mood
- Athletic performance has improved.
- Suppression of appetite
- After carbohydrate consumption, it aids in the return to ketosis.
- Inflammation reduction
- The most restful sleep
I performed a user survey as background research for the experiment (thank you to the 638 individuals that answered!). In the study, 28% of individuals polled admitted to using ketone supplements. More energy, improved concentration/cognition, reduced appetite, and weight reduction were the top four advantages mentioned by respondents.
Problems with additives are possible.
Many individuals may conclude that it is worthwhile to spend their money on supplements if they really provide the advantages that the businesses promise. However, throughout my investigation, I discovered several possible issues with both the claims made regarding supplement advantages and the businesses who produce them.
- Nutritional supplements are costly, if not outright prohibitively so. To begin, you’ll need 2 servings of Pruvit’s keto OS product each day if you follow Pruvit’s instructions to enter the n8tive zone (which is such a crude marketing term that it nearly makes me wince). That works up to approximately 60 servings each month, or $390 per month if you purchase straight from their website! In the instance of Pruvit, this is partially attributable to the company’s multi-level marketing system.
Personally, if I’m going to spend that much money on a product every month, it better be nearly perfect. I wish I could be grunting in caves because I’m so deep in my n8tive zone.
According to a consumer study, 31.5 percent of supplement consumers spend $25 to $50 per month on supplements, 19.3 percent spend $51 to $100, and 16 percent spend $101 to $150 per month. However, the proportion of individuals who spent more than this was smaller, with just 1.7 percent reporting monthly expenditure of more than $300.
- : Some businesses claim that their goods are a secret blend rather than disclosing the entire composition of their products. The issue is that although you may know the product’s components, you may not be aware of the amount, and therefore have no clue how much BHB you’re receiving for your money.
- Lack of science: While it may appear that ketone supplements are backed by a mountain of fantastic scientific evidence at first glance, closer examination reveals that many of the scientific articles cited on the sites refer to the benefits of endogenous ketosis or ketone esters rather than ketone salts.
Dr. Brianna Stubbs, a ketone researcher with a PhD in metabolic physiology from the University of Oxford, is currently the director of research for HVMN, a ketone esters business. She informed me that scientific studies on ketone salts and their effect on physical performance – one of the most commonly cited benefits of ketone salts – have shown at best no effect on physical performance, and that there are currently no peer-reviewed scientific studies of ketone salt products on the market.
- Marketing claims and tactics that are dubious: These businesses’ websites are full of advertising claims and marketing methods that are dubious. Here are several examples:
Why is the official website full of testimonials from individuals who claim to have lost a lot of weight by using Keto OS-Max by Prüvit if it isn’t a weight loss supplement, as the disclaimer claims? Ketnd’s website also has a lot of weight reduction success stories. I’ll explain why weight reduction promises are problematic later.
Real Ketones claims that by using their Kegenix Prime product, you may wave goodbye to restricted and difficult-to-follow ketones diets and let Kegenix take care of the rest. I start to smell a rat whenever I encounter a business that promises you can receive great health advantages without altering your food or lifestyle. Also, have a look at this Pruvit ad. There are some claims that ketones help you lose weight, however this is just not true (more on this later). He also claims that if you want to go into ketosis naturally, you must either exercise 10 times harder and for 10 times longer, or be one of the extreme individuals who biohack their bodies to get into ketosis, which may take weeks or months. That, in my opinion, is irresponsible. The keto diet may be simple and enjoyable, but in this video, switching to a healthy keto diet based on actual food seems to be severe and difficult, with an easy way out in the shape of a drink. That is just poor counsel.
