Ketone supplement maintained lower depression scores at week 2 and less anger than the placebo and low-fat diet groups. Ketone supplements may prevent “keto flu” symptoms when starting a keto diet.
KETONE SUPPLEMENTS BENEFITS MOOD SUMMARY
- The new study found that ketone supplements benefits mood while dieting
- The ketone supplement group maintained lower depression scores at week 2 and less anger than the placebo and low-fat diet groups.
- Ketone supplements may prevent “keto flu” symptoms when starting a keto diet.
When it comes to losing weight, the research is clear. When high protein are the same between groups, there is no difference between high-fat and low-fat diets for fat loss. Long-term adherence is crucial for maintaining weight loss, no matter what diet you choose as part of a healthy lifestyle. A previous article on Evidence Based Muscle discussed a recent study in which exogenous ketone supplements for weight loss were no more effective than a control ketogenic diet.
One of the main drawbacks of using a low-carb, high-protein ketogenic diet is worsening mood states. A typical occurrence that occurs with low-carb diets is a phenomenon called “keto flu.” Symptoms of keto flu are headache, dizziness, fatigue, low tolerance to exercise, and constipation.
In a study of 300 participants, 101 reported symptoms of “keto-flu,” mostly in the first 4 weeks of starting a ketogenic diet. Almost 50% reported flu-like symptoms, 24.8% reported headaches, and 17.8% suffered from fatigue. (Bostock et al., 2020)
WHAT CAUSES KETO FLU?
Scientists suspect that dehydration and loss of electrolytes are the main cause of keto-flu. A well-formulated keto diet with proper mineral supplementation can help you stay in ketosis while minimizing the effects of mineral imbalance. (Volek et al., 2021)
The duration of the fatigue-like symptoms from a keto diet usually peaks within 4 days of going into ketosis. It can last up to four weeks, but this is an individual occurrence. (Bostock et al., 2017)
What is Ketosis?
Once a person is in dietary ketosis, the body burns fat as the primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis is referred to as “fuel shifting,” in which fatty acids become the predominant fuel source. Once a person adapts to a ketogenic diet (i.e., keto-adapted), many have commented on the increases in mental clarity they experience.
Using ketone supplements may alleviate the symptoms of “keto flu” for those starting a keto diet. It may also keep a more positive mood state while dieting. Ketogenic diets were originally developed for conditions such as epilepsy.
Ketogenic Diet Benefits
Researchers are now exploring ketogenic diets to reduce cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Ketone bodies can enhance mitochondrial function, and scientists are currently investigating ketone esters as supplements for Alzheimer’s. (Lilamand et al., 2022)
Dr. Volek, one of the leading researchers in the field of ketogenic diets, has advocated that dieters on a ketogenic diet may need higher levels of sodium to counteract the initial stages of lethargy that occurs with reducing carbs. (Volek et al., 2021) While most Americans are advocated to reduce salt from their diet, low sodium intake is associated with depressive mood states. (Suárez et al., 2020)
WHAT ARE KETONE SUPPLEMENTS
When a person goes on a low carbohydrate diet, fasting, or prolonged exercise bouts, they go into ketosis. Ketosis is when the body switches to burning fat as an energy source. Supplement companies can mimic the ketones naturally produced by the body.
Manufacturers create exogenous ketones, known as ketone salts, by adding artificial ketones to electrolytes. These exogenous ketones raise blood ketones, simulating the body’s state of ketosis. They attach all the ketones to minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and others.
Researchers examined the effects of different diets and their effects on mood. The researchers went into the study with the question, “Do ketone supplement benefit people on a ketogenic diet?”
WHAT DO KETONE SUPPLEMENTS DO FOR DIETERS?
A 6-week randomized controlled trial included 37 participants who were overweight. The participants were divided into 4 groups. Three groups were assigned a diet that was a 25% reduction in calories. The groups were divided into the following four groups:
Group A: High protein, keto diet (< 40 grams of carbs per day) with a dietary supplement of ketone salts twice daily. The ketone supplement consisted of 11.8 grams of BHB salts from sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
- Group B: High protein, keto diet (< 40 grams of carbs per day) with a flavored placebo drink.
- Group C: High protein, low-fat diet with a flavored placebo drink.
- Group D: Control Group (No Diet)
Both the keto groups received 10 grams of MCT oil (i.e., medium-chain triglycerides). The researchers did a battery of psychological tests to measure mental function and mood (i.e., anger, depression, happiness, etc.) throughout the diet. At the end of the study, both the ketogenic diet and ketogenic diet with ketone supplements groups achieved nutritional ketosis, and serum fasting glucose was decreased.
At the end of the study, both the keto diet groups had higher ketone levels (i.e., greater fat burning). Blood sugar was lower in both the keto groups than in the low-fat group. Cognitive skills were not affected by any diet, but mood states were changed.
The ketone supplement group maintained lower depression scores throughout the diet and higher happiness scores than the placebo and low-fat diet groups. At week 2 of the diet, the keto group without ketone supplements had higher depression scores, and the low-fat group had higher anger scores than the keto and keto supplements.