Are Exogenous Ketones Safe and Effective?

People with weight loss goals leave no stone unturned. From spending hours in the gym to trying different diet plans, they do a lot to get rid of fat on their bodies. The ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, is the most talked-about diet plan for weight loss. This high fat and low carb diet encourages ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body uses fat as the main source of energy as your body no longer gets carbohydrates in an adequate amount. 

In this state, your body produces ketones in the process of burning fat. Your body uses these substances for energy.

Many people find it difficult to stick to this highly restrictive diet. As a result, they fall short of achieving the state of ketosis. In such cases, people use exogenous ketones. These supplements make your diet less restrictive and may help in achieving ketosis. So far, no research shows that these supplements are as effective as a keto diet meal plan. These supplements also don't go through evaluations by regulatory agencies for safety and effectiveness. Your body naturally produces ketones when you stick to your keto diet meal plan.

The following are the different types of over the counter exogenous ketones: 

  • Ketone esters
  • Ketone salts

Ketone esters

Ketosis periods may be longer than your keto diet plan when you include these exogenous ketones in your diet. You may not like the strong, unpleasant taste of these supplements. They are also very expensive.

Ketone salts

These supplements are manufactured by adding ketone salts to sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. You can find ketone salts in different forms, like powders, pills and drinks. These electrolytes have important roles to play in your body. However, these exogenous ketones can increase the levels of electrolytes. This is not good for your health as it can cause kidney disease. Your body may struggle to regulate electrolytes. Your body will take less time to enter ketosis when you are using these supplements. However, your body will not be able to maintain this state for longer as compared to your keto diet meal plan.

In addition to ketone esters and ketone salts, there are some other supplements that can have similar effects. However, medium chain triglycerides are not exogenous ketones. After your body absorbs MCTs, your liver converts them into ketones.

You can not depend on medium chain triglycerides only to enter the metabolic state of ketosis. You need to take exogenous ketones supplements or follow your keto meal plan to achieve ketosis. 


Exogenous ketone supplements can cause:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Extreme stomach upset
  • Low blood pressure

The sodium content of ketone salts is not safe for people with high blood pressure. Therefore, it is advised to speak to a dietitian to evaluate your health and goals before you switch to a keto plan. The Keto diet can cause dehydration and keto flu. Therefore, when you are looking for a keto meal provider, make sure that the meal provider can create a personalized keto diet meal plan with your health, taste preferences and weight loss goals in mind.

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