Stop! Do not take a ketone supplement until you’ve read this article. You don’t want to ruin your kidneys, waste your money or embarrass yourself by trying a fad keto supplement that might not work for you.
Sure, there are a lot of interesting products on the market, but are ketone supplements safe? Finding the right information is important, but with so many different opinions out there, how do you find out whether a product is right for you?
As you search for ways to improve your ketosis experience, you might wonder whether a supplement could help you fight keto flu or lose weight faster. There are a lot of interesting products on the market, but are ketone supplements safe?
We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll address some of the toughest issues and give you the answers you need to make the best decisions for your body, your wallet and your ego.
Question #1: Are Ketones Safe for Everyone?
Safety with ketones depends on the level of ketones you have in your blood. For most people, maintaining safe ketone levels is no big deal, even while on a ketogenic diet. You can circumvent problems by drinking enough water and by keeping your electrolytes balanced.
If ketone levels do get too high, you might get a condition called ketoacidosis. This is when too many ketones in the body make the blood become acidic. It’s not a normal reaction for most healthy people, but some populations are more at risk than others.
Are ketones safe for Type 1 diabetics?
While ketosis can help you manage your blood sugar and other issues if you have Type 2 diabetes, folks with Type 1 diabetes struggle more. This is partly because Type 1 diabetics often have some kidney damage.
If you have Type 1 diabetes and you get ketoacidosis, you can damage your kidneys even further. Comas and sometimes even death can result from ketoacidosis.
Treatments of insulin and glucose may help get symptoms back under control, but its best if you can avoid ketoacidosis altogether. This might mean avoiding ketone supplements. This rule applies to anyone who has chronic or underlying kidney disease.
- Raspberry Ketone and Diabetes 2: Don’t Supplement With Exogenous Ketone Supplements Until You’ve Read This Article!
Question #2: Are Ketones Safe For People Who Don’t Have Kidney Disease, or Will They Cause Kidney Damage?
There’s a small risk for people who aren’t Type One diabetics to develop ketoacidosis. This happens most often when your blood is already in a somewhat acidic state. Alcoholism, starvation, and an overactive thyroid can contribute to this condition.(1)
If you do get ketoacidosis, it can tax your kidneys. However, you can generally keep ketones at a safe level by drinking enough water. This helps flush extra ketones out of your system.(2)
Ketosis and kidney stones
Some people have said that ketosis raises your risk of getting kidney stones. This can happen if you’re in ketosis and you allow yourself to get dehydrated. When this happens, the level of protein and uric acid can raise. This can contribute to the formation of kidney stones.(3)
Too much uric acid can also cause gout, a painful condition in which the uric acid forms needle-sharp urate crystals that can cause pain and inflammation.
Ketosis and low blood pressure
One of the issues with kidneys and ketosis is that you tend to lose a lot of water when you start burning converting fat into ketones for energy. This is because the glycogen stores you’re depleting are stored with water: three parts water to one part glycogen.
That’s a lot of water to flush out of your system. Often it takes your sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium with it. Without those electrolytes, it’s difficult for the kidneys to regulate your bodily fluids, and you might end up with a case of low blood pressure.
As with other conditions, staying hydrated and balancing your electrolytes with specially-formatted supplements can prevent this.
On the flip side, a low-carb, high-fat diet can help people with chronic kidney disease. Also, the blood-pressure lowering mechanism can actually be safer and healthier if you already suffer from high blood pressure.(4,5)
And that brings us to our next question.
Question #3: Are Ketones Safe For Your Heart and Cardiovascular System?
One study shows that in advanced heart failure, the ability to use ketones in certain tissues is impaired. Another study shows that failing hearts rely on ketones for energy because they are energy starved.(6,7)
While the study doesn’t conclude that the ability to utilize ketones would have prevented heart failure, it does open the doors for more study.
Meanwhile, a ketogenic diet has positive impacts on some cardiovascular health markers. Burning ketones for fuel helps with obesity through weight loss, which is a major factor in heart disease. It also helps improve blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, lowers HDL cholesterol and improves insulin sensitivity.(8)
More studies are needed, but from here, ketones look both safe and beneficial for your heart and cardiovascular system.
Question #4: Are Ketones Safe for Weight Loss?
Because a ketogenic diet is so restrictive, some people argue that they aren’t effective. People who go off keto diets tend to gain back the weight they lost and then some. To maintain health benefits like increased cardiovascular health, it’s important to keep weight at a healthy level.(9)
However, when it comes to the weight loss itself, ketones can help kick your body into ketosis. This can result in weight loss and all the health benefits that come with that.
One study focused on the long-term benefits of a ketogenic diet. It concluded that there aren’t any significant ill effects from ketones used while losing weight. At the same time, there were several improvements in a variety of health markers for those who participated in the study.(10)
The takeaway: losing weight using ketones can be both safe and beneficial.
Question #5: Are Ketones Safe to Supplement With If You’ve Got Keto Flu?
If you’re familiar with the keto flu, you know it’s your body’s response to shifting away from carbs as fuel. It takes a while for your body to adjust to burning ketones. During that time, you might feel tired and weak or experience some foggy thinking.
The short answer is yes. MCT oils are quickly converted to ketones in the liver. They’re then available for energy for both your brain and your body. The extra fuel for your brain clears away the fuzzy thinking, and your body can function again.
There’s one issue you might have: if you’ve never taken MCT oil supplements before, you can experience stomach cramps or diarrhea if you jump in too quickly. Start with small doses and work up to the amounts that work best for your body.
Some people have to be more careful with ketone levels than others. However, the benefits of ketogenic diets and the ketones they produce outweigh the costs.
So are ketones safe? When they’re utilized responsibly, it’s a definite yes.