I’d also want to highlight some of the information given by Dr. Angela Poff in the Pruvit representatives’ Community Rules document:
The majority of knowledge on the effects of ketosis comes from studies on the ketogenic diet, in which ketones are generated by the liver and used as the body’s primary fuel source. The ketogenic diet is presently being researched for its possible therapeutic benefits on a variety of illnesses and health issues. The primary rationale for the creation and study of exogenous ketones is because recent research is starting to demonstrate that many of the benefits seen with the ketogenic diet are mechanistically linked to ketones. However, since this is a relatively new technique, there isn’t much information on exogenous ketones. Exogenous ketones were shown to mimic the therapeutic benefits of a ketogenic diet in many preclinical investigations.
This, in my opinion, contradicts Prüvit’s explanation of the advantages of endogenous ketosis on their official website and in this video.
Brianna Stubbs also made the following point to me: Companies that sell ketone salts often utilize phrases like Dominic D’Agostino’s technique to advertise their goods. The patent for the technology utilized is owned by House of D’Agostino, although it is not connected with the product and does not necessarily support it. In many instances, naming a well-known keto specialist seems to be a marketing ploy to make the product appear more serious. On their website, Real Ketones offers an example.
- Additional components include: Caffeine is abundant in many supplements; the Pruvit supplement we examined had as much as a 16-ounce cup of coffee! Malic acid, which is renowned for its potential to boost energy and exercise tolerance, is also included in certain supplements. This raises a bothersome question: How do we know that the (expensive) BHB is producing this impact and not the other (cheap) components if the trial reveals an improvement in energy and physical performance?
The ketone formulations are tested by Jonathan, Emoke, Eric, and Giorgos (shown from left to right).
Full disclosure: I wasn’t entirely impartial on these items after doing some investigation, as you might guess. You may have caught a peek of it in the first half of our two-part film on the project (the second part can be seen at the top of this page!). While this is not a scientific laboratory research, we have structured the experiment to be as objective as possible. The aim was to provide as many chances as possible for the additions to show their stated advantages.
We created a test for each of the benefit claims we chose and enlisted the help of four members of our team to sample the supplements and be evaluated. Yonatan and Giorgos from the video department, Emoke from the revenue department, and Eric from the IT department were there. At the time of the test, we had a mix of individuals who were in spontaneous endogenous ketosis and those who weren’t.
What allegations have we looked into?
The claims we looked at were based on the most frequent uses of dietary supplements, as well as what was practical and possible to test on this site.
- Ketone levels in the blood: This may seem apparent, but we wanted to observe whether ketone levels in the blood rose after supplementation and if there were any variations between various brands of supplements. Ketone strips and the GlucoMen® LX Plus meter were used to test this.
Giorgos is measuring ketone levels in his blood.
- The tests included an attention test in which participants had to pay attention to small changes in the length of two lines and indicate when imperceptible changes occurred, as well as an attention concentration test in which participants had to press the correct button when the color of various circles on the screen changed. Quantified Mind provided the exams.
Giorgos takes a test to see whether he is mentally capable.
- On separate test days, do repetitions of the following exercises until they are exhausted: Flutter kicks (thanks to Dr. Benjamin Beekman, PhD, for his contribution to the creation of this portion of the experiment!) Push-ups, jump squats, triceps squats, burpees, and flutter kicks
Jonathan does push-ups until he is completely tired.
A questionnaire was also created to evaluate additional, more subjective characteristics. We had to ask the participants what they felt since these advantages are tough to evaluate. In the questionnaire, the following questions were asked:
- Confusion in the mind/head fog
Eric completes a questionnaire.
Why not try to shed some pounds?
Why haven’t we looked at supplement impacts on weight loss? First, we should have probably kept the experiments going for a lot longer to observe the weight changes. But there’s a reason that’s much more essential!
Returning to Pruvit’s video statement: Ketones are fat-burning compounds that help you lose weight. The weight loss promise is just false. Ketones are fuel molecules that the body’s cells may utilize to generate energy. When you consume ketones, they are burned. You won’t lose any weight.
For those interested in learning more, Stubbs and colleagues discovered that BHB decreases lipolysis (fat breakdown). Many additional variables promote lipolysis in endogenous ketosis, resulting in a state of balance and continuous lipolysis. However, since exogenous ketosis lacks these elements that promote ketosis, BHB consumption has the overall effect of reducing lipolysis.
