Often when we think of the body’s natural energy source, we think of glucose, or sugar. Now we have to re-think everything we have learned in the past. Ketones are our alternative natural energy source.
We know that our body needs to use sugar as a fuel, but what many people don’t realize is that fats can be an equally, and even superior, fuel source for the body. The process of ketosis refers to the body’s ability to use fats as its primary source of energy, over glucose.
When the body burns fat, it produces three bi-products of fat breakdown, β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate (ACA) and acetone. These bi-products are called Ketones. This is a naturally occurring process and it’s what allows our bodies to survive during times of food restriction.
When an individual begins to follow a low carbohydrate diet, the body has to look for another fuel source, and it turns to fatty acids and fat stores to provide that much needed energy. The liver breaks down the fat, and releases ketones into the blood to be used by the brain and other organs to produce energy.
The interesting thing about ketones is that BHB may be a more efficient source of fuel for the brain than glucose, and because ketones are water-soluble substances, any excesses are eliminated through the urine (BHB and ACA), or the breathe(acetone).