You’ll notice around here that I sometimes post papers on the usefulness of ketones yet I rarely talk about ketosis. The reason is that I think ketosis is secondary to the main point. The main point being: run your metabolism off of saturated fatty acids. I do not think that the benefits of a high fat diet stem from being ketotic I think the benefit comes from running your metabolism on fat, even high fat PUFA rats do better than low fat rats when we are speaking of longevity. And I think that I’ve been consistent about that, the saturated fat bit, to the point of ignoring a lot of other things people seem to care about, which I do on purpose because I think it really doesn’t matter.
It’s useful to think of the word “metabolism” and what it really means. I think we can compare this to Cogito ergo sum, “I think, therefore I am” or “I am thinking, therefore I exist”. Do you really think that if you are eating a high carbohydrate diet that “you” exist? What exists in that state is your hyperglycemic self and your hypoglycemic self. Somewhere in the middle you exist, that is where you exist in pure form, that is where your metabolism lies, an efficient one at that. The balancing act between hyper- and hypo- glycemia is amazing. It’s what helps to maintain “form” i.e. you. The things your physiology does to try to maintain OXPHOS and suppress the Crabtree effect thus preventing you from degenerating into giant mass of primitive cells is not appropriately appreciated.
When free fatty acids rise during stress or during sickness or when anything bad happens that is a signal, a good one, that your physiology is trying to maintain form, trying to maintain you, if that doesn’t happen or you block it, degeneration follows, much like when you take statins to try to lower cholesterol. This way of thinking, that because this or that rises during stress or bad times therefore this is bad is completely ignoring the mechanisms that caused the flux in the first place.
It’s like saying the ball dropped because I opened my hand and let it go, without considering gravity and the impact it has if you opened your hand in zero gravity or on another planet. It goes right back to the cause and correlation thinking that a lot of people spend their time pointing out and arguing against.
Judging by comments and walking around the web I think that some people have this idea that if your cells are not running off of glucose then your cells are running off of ketones. The misunderstanding being that if you aren’t feeding your cells glucose that you are eating a lot of fat or glucose deprived and then, that fat (dietary or stored), is being converted into ketones and then being oxidized by your mitochondria. That is a misguided black and white understanding of metabolism.
Your cells prefer to burn saturated fat. End of story. They are happy that way. Every cell in the body that has mitochondria can and does prefer to burn saturated fat. End of story.
If you think “high fat diet” and then automatically think “ketones” you’re missing the point.
Ketones are not a dose dependent fuel source i.e. the more you have floating around the better. I detect a level of lipid hypothesis trains of thoughts when people talk about ketones. For example, some people still believe that low cholestorol is good and that more is bad, without considering what is actually causing the flux. The same is true I think when people are thinking about ketones, the context is not considered.