Weight Loss Knowledge

Do Exogenous Ketones Work?

exogenous ketones

As the keto diet becomes more and more popular, we are seeing more and more keto-related products flood the market. One of the most popular and well-known is exogenous ketones supplements, which claim to enhance the effects of the keto diet and even allow you to get some of the benefits of ketosis without restricting carbohydrates.

What are Exogenous Ketones?

You may have heard the terms endogenous and exogenous thrown around in connection with keto supplements, but what do they actually mean?

Well, endogenous ketone bodies are naturally produced by the liver in the body as a result of limiting carbohydrates and sugars. The word comes from the Greek word, endon, which means “internal”.

But scientists have also discovered a way to give people ketone bodies, usually in the form of a drink, which means you can bring ketone bodies into your body from the outside. These are exogenous ketones, which come from the Greek word exo, meaning “outside”.

Do Exogenous Ketones Really Work? 

Griffin, RDN, of eNRG Performance in Littleton, Colorado, says it depends on your expectations. You can’t just take them, eat a high-carb diet and expect magic to happen.” The problem is that a lot of people associate [using exogenous ketones] with ‘this means I’m going to burn fat,’ and those don’t actually go together.” she says, “Ketones by themselves don’t make you burn fat.”

Instead, they should be seen as a supplement to a keto diet. They can enhance the kind of state you achieve through dietary choices. But, yes, you still have to put in the work.

While research involving keto supplements is still in the early stages, it seems promising. A study published in February 2018 in Obesity suggests that exogenous ketones can lower hunger hormones and act as an appetite suppressant. This can lead to weight loss because if we don’t feel hungry, we might not eat as much as we used to.

Another study published in February 2018 in the Journal of Physiology found that drinking ketone supplements may lower blood sugar. The study was conducted on healthy people, but it may be helpful if similar results are found in people with type 2 diabetes.

Benefits of Exogenous Ketones

By clicking on the websites of different companies that sell keto supplements, potential customers will encounter many different claims about the benefits of taking keto. They include:

  • Increased fat burning/ accelerated weight loss
  • Maximized cognition/ improved focus
  • Increased energy
  • Better mood
  • Improvement in athletic performance
  • Appetite suppression
  • Help getting back into ketosis after consuming carbs
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Better sleep

A survey was conducted  among ketone supplements users as background research for the experiment (many thanks to the 638 users who responded!) . In the survey, 28% of respondents reported that they did take keto supplements. These respondents reported that the top four benefits they experienced were increased energy, improved focus/cognition, reduced hunger, and weight loss.

The Potential Downsides of Exogenous Ketones

A serving of exogenous ketones will set you back only 100 calories or less, but most people who’ve tried them say they taste awful. And they’re a bit expensive.  

Because ketone salts are usually made up of ketones bound to sodium, they can be dangerous for people with high blood pressure. There could be an issue there with heart health and heart function — that would be one concern.

The supplements may cause stomach distress. Some of these can really tear up our guts. Downing an entire serving may send you running for the bathroom. To reduce that risk, start small — maybe one-third of a serving or one-half of a serving until your body adjusts.

The Bottom Line

There’s some support that exogenous ketones can be helpful for people already dutifully following the keto diet — but research has been limited. One thing we know for sure: These aren’t a get-thin-quick solution. People are drawn to a quick, easy fix, kind of a magic bullet supplement, and it’s not that this won’t contribute to weight loss, but it’s not that magic bullet.

You have to put the effort in. If you want to be in ketosis, do the ketogenic diet. You cannot just relax and eat whatever you want and automatically lose weight with this or any other product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *