Ketosis: What is it?

The human body responds to the energy sources we provide it in many different ways.  The primary source for energy comes from the carbohydrates and sugars we eat.  Ketosis happens when we use fat storages instead of carbohydrates and sugars.

When Ketosis occurs the body shifts from using ingested carbs and sugars as its primary energy source to using fat stores.  Ketones show up in our blood as a byproduct of this process.  This occurs in two main ways.  The first is through the decreased ingestion of carbohydrates and sugars.  The decreased amounts of available carbohydrates and sugars in the blood stream makes the body seek out alternate energy resources from fat stores.  The second way that ketosis occurs is from decreased intake and is commonly referred to as starvation ketosis.  There is not enough caloric intake to supply the energy output.  Starvation ketosis occurs regardless of the proportion of carbohydrates or sugars ingested.  There is simply not enough ingested fuel to provide the energy needed to function so the body again relies on fat stores to produce the energy that it needs.  In fact, most of us enter a mild form of starvation ketosis at night when we sleep.

How do I know if I'm in Ketosis?

Signs and Symptoms OR Test for Ketones in blood
  • short-term fatigue
  • headache
  • bad breath
  • weight loss
 

blood meter

 

 

Ketosis is one of many ways our body provides energy needed for survival.    Ketosis can be effective for some and not others as a way to lose weight.  Dietary needs are varied depending on the output of the individual. 

References

Fuehrlein, BS, Rutenberg, MS, Silver, JN, et al. (2008). Differential metabolic effects of saturated versus unsaturated fats in ketogenic diet.

                  Journal of Clinical Endocrinal Metabolism. 89(4). 1641-1645. Retrieved on 1/23/2017. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15070924.

                  2003-031796

Johnston, C., Tjonn, S., Swan, P., White, A., Hutchins, H., Sears, B.,. (2006). Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over 

                  nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.  The American Journal Clinical Nutrition.  83(54), 1055-1061.  Retrieved on 1/23/2018

                  Retrieved from: ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/5/1055.long