Clarification please


I’ve been listening to the 2 Keto Dudes podcast for at least four months now. Some things are sinking in slowly. But I’d like to get a little clarification on the way the keto diet is described. (as I remember it just now.)

Basically it is that the keto diet is any diet that takes you into “nutritional ketosis” described as when your body “burns fat” with Ketones as a “by-product.” Those are the terms that recur in the podcasts.

In my simplistic way, I thought energy was produced by “burning” i.e. oxidation. And that in Ketosis the source of the energy was ketones rather than glucose. So that ketones are the source of the energy, rather than a “by-product.”

What am I misunderstanding? Are ketones sources of energy or the slag left over?

Reading Wikipedia I find
“Ketone bodies are produced by the liver…” (from fat)
“These ketone bodies are readily picked up by the extra-hepatic tissues (tissues outside the liver) and converted into acetyl-CoA which then enters the citric acid cycle and is oxidized in the mitochondria for energy”

If the contributors to the Wikipedia article are correct, perhaps Richard and Carl can make small corrections to their otherwise (for newbies like me) excellent description. If Wikipedia is wrong (as has happened :wink:) perhaps the 2 Keto Dudes can give a clearer explanation of just what is going on.

(Ken) #2

The State you’re talking about, with ketosis as a minor aspect, is Lipolysis. It is the burning of fat for energy. The main source of energy is fatty acids. When the lipid (fat) molecule breaks it’s split into fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids are used by most tissues except the brain. Glycerol goes to the liver and is used as the substrate for energy production of the two secondary pathways. One is the production of glucose via gluconeogenesis, the other being the production of ketones.


So if I want to stop glucose reaching cells, and in particular cancerous cells, I should desist from eating fats and just take ketone supplements? What is the ration of glucose to ketones in the two pathways, and what about the relative amount of energy released in the cell by mitochondria of these two pathways? Since cancer cells generally can’t respire, the glucose is “fermented,” - how are ketones metabolised in the cell?

(Ken) #4

As I recall from some of the studies, the significant point was some form of caloric restriction when it came to tumor reduction. That was in a study dealing with treatment, rather than prevention. If you’re asking about cancer prevention, I think it’s more about eliminating the.metabolic derangement and the immunosupression that goes along with it. Being primarily lipolytic will certainly accomplish that.


Thanks Ken. I have cancer, so it’s not a case of prevention. Rather reversal, remission or whatever.
One of my issues is that I am borderline underweight and do not want to lose more weight. I am also over 70, and have doubts about even medium length fasts, until I have added weight. In this particular thread I was reacting to the way the 2ketodudes talked (have they perhaps modified their explanation?) about ketones being a by-product of “burning fat.” Burning implies to me “oxidisation” for the generation of energy. Here is seems to be a case of metabolising fat to produce ketone bodies which are then used by cells as a source of GTP and ATP by further oxidisation by healthy cells’ mitochondria. Since cancerous cells’ mitochondria cannot use oxidation processes, going on a ketone diet theoretically favours healthy cells over cancerous ones in access to energy, and ‘starves’ them as a result. This assumes that cancer cells cannot get glucose (or glatamine) to ferment for ATP production.
I hope this thinking is correct?

(Ken) #6

There’s the other aspect of lipooysis,that being the use of fatty acids. In your case, If it were me, I’d keep protein around 20 percent or so, and make our I was getting plenty of vitamins. The main study I recall was about brain tumors that were treated with diet because they were inoperable, with the tumors shrinking considerably. There were some studies concerning prostrate ones as well. I think you have good reason to be optimistic, and I certainly wish you all possible success.

I would imagine you’ve probably spent much more time researching the subject than me.

(Rebecca) #7

I’d suggest popping over to the “cancer” section of this forum. There are lots of topics and resources there.


Thanks Rebecca. This thread was not meant to be about cancer, but about the about the process of fat turning into ketones and then GTP ATP in cells as fuel.
Having said that I’ll join you on your cancer thread…

(Rebecca) #9

I realize that, but I did want to point you to the cancer section, as there is lots of info there.