Supplements that effectively decrease hunger pains may encourage individuals to eat less, resulting in weight reduction. We will investigate the effect of food supplements on the sensation of hunger in this experiment.
However, ketone supplements do not, at least not directly, induce weight reduction. Because of their weight increase, many individuals in my consumer survey stated they had stopped using supplements. This makes sense since ingesting ketones implies you’re consuming empty calories on top of everything else.
Which brands were taken into consideration?
We’ve chosen four prominent ketone supplement products to put to the test. The supplements chosen were mainly those that seemed to be the most popular and extensively utilized online. It’s worth noting that some businesses are somewhat more open than others. Here’s a quick rundown of the dietary supplement companies included in the study, as well as the product we tested:
Keto-OS Max, Maui Punch Flavor Pruvit: Keto-OS Max, Maui Punch Flavor Pruvit: Keto-OS Max, Mau
BHB content per serving: Unknown: personal concoction
The cost per serving is $6.50.
What exactly is multi-level marketing? Yes
Erythritol, L-Taurine, fermented L-Leucine, malic acid, natural taste, stevia, xanthan gum, and citric acid are among the other components.
Grape Flavor Ketone: Advanced Ketone Blend
BHB content per serving: 11.7 g of goBHBTM
The cost per serving is $2.67.
What exactly is multi-level marketing? No
Citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, beetroot extract, stevia, malic acid, and riboflavin are among the other components (colouring agent).
Ketones, exogenously alkaline, chocolate flavor, and sea salt are the perfect keto ingredients.
BHB content per serving: 11.38 g of goBHBTM
The cost per serving is $3.93.
What exactly is multi-level marketing? No
MCT oil powder, acacia fiber, cocoa powder, natural taste, stevia leaf extract, and monk fruit extract are among the other components.
Kegenix prime, Orange Blast taste is a true ketones product.
Unknown: own mixture*, amount of BHB per serving
The cost per serving is $2.00.
What exactly is multi-level marketing? Yes
MCT powder, citric acid, natural flavors, silica, guar gum, rebaudioside A, and beta-carotene are among the other components (color).
* We’re informed that Kegenix Prime includes 10g of the Kegenix PRIME ketone combination, but we’re not told how much of that 10g is BHB and how much is MCT powder (medium chain triglyceride).
What happened to cause that?
We conducted the exams over five days, with at least two days between each test to allow my colleagues to recuperate from each physical performance test. Because we took a placebo in addition to the four brands we examined, it took us five days (an artificially flavored, caffeine-free drink). One of the substances was a placebo, which our team members were unaware of. To rule out the idea that the increase in test results was attributable to individuals just becoming better over time, we gave each participant a different preparation each time.
After taking all of the exams, the participants drank a supplement, waited an hour, and then did all of the tests again. This would enable us to compare test findings before and after taking the supplement, as well as compare them to placebo results.
Prüvit’s 59-minute test, which suggests testing for ketones 45-60 minutes after supplementation, was the inspiration for the 1-hour test (mentioning 59 minutes instead of 60 minutes or 1 hour seems like another marketing ploy to me, by the way). Kegenix Prime’s packaging likewise claims ketosis in 60 minutes. Every day, at the same time, we tested.
As I previously said, this was not a scientific experiment performed under controlled laboratory settings, therefore we can only make tentative inferences from the results. However, performing tests in the way described above should provide most individuals a decent sense of how well ketone supplements show the amazing advantages they claim on the market, and offer a sufficient clear foundation for choosing whether or not to buy them.
The efficacy of ketone supplements is not very remarkable, as the tables show.
In this graphic, the first table displays the average outcomes of all ketone supplement brands combined together and compared to placebo.
The second table compares the various brands to one another and to placebos.
Exogenous ketones and placebo are compared in Table 1. The graph depicts the average overall change in the indicators examined before and after supplementation vs placebo.
