Dr. Benjamin Bikman - ‘Insulin vs. Ketones - The Battle for Brown Fat’

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #1

In another topic I posted:

But don't call it keto

In comparison, yes, 100 grams of carbs per day is better than 300-500 grams. And I also agree that lots of people will be far healthier at 100 grams per day. So let’s just call it what it is: Lower Carb.

Plenty of us are eating keto to gain the health benefits that derive from eating nutritional keto, not to cure or alleviate any particular medical condition. Make no mistake, being in ketosis is healthier overall than being simply lower carb. There are multiple health benefits to having your insides awash in ketones rather than not. So let’s be honest about it and not confuse the issue. Lower carb is not keto. Although it’s better than higher carb it does not gain the benefits of ketosis.

This is directly related to my post in this topic:

It’s not an ‘allowance’. It’s a ‘tax’ you must pay in order to eat certain foods that are otherwise nutritious and worth paying the tax. Like all taxes, the intent is pay as little as possible, not as much as you can get away with.

So, what exactly are some of those “multiple health benefits to having your insides awash in ketones”? And why is the objective to minimize carbs, not waste time figuring out ways to ‘game the system’.

The first one, and quite possibly the most valuable for those who aren’t doing keto trying to cure some specific medical condition, is the conversion of white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT). This only occurs in ketosis and is inhibited by insulin. Sitting on the fence betwixt ‘lower carb’ as much as you can get away with and ketosis doesn’t cut the mustard. Watch Bikman’s video below.

Related, but failed to make much impression apparently. Why not I don’t understand. My hope is resurrecting this topic will result in higher interest and discussion. :+1:

@ Faitmaker started this topic which includes Bikman’s video.

@ atomicspacebunny started this topic and this topic.

@ steak started this topic linking this study.

Question: weight loss - HOT
Anyone watch “Diet Fiction”?

Thanks for posting that link to Bikman’s lecture. Very informative, definitely going to look for more of his work :blush:

(Bunny) #3

The ketogenic diet does in-fact make more brown fat however there is more than one way to do this but you have to eat more carbohydrates when doing it and by exposing your body to colder conditions (what I call cold thermal adaption) which also causes resistance to your own endotoxins (like adrenaline and the likes of intense highly traumatizing emotional stress) for some reason and also has to do with breathing or oxygen synchronization with the cardiac muscle and spleen (internal physiologic mechanism that activates and makes more BAT and also increases the size of the spleen; less need for oxygen) this also makes the amount of existing brown adipose tissue (BAT) act (more electrical than chemical) as