Exogenous ketones – The big test, do they work?
Check… one, two.
Yeah, didn’t feel much at all actually.
The taste of it was maybe
the most impactful.
Didn’t taste great… yeah.
As the keto diet gets more popular
a number of keto related products
are coming onto the market.
Exogenous ketones are one of them,
a supplement that claims to boost up
your level of ketosis
and by doing so, increase physical
and mental performance,
improve mood and energy levels
and reduce hunger and brain fog.
But do they work?
With the help of some
of the DietDoctor team members
we’re going to put
some ketone supplements to the test
and find out if they really do have
all the benefits they claim to.
Hi my name is Kim.
I’m here in the DietDoctor kitchen
Today’s the day one
of the ketone supplements experiment,
so what we’re doing here now
is we’re going to mix
the different supplements that we have.
We’re only going to give them a number
so that our test subjects don’t know
which supplement is which.
And that’s also really important
because one of the supplements
is actually not a supplement.
It’s a control.
We’re going to use this sweetened drink that
says it’s got natural colors and flavors
to have something that tastes a bit like
a ketone supplement, but isn’t actually one.
And our subjects are not going to know
which one is which.
If there are any effects
from the ketone supplements,
whether those effects
are down to the ketone supplements
or whether there are some other factors
that’s causing them.
So this is the number one.
It’s the Prüvit KETO//OS Max.
Number two is going to be the control.
And next we have a Ketōnd Advanced
ketone blend, that’s number three.
We have Perfect Keto’s chocolate
sea salt based ketone supplement.
And then we also have this powder
from Kegenix Prime.
So we’re just going to mix those
according to the manufacturer’s instructions
and then there will be ready
for our subjects to drink.
Each day of the experiment
I mixed four of the drinks,
one for each of the team members
We ran the experiment over five days
so that each person tested each drink once.
Now we have our four supplements ready.
This is number one, the Prüvit KETO Max.
This is number two, which is the control.
This is number three,
which actually needs topping up.
That’s the Ketōnd Advanced.
And then this is
the Perfect Keto chocolate sea salt one.
Our test subjects think
that there are five ketone supplements.
They don’t know
that one of them is a control.
So we try to make this one to taste as much
as possible like the other ketone supplements.
So we’re now going to go over
to our team members.
We’re going to do a physical test,
a mental cognition test
and a ketone test, both before
and after taking these supplements.
So let’s go over and meet the team
and we’ll get the test started.
It’s time to meet
our team DietDoctor test subjects.
So welcome to the DietDoctor couches.
This is where we hang out,
have our coffee breaks,
but today we’re here
because we’re going to start rolling
with the ketone supplements experiments.
So Giorgos, you’re going to start
with cognition today.
Emöke, you’re going to start with push-ups.
Jonatan, you’re going to start
with the questionnaire
and Erik, you’re going to start
with testing your ketones.
-Let’s do it.
Over five different days
the team members will run through tests
both before and after
taking the supplements
to check blood ketones,
physical performance and mental cognition.
They’ll also answer a questionnaire
asking about hunger,
energy, mood, brain fog and taste.
We’ll compare the results
to measure the effects of the supplements.
That was the sweetest thing
I’ve had in like a year and a half.
A full dose.
I recommend to friends and family.
Even though I liked the taste
of the supplement, it was surprisingly good,
after I drank it I felt quite a bit nauseous
and also I got extremely hungry.
It was like a monstrous hunger
that came over me.
I haven’t felt like that in months
I would say.
So I didn’t have such a positive experience
to be honest.
Yeah, didn’t feel much at all actually.
The taste of it was maybe
the most impactful.
It didn’t taste great.
The supplement I tested was…
I think the flavor was chocolate.
It didn’t say but that’s what I reckoned.
I didn’t feel perfect later in the evening,
but a couple of hours later it was okay.
I felt nothing special at all.
The only thing I felt
was a little bit of hunger
and it didn’t feel very nice to my stomach.
That lasted for a few hours I think,
until I went home.
It was very sweet
and I would probably blame
this nauseous feeling to the sweetener,
because I’m not used to that.
But again, I don’t know, I’m just saying.
I didn’t feel very much, to be honest.
I don’t know what the reason was for it,
but maybe I felt just a bit less energetic.
I had this small nauseous feeling,
just a tiny sensation.
I tend to be suspicious of companies
that promoted supplements
as an easy alternative
to lifestyle changes.
Ryan Lowery does research
on ketone supplements
and he is listed as a specialist
on Prüvis website.
I wanted to ask him how he recommends
using the supplements.
I think real food and whole foods is key,
it’s a priority.
I think getting people closer and closer
to that is absolutely essential.
The key is also to figure out how to make
this lifestyle sustainable.
I’d rather provide someone
with tools and resources
to make sure that they are able
to sustain this for a long-term,
rather than, “Hey, I’m just going to do
this diet for a couple of weeks
and then go back to my old ways.”
I think ketones can be
one of those options.
But make sure you’re not utilizing those
every single day
and relying on them as a crutch
and eating all these sweets
and sugar replacement things all the time.
Error number four.
Suck on their own blood.
It’s down, out, back and up.
That was 49.
How many did you? Dude?
-I did 49.
-Oh my God.
-How many did you do?
Could you say the number?
You don’t want to hear it, Giorgos.
It was only 51.
It’s the end of the experiment.
So what did that test subjects think
about the experiment?
Well, I thought it was pretty fascinating
because I didn’t know what to expect.
And I think probably…
maybe or maybe not…
I was one of the participants
with the least bias so to speak
knowing that there should’ve been
some sort of drastic improvements
both physically and mentally
and not sure that that ever happened.
So I actually made a wild guess
which one was the placebo
and it turned out I was right.
It was obviously the one
that had the best taste.
I would recommend these ketone supplements
to my friends and family…
Once they have so much money
they just don’t know what else to spend it on.
It was kind of fun to do the experiment
for the science, right?
I don’t think I would be able to tell
any difference from the results
on either one.
Even though one was a placebo.
But I don’t know, for some people
it might work better than for me.
Yeah, it was fun to be part of it.
For sure I was very curious.
I still am very curious about like seeing
the final result of the experiment with it.
It was just fun to do it, you know,
in a random day here,
all of us, colleagues and friends
just taste some supplements.
And you know, see what happens.
Well, I can tell for sure that
I haven’t noticed any positive effects,
but negative effects
maybe it was one, for sure, maybe two,
if I try to look back and remember now,
maybe there were two supplements
that made my stomach a little bit upset.
All of the five days that we did the ketone
supplements experiment I was fasting,
so I took all the supplements
on a fasted stomach.
I didn’t really enjoy any of it.
Well, it was fun competing
with some of the other employees
like when doing the physical activities.
I could watch the difference
in ketones afterwards.
Some of them were better, of course.
But aside from that, no.
From maybe one of two of them
I noticed that I got this bit of nausea
and I can’t say that I felt like that
with all of them.
So yeah, that was probably the only thing.
We were unable to show you
that the supplements had much effect
on any of the markers we tested.
On average there were small increases
in mental performance
and moderate increases in mood
when comparing the supplements
as a group to the placebo.
There was no difference in brain fog and
there was a small decrease in energy levels.
In fact the supplements were associated
with a big decrease in physical performance
and even more surprisingly blood ketones
had only increased by an average of 0.3
one hour after taking the supplement.
You can see the full writeup
of the experiment
plus the breakdown of the results
for the individual brands on DietDoctor.com.
What do you think about the way
that ketone supplements are marketed?
So unfortunately ketone supplements
when they are brought to market
are marketed as,
“Hey, drink this and lose weight”.
And that’s really not the intent
and that’s really not what they do.
And I am glad that now
more and more research is coming out
showing that, “Here’s the real benefits
of exogenous ketones.
Here is where they may have application.”
It’s one of the reasons
we’re looking into traumatic brain injury
and some of these neurological deficits
where a lot of it
is impaired glucose metabolism.
And if you provide a fuel source
that is superior, like ketones,
that your brain can still take up and utilize,
you do see improvement.
So that’s where the research needs to go,
I think there’s a lot more being done
in the right way scientifically,
to really analyze
what they do do, what they don’t do,
but people just need to be careful
when they see these claims being brought out
like, “Hey, drink this and you’re instantly
going to lose weight.”
That’s not the intent.
Nothing in the world that you take,
that you’re going to be able to drink
and instantly lose weight,
I haven’t seen any product in my entire life
that can do that.
You don’t need to spend money
on products to revolutionize your health.
Just enjoy real,
delicious, low-carb food,
get plenty of sleep, some exercise
and reduce stress.
And remember, when the way a product
is marketed sounds too good to be true…
it probably is.