Table 2 compares various exogenous ketones brands to a placebo. It depicts the total mean change in indicators assessed before to and after administration of the various ketone formulations vs placebo.
We categorized the supplement as neither better nor worse than the placebo if the findings for the supplement and placebo were within 0.2 (i.e., percent or mmol/L) of each other. We gave the winning sticker to the brand that outperformed placebo on each metric, except for physical performance, where none of the supplements outperformed placebo.
Blood ketone levels
It came as a complete shock. We anticipated ketone supplementation to raise blood ketone levels at the very least, however the average rise of 0.33 mmol/L was extremely modest. Pruvit’s Keto-OS Max had the greatest average rise in blood ketones, although it was just 0.6 mmol/L. Brianna Stubbs, a ketone researcher with whom I spoke, believes that increases of less than 2.0-3.0 mmol/L are unlikely to be significant.
I had the pleasure of directly interviewing Dr. Ryan Lowry. He does non-peer-reviewed research on several brands of ketone salts and is featured as an expert on the Pruvit website. He indicated that we had tested too soon after supplementation, explaining that ketones in the blood often peak 30 minutes after supplementation. However, as Pruwit points out on the packaging of Kegenix Prime in the article regarding the 59-minute test and the claim of achieving ketosis in 60 minutes, this is not the case. Also, do you really want to pay up to $390 per month for a product that gives you ketosis advantages in half an hour?
I also talked with Pruvit officials, who indicated that in order to reach greater ketone levels, it may be required to supplement for a few months. The usage of a product (or, in this instance, a bright pink drink with fake tastes) may be used to determine its quality. But I’d be hesitant to spend money on a two-month supply only to find out. Kegenix Prime from Real Ketones has been linked to a reduction in blood ketone levels. This isn’t a promising start, and we’ll return to it later.
Other chemicals that serve as markers
Ketone supplements were shown to be ineffective in a variety of different areas, including physical performance!
The ketone supplement reduced exercise capacity by 5.4 percent, while the caffeine-free, artificially sweetened drink I used as a placebo increased it by 20.3 percent: a significant difference in favor of the placebo. Before you go out and purchase a placebo, keep in mind that this study was not performed under completely controlled laboratory settings, and the sample size was too small to show that a placebo improves physical performance. However, we can state that there was no link between ketone supplementation and improved physical performance in this study. According to Brianna Stubbs, some of the research being done on new kinds of ketone salts is beginning to show promise in terms of physical performance, so there may be more good news in the future.
There were minor increases in mental performance and substantial improvements in mood. When compared to placebo, the supplementation resulted in a 1.25 percent improvement in mental performance and a 17.6 percent rise in mood.
Between the supplements and the placebo, there was virtually little difference in reported mental clarity.
When ketone supplements were used, energy levels dropped.
To be honest, we don’t think these small adjustments are all that important. You’d have to see a lot more increase in several metrics to persuade me that supplement expenditure is worthwhile.
Participants felt reduced hunger after taking supplements than after consuming a placebo. However, we doubt that this change is significant enough to affect food intake and, as a result, induce weight reduction as compared to not taking the supplement at all. Especially because BHB, as previously stated, inhibits lipolysis.
The placebo won in terms of taste, obtaining a score of 7/10 compared to 4.6/10 for the supplements. Exogenous ketone supplements must be sweetened for a variety of reasons, one of which is that the ketones themselves have a disagreeable taste (this is one of the reasons ketone esters are difficult to market).
The following graph depicts how the team members evaluated the taste of the various supplements:
Taste scores for placebo and various food supplement brands
Kegenix Prime: Are Exogenous Ketones Under the Influence?
The Kegenix Prime findings are especially impressive.
To begin, it’s intriguing that the Kegenix Prime supplement had such a good taste rating (almost as high as a placebo). Supplementing with Kegenix Prime did not increase ketone concentrations in the blood in our trial. In fact, while taking this supplement, ketones in the blood reduced by an average of 0.03 mmol/L.
Could Kegenix Prime’s superior taste and lack of impact on blood ketones indicate that it doesn’t contain much BHB? Remember that Kegenix Prime is a proprietary mix, thus you won’t know how much BHB is in it. Naturally, one wonders…
Take a look at Table 2 for a second. Kegenix Prime came out on top in four of the seven categories: mental performance, satiety, mental clarity, and vitality. It also scored best for physical performance when compared to the other supplements, but none of the supplements came out on top, with the placebo beating the others on this metric.
Kegenix Prime, on the other hand, had no effect on blood ketones! Ketone levels dropped by an average of 0.03 mmol/L in our testing. This brings up the question of additional substances added to supplements, which we addressed in the section on possible supplement issues.
The fact that a preparation that does not raise ketone levels in the blood at the same time outperforms other preparations in many ways indicates that any impact of the preparations may be attributable to the other substances they include.
I don’t believe a drum roll is required here….. We cannot suggest using these supplements based on my study of ketone supplement producers, user research, and personal experience. Personally, I can think of a lot of better ways to invest in my health. B. Purchase grass-fed beef and organic produce, or even purchase a bicycle and ride in the sun.
Above all, we think that you do not need to spend more money to improve your health. Eating genuine, naturally low-carb meals, getting adequate sleep, getting some exercise (free walking), and decreasing stress are all essential for overall health. To avoid having to take additional steps, many of you who completed the questionnaire mentioned these similar points in your explanations. I completely agree.
Of course, some people choose to take these supplements because they see a difference. Of course, it’s your decision, and this essay isn’t meant to humiliate or condemn anybody. However, I believe that for the vast majority of individuals, a low-carb, real-food diet is much more likely to deliver the advantages promised by supplements than supplements themselves.
Ketone supplements, for example, may play a significant role in the future, according to Dr. Ryan Lowry. For instance, for optimum sports performance or for individuals with brain injury who are unable to effectively metabolize glucose. I’m pleased that scientists are trying to create these alternatives, and as long as there’s a lot of peer-reviewed scientific study on goods in development, I’m optimistic about the future of ketone salts. There is currently no scientific backing for this claim.
When I questioned Dr. Brianna Stubbs about the scientific basis for ketone supplements, she brought up another crucial issue. She told me, “
It’s critical to clarify what being in ketosis entails. Ketone supplements will naturally put you in ketosis if being in ketosis implies having ketones in your blood. It is not, however, about being in an endogenous ketogenic state, that is, burning fat when on a ketogenic diet. Manufacturers of ketone salts will not participate in deceptive marketing on this topic if this difference is well defined. We need to get an agreement on what it means to be in ketosis, and then make sure that businesses start adopting that term.
I believe that misleading marketing is the issue here, and this is true of all commercial foods and health goods, not only keto supplements. Being a conscientious consumer entails being aware of and critical of marketing tactics used by businesses.
It’s critical to maintain your composure and avoid getting carried away. Maintain your objectivity and recognize that a business presenting you with information may just be using deceptive marketing to persuade you to purchase a product.
There is a lot of buzz around exogenous ketones, and for good reason. These are a new type of dietary supplement that are the result of new research into the mechanisms that regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Ketones are produced by the liver from the breakdown of fatty acids. Theoretically, as the body uses up fat stores for energy, the consumption of ketones should result in the production of ketones in the blood, which would in turn provide a source of energy for the brain.. Read more about best exogenous ketones 2021 and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I take exogenous ketones on keto diet?
There are many benefits to taking exogenous ketones on a ketogenic diet, including improved cognitive function and performance. However, there is not enough evidence yet to say whether or not they should be taken on a regular basis.
Do exogenous ketones help with keto flu?
Yes, exogenous ketones help with the keto flu.
What happens when you drink ketones?
Ketones are a byproduct of the breakdown of fat in your body. When you drink ketones, they replace glucose as your main fuel source and can be used by cells to produce energy.
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