Posted in Corrective Exercise, Ketogenic Life, Of Heart and Mind

Colder Temperatures Positively Affect Your Metabolism

Have you ever heard of BAT? Brown adipose tissue?

There exists two forms of fat in the human body: white fat and brown fat. The Scientific American shares that white fat cells store energy in the form of a single large, oily droplet that is otherwise relatively immobile. On the other hand, brown fat cells contain many smaller droplets, as well as energy machines known as mitochondria. Only in recent years have researchers found ways to convert white fat to brown fat. Having more active brown fat present can improve insulin sensitivity to help banish type 2 diabetes and heighten the body’s metabolism to reduce body weight.

Amongst multiple research studies, it is unanimous that lower temperatures force the body to induce thermogenesis, the heat generation that increases your body’s core temperature in order to bring it to homeostasis. When this takes place, white fat can then act like brown fat, otherwise called “beige” fat.

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Luckily, these temperatures do not have to be low enough to cause muscle quivering. In 2013, Japanese researchers had 12 young men with lower than average brown fat amounts to sit in a 63 degree Fairenheit room for two hours a day for six weeks. After six weeks, those 12 men were burning an extra 289 calories and PET-CT scans verified the heightened quantity of brown fat cells. They believe that exposure to these colder temperatures over six weeks increased the activity of a gene named UCP1, which seems to guide the conversion of white fat into beige fat. They also understand that exercise helps to increase UCP1 in conjunction with a hormone called irisin that helps convert white fat to beige fat.

A study supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2014 had 5 healthy men reside in a clinical research unit for 4 months. They would do their normal daily activities during get day then return to their private room for at least 10 hours each night. The temperature of the room was set to 24 °C (75 °F) during the first month, 19 °C (66 °F) the second month, 24 °C again for the third month, and 27 °C (81 °F) the fourth and last month. Each month, the men underwent extensive evaluation, including energy expenditure testing, muscle and fat biopsies, and PET/CT scanning of an area of the neck and upper back region to measure brown fat volume and activity.

After a month of exposure to 19 °C (66 °F), the participants showed a 42% increase in brown fat volume and a 10% increase in fat metabolic activity. During the following month of neutral temperature, these alterations returned to near baseline, and then completely reversed during the month of exposure to 27 °C (81 °F). All the changes occurred independently of seasonal changes.The increase in brown fat following cold exposure was accompanied by improved insulin sensitivity after a meal during which volunteers were exposed to mild cold. The extended exposure to mild cold also resulted in significant changes in metabolic hormones such as leptin and adiponectin.

Yu Hua Tseng, Ph.D., the Principal Investigator in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center, says that “brown fat is a natural defense system for obesity, diabetes and related diseases or conditions.” Because of the supporting research, the idea of activating brown fat as a way to combust this excess energy is now an attractive area of research for developing new treatments to help combat obesity and various metabolic diseases. Increasing your metabolic baseline by activating brown fat could be the key to combating such diseases or conditions.

Imagine this: exercise while being exposed to colder temperatures. George King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center, recommend combining these known brown-fat activators by working out in the cold to get the maximum benefit. By doing so, you’d be revving up your conversion of white to beige fat, in turn burning more calories and improving insulin sensitivity!

Season’s Greetings,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis

Frequently, I encounter medical professionals who have a negative connotation associated with the words “ketosis” and “ketones”. Why is that?

In school, medical students are taught that ketones are present in the body when a diabetic patient is succumbing to kidney failure because of the excess presence of ketones in the bloodstream. With that knowledge, it seemed unfathomable how ketones could possibly be beneficial or even therapeutic. However, there’s something missing here. The aforementioned situation is a state called ketoacidosis.

In this state of ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels are above 10mmol AND blood glucose levels are high. The body becomes unable to utilize glucose for fuel; that glucose stays in the body and fat is broken down to create ketones for fuel. Then, “without insulin to control the amount of ketones produced during this process, an excessive amount is produced.” This is a vicious cycle. On the flip side, in a state of ketosis, optimal blood ketone levels are between 0.5 and 3 mmol AND blood glucose levels are stabilized.

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Can you see the difference there?

In a state of ketoacidosis, the body struggles to use both glucose and ketones as a fuel source, and is soon affected by this toxic state. Insulin and glucagon are unstable.

In a state of ketosis, the body is utilizing ketones as the primary fuel source with assistance from glucose as need be. The use of dual fuel is the ideal metabolism for the majority of the population. Reference my other articles to see why this concept of dual fuel is so important in your health and longevity.

To a better fuel source,

Coral A.J. Gibson

 

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Is Ketosis Safe During Pregnancy?

Absolutely.

I should preface this article by saying: this is not medical advice and any information provided should be discussed with your doctor prior to making a change in your diet or supplementation.

Now, this is a hot topic amongst new moms in the community who are learning about the benefits of ketosis. They are wondering, “but is it safe for me and my baby?”

The mother will experience all the beauties of ketosis for herself. And the baby, will in turn receive these ketones through the placenta. An interesting fact is that the mother will actually become more insulin resistant towards the end of gestation to force a push of nutrients to the fetus through the placenta. This is when the ketogenic diet and exogenous ketones are needed more than ever. Primarily, it will help the mother curb cravings that would spike insulin; and secondarily, it will ensure the fetus gets everything it needs to physiologically grow at the capacity it needs to before birth.

Similarly , Maria Emmerich shares the science behind breastfeeding and why it’s even more beneficial for the baby when mom is in ketosis. Children are born into a state of ketosis. Breast milk is naturally high in fat, which will reinforce the infant being in ketosis and becoming keto-adapted. This will help the child’s brain develop more efficiently. Coconut oil increases lauric acid in the breast milk, which is a rare medium chain fatty acid that promotes a healthy metabolism.

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You know what’s even better? The mother in ketosis will have more natural energy, will want to be more physically active and will have a strong brain to handle the challenges proposed when being pregnant and carrying a child.

Ketotic.org states “When the brain is in its period of highest growth, and when the source of food is likely to be close to what it evolved to be for that period, ketones are used to fuel that growth.” That means that, even as the infant grows, it needs to be provided with a ketogenic diet and ketones to help accelerate its development physiologically. For some reason, parents get soft and allow their children to become obsessed with sugar. Most parents don’t just let their kiddos have sugar every once in awhile; they allow the child to bargain by using treats and desserts.

Unfortunately, the child usually wins that sugar battle.

All the care taken by the mother to create an incredible child during gestation needs to continue as we teach the children of our future how to care for their brain and body.

To a happy and healthy mom and baby,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Exogenous vs. Endogenous Ketones

The empirical research and powerful testimonials concerning ketosis are of abundance.

You might have had this question run across your mind, like many people looking for health optimization: what is the difference between taking exogenous ketones and following a ketogenic diet?

Either way, the body will benefit. Let’s talk about this difference.

Simply put, “exogenous” refers to something that is sourced from outside of the body. All supplements are therefore considered exogenous because they are ingested rather than created by the body. “Endogenous” refers to something created within the body.

Is that simplified enough? I hope so.

Now the question becomes what are the implications of that exogenous vs. endogenous? Are there any specific differences between taking exogenous ketones and producing endogenous ketones? This video from Michael Rutherford clearly explains the difference; don’t let it be too complicated.

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Alchemy Athletics provides this incredible insight to the community. Endogenous “ketosis can be unsustainable in the long-term considering that just a small amount of carbohydrates or excess protein can kick you out of ketosis.” This is very true. And this is why exogenous ketone use can be so handy in long-term health and wellness. Learn more about the benefits of exogenous ketone supplementation in Alchemy Athletics’ Ketones 101 and read through the resources listed at the bottom of the article!

Onward and Upward,

Coral A.J. Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

Intermittent Fasting

Let’s talk about how intermittent fasting will revolutionize your brain and metabolism.

The benefits are numerous, yet the most important is a simpler and longer life. I imagine you’ve seen people meal prepping, packing 6 meals a day to eat every two hours on the hour like clockwork. Doing so makes your body dependent on the incoming food. Your brain counts down the minutes, your insulin spikes and crashes and your hormones make you hangry if you are a few minutes late. Intermittent fasting is the opposite!

Intermittent fasting (IF) means that you will consume fewer meals and practice  more periods of fasting. There are multiple schedules you can follow. The easiest to follow, and the one I recommend beginners do to start, is to wake up, drink their ketones and wait to have their first meal until they are truly hungry. This will help the body relearn the signals for hunger rather than just following culture and time patterns. For many, that time comes around 12-1pm. They then use an 8 hour feeding window, so their last meal of the day should be consumed before 8-9pm.

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As I discussed last week, your body might reach a plateau when following any routine for an extended period of time. When your body is ready for a new routine, you can implement one of the other intermittent fasting schedule options outlined by Intermittent Fasting 101 from Keto Kookie. As your body gets more accustomed to this new way of eating, you might implement a full 24- or 48-hour fast. Doing so regularly will dramatically help with cell regeneration, ridding your body of toxins, allowing it to recover from the abundance of tasks it has daily. Intermittent Fasting can also help in chronic disease prevention as The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discusses here.

*Note: While Intermittent Fasting is widely regarded as the optimal way to eat, you should always talk to a doctor before making dietary decisions.

Challenge yourself to start Intermittent Fasting beginning with dinner this Sunday night.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

To health and happiness,

Coral Gibson

Posted in Ketogenic Life

The Importance of Green

Well… money is important. But what I’m talking about here is nutritious GREENS!

When individuals start following the ketogenic lifestyle, they will include an abundance of fat with a moderate amount of protein. This is a solid foundation. For optimal gut health and utilization of these fats and proteins, it is imperative to include greens in your diet. Non-starchy leafy greens and vegetables are necessary to ensure your gut biome is in homeostasis and maintain blood sugar. The Ketogenic Diet Resource site maintained by Ellen Davis MS is an absolutely incredible aid in your transition to the ketogenic lifestyle. This site debunks myths, presents the applications of the ketogenic diet and shares recipes, food plans and medicinal applications of the lifestyle. There are also books by Ellen Davis listed that can be purchased to broaden your horizon in the field: Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet, Conquer Type 2 Diabetes, and many more.

This article written by Ellen Davis in the Well Being Journal in the July/August 2012 issue discusses why the ketogenic lifestyle is key to excellent health. “Small amounts of ROS are created as part of normal cellular respiration, and our cells have been equipped with various antioxidant molecules to disarm them.” We all know it doesn’t stop here. Oxidative stress from daily life contributes to the formation of free radicals in the human body, which are the cause of what we call inflammation. The inclusion of greens into your diet will also help balance your body’s electrolytes: sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Electrolytes are found in the body’s fluids including urine and blood and provide an electric charge that controls all involuntary bodily functions as well as muscle contraction and relaxation. In conjunction with greens, exogenous ketones will help electrolytes balance with little intervention on your end. Learn more about electrolyte balance and its significance in your body.

I hope this has been helpful to you, and that you’ve got a handful of asparagus and spinach ready for dinner tonight!

Cheers!

Coral Jinright