What is BHB & Ketosis?

BHB & Ketosis

Perhaps you’ve recently discovered for yourself or been introduced to the Keto diet. You’re impressed by all the potential gains, but you’re still a bit sceptical. You want more information about some of the terms thrown around, such as BHB and Ketosis, before you commit yourself fully to it. This post is designed especially for you.

Let’s make it clear from the onset that BHB and Ketosis are completely natural, thus completely harmless. They are intrinsically linked to each other. The reason they pop up so much during weight loss conversations is because of their effectiveness, and potentially immense benefits to the human body system.

Let’s start with Ketosis, without getting too technical. Ketosis is the metabolic state where the body converts excess fat to energy and burns them as fuel instead of its usual glucose. Let’s break that down. Your body runs on glucose which it gets from broken down carbs present in meals. When the body is deprived of these carbs, the liver releases Ketone bodies, which help to convert stored fat to energy for the body to run on. This state is known as Ketosis and is very important to the weight loss process.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is one of the three Ketone bodies produced by the liver during Ketosis. In addition to helping people lose weight, this substance has attributes which are very useful to us.

Let’s find out more. 

BHB & Ketosis: Define

As we’ve earlier said, Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is one of three endogenous Ketone bodies produced by the body, to help the body transition from glucose energy to fat energy. BHB is the object of doctors’ fascination and as we speak, research is ongoing on how to harness the awesome potential of this substance.

What does the body do when it is severely short of carbs? It makes do with what it has. Ketosis is that stage where your body begins to make use of fats available to it. Ketosis can also infuse you with a feeling of happiness and a general sense of well being. 

What Is BHB And How Does It Work?

Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), along with Acetoacetate and Acetone, are chemicals released into the bloodstream by the liver during periods of severe shortage of glucose, to induce Ketosis in the body. That is, these ketone bodies help the body to start burning stored fat for energy, instead of glucose. This process occurs naturally, in the body system.

BHB has been identified as an important ally in the fight against obesity, therefore it is being produced by many pharmaceutical companies as supplements. These exogenous supplements are designed to help people lose weight fast by inducing Ketosis and helping people stay in Ketosis for longer.

Beyond weight loss, BHB is also very important. BHB is a source of good, clean energy, which it supplies very quickly because BHB can cross the brain-blood barrier pretty easily. This makes it very popular among athletes seeking an edge, and people seeking a boost pre-workout. It is also very effective when placed in the eye as a remedy for dry eye, and ingested to combat migraine. BHB has also been known to improve cognitive and motor skills, which makes it useful for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Cancer and epilepsy are other serious diseases which have been suggested can be cured by BHB.

Moving on, BHB has been touted as a potential cure for cancer and epilepsy. Perhaps the most remarkable of BHB’s potential abilities is as a lifespan increasing drug. Research is currently ongoing, with scientists aiming to discover how BHB can help prolong human life.

Benefits of BHB

  • Helps People Lose Weight Faster: BHB can help people with excess weight shed those extra pounds much faster than they can manage on diets and exercise alone. 
  • Improved Athletic Performance: For athletes in need of a quick boost, BHB can supply clean energy almost instantly, to give you the desired edge. It can also provide you with energy for a more gruelling workout. 
  • Improved Cognition: BHB has been known to increase focus and cognition in people, which can lead to improved productivity both in the workplace and normal daily activities. 
  • Potential Cure For Debilitating Illnesses: The limitless potentials of BHB are being explored as a cure for several serious ailments such as epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. BHB is also being investigated as a potential lifespan increasing drug. 
  • Helps With The Management Of The Keto Flu: If you’re new to the Keto diet, you may experience symptoms such as nausea and constipation. BHB can help you manage these symptoms effectively, so they don’t make you uncomfortable. 
  • Accelerates Ketosis: BHB supplements can help you reach Ketosis up to 50% faster than you can manage on just the Keto diet. Further, it can help you maintain Ketosis for much longer, leading to a feeling of healthiness and general well being. 

Does BHB Have Any Side Effects?

The short answer to this is no. BHB is made with natural ingredients, and substances produced by the body, in the body, cannot possibly be harmful to the body. However, too much of everything is bad, and very high doses of BHB can likely cause constipation, stomach pain, diarrhoea, and stomach upset in users. Further, it may result in foul breath, as BHB supplements rarely have a pleasant taste, and are really difficult to swallow. 

At the extreme end of the spectrum, however, excessive amounts of BHB can result in High Blood Pressure and a host of other Cardiovascular diseases in users. This is because exogenous BHB supplements are made with sodium and magnesium salts and excessive intake of salt can have debilitating effects on the body system. 

While BHB is largely safe, it’s important to not go overboard while taking BHB supplements, as they can produce really unpalatable results. Moderate use is recommended. 

BHB Dose And Precaution

A lot of factors can affect the appropriate dosing of BHB supplements, such as the age and health condition of the user. That said, about 10grams will be adequate for healthy adults. Care has to be taken to avoid imbibing too much of these salts, as the effect of too much salt is frankly debilitating and grab.  The best time to take BHB supplements is just before meals. BHB supplements can be taken on their own, but to maximize effects, they should be complemented by the Keto diet and regular exercise. 

BHB is pretty safe, but in the same vein, it is not meant for everybody. If you fall under the following categories, you need to avoid taking this supplement:

  • Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers: There hasn’t been enough research to show the effects of BHB on children and babies, so if you’re pregnant, or nursing a baby, you should avoid taking this supplement. 
  • People With Underlying Health Issues: If you’re struggling with health issues such as high blood pressure, you should also avoid taking this supplement. 
  • People That Are Below 18: This supplement does not contain any trace of alcohol, yet it should not be taken by people below the age of 18. 
  • Alcoholics: Speaking of alcohol, this supplement does not work well with it, so people who take alcohol are not advised to take this supplement. 

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