As I wrote about last month in my article on “Four New, Cutting-Edge Ways To Easily Shift Your Body Into Fat-Burning Mode & Ketosis” a special kind of compound called “ketone esters” seem to be taking the sports and biohacking world by storm.
Scientific American published the article “Ketone-Based Sports Drink Promises Edge for Athletes”, claiming an extra 2% of energy from the use of ketones, which is the equivalent of 60 yards in a 30 minute row, along with a world record broken in a lab test of ketones.
…I’ve even written about my own forays into ketosis for everything from Ironman triathlon to freediving in the article “How To Get Into Ketosis“.
In today’s podcast, I take an even deeper dive into ketosis and specifically focus on a type of ketosis supplement called “ketone salts”, also known as “synthetic ketones”.
My guest is Dr. Richard Veech. Dr. Veech is one of the world’s foremost experts on ketosis, and the Senior Researcher and Laboratory Chief at The National Institutes of Health, the inventor of the ketone ester, and has worked for the last 47 years studying cellular energy and homeostasis.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-The fastest way to get into ketosis…
-Why humans are the only animal that can truly get into ketosis…
-Why Dr. Veech believes that the exogenous ketones currently on the market can be extremely dangerous…
-Why a “true” ketone ester is actually a salt free and non racemic (D-bhb) drink that replicates the actual secondary fuel that the body produces during times of starvation…
-Why a non-racemic, non-salt version of ketones so expensive ($3000+ a bottle!)…
-The truth about something called “NAD” as the next big anti-aging drug…
-Which supplements Dr. Veech would use for anti-aging…
-Whether or not coconut oil can truly work for curing Alzheimer’s as some may claim…
-How Dr. Veech received DARPA funding and created a new fuel for the troops…
-Dr. Veech’s most recommended method of measuring ketones…
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
- Lendvai N, Pawlosky R, Bullova P, Eisenhofer G, Patocs A, Veech RL, Pacak K. Succinate-to-fumarate ratio as a new metabolic marker to detect the presence of SDHB/D-related paraganglioma: initial experimental and ex vivo findings. Endocrinology. 2014;155(1):27-32.
- Veech RL. Ketone esters increase brown fat in mice and overcome insulin resistance in other tissues in the rat.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013;1302:42-8.
- Nakagawa T, Ge Q, Pawlosky R, Wynn RM, Veech RL, Uyeda K. Metabolite regulation of nucleo-cytosolic trafficking of carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP): role of ketone bodies. J Biol Chem. 2013;288(39):28358-67.
- Kashiwaya Y, Bergman C, Lee JH, Wan R, King MT, Mughal MR, Okun E, Clarke K, Mattson MP, Veech RL. A ketone ester diet exhibits anxiolytic and cognition-sparing properties, and lessens amyloid and tau pathologies in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2013;34(6):1530-9.
- Srivastava S, Baxa U, Niu G, Chen X, Veech RL. A ketogenic diet increases brown adipose tissue mitochondrial proteins and UCP1 levels in mice. IUBMB Life. 2013;65(1):58-66.
A Response from Dr. Dominic D’ Agostino:
Veech’s comments on racemic BHB salts have created confusion. Henri Brunengraber (Veech’s colleague) demonstrated the metabolism of racemic ketones and BHB. S-BHB goes to acetyl CoA and inter-converts to R-BHB. Lots of data, even tracer studies.
No data supports Veech’s claim they are “dangerous” or even “ineffective”. Veech thinks dietary fat is bad and “acetoacetate will stop the heart”. Obviously that is not the case, even with a very high dose to animals
I have served in government workshops with Veech, and for these reasons much of what he says gets dismissed.
When serving on an panel for FDA GRAS, there was NO scientist or toxicologist that could find a study consistent with Veech’s claim that racemic BHB salts are dangerous, unless consumed in very high amounts. Of course ALL things are dangerous if dosed high enough.. caffeine, tylenol, etc. will kill you if dosed high.
Many studies show racemic BHB salts are safe in high doses, even in kids given pure sodium BHB over periods of years. Treating MADD is a good example. Check out the following studies:
Highly efficient ketone body treatment in multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency-related leukodystrophy.
Gautschi M, Weisstanner C, Slotboom J, Nava E, Zürcher T, Nuoffer JM.
Pediatr Res. 2015 Jan;77(1-1):91-8. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.154. Epub 2014 Oct 7.
-Favorable outcome after physiologic dose of sodium-D,L-3-hydroxybutyrate in severe MADD.
Van Rijt WJ, Heiner-Fokkema MR, du Marchie Sarvaas GJ, Waterham HR, Blokpoel RG, van Spronsen FJ, Derks TG.
Pediatrics. 2014 Oct;134(4):e1224-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4254. Epub 2014 Sep 22.
PMID: 25246622 Free Article
-D,L-3-hydroxybutyrate treatment of multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD).
Van Hove JL, Grünewald S, Jaeken J, Demaerel P, Declercq PE, Bourdoux P, Niezen-Koning K, Deanfeld JE, Leonard JV.
Lancet. 2003 Apr 26;361(9367):1433-5.
A note/correction from Mary Newport, who wrote:
Dr. Veech said that Steve started taking the ester two months after he started the coconut oil because it was no longer working. Actually it was two years. Steve improved steadily and very significantly over the first year and stabilized the second year but then began to have new problems after he was on a clinical trial drug for 5-7 months that turned out to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease. He started coconut oil in May 2008 and the ketone ester at end of April 2010.
Do you have questions, comments, or feedback about ketone salts or anything else that Dr. Veech and I discuss? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply.