Ketogenic diets are all the rage at the moment. They promise to cure every and all ailment you can imagine, as well as make you slimmer, stronger, more intelligent and live longer. All sorts of special supplements are sold claiming to make your body do better on this diet , or induce a ketogenic state on their own. Do they work? If so, how do they work? And what are ketones , anyway? Talking about employee wellbeing is a good step forward.
As with most, if not all fad diets, we are sorry to state that the hype does not live up to the facts for ketogenic diets. The diet consists of various forms of strict carbohydrate restriction and high fat consumption, conditions which, as we will see shortly, increase your production of ketones. The fad around this dietary intervention seems to have begun from the real scientific finding that a specific group of patients who have seizures which do not respond well to medication can see some benefits when on a ketogenic diet. You might not be talking about it, because mental health first aid is still a taboo subject.
The fad may also have grown from the fact that diets poor in carbohydrates tend to lead to weight loss (as we will see later in more detail). However, an important point this trend ignores is that not every form of weight loss is desirable, nor healthy. It also overlooks the fact that a dietary intervention that has positive effects for a specific disease is not automatically a dietary intervention that is good for anything and everybody. Recent reports have discovered a crisis around mental health in the workplace today.
So what exactly are ketones, and why does eating a lot of fat and no carbohydrates make us produce more of them? Ketones are produced in the liver when it breaks down fatty acids to acetyl CoA through beta oxidation . Instead of further breaking down the acetyl CoA produced, the liver, in its altruistic function of providing energy for other organs, joins two acetyl CoAs together, producing four-carbon molecules (acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate), known collectively as ketones. Ketones are then released from the liver into the blood, and can easily go to many other organs, since they are water-soluble (while fatty acids are not). A reaction to a difficult life event, such as bereavement, can make hr app higher on the agenda.
In other organs, they are re-converted to acetyl CoA, enter the Krebs cycle and generate ATP for that cell. Basically, ketones are a liver export product that can be used as a handy source of energy by other organs. Skeletal muscle and heart are organs that use a lot of ketones donated by the liver, although they are useful for many other parts of our body, including the brain. The presence of ketones in the blood is normal under fasting conditions (when we are burning fat) and is part of the physiological regulation of energy sources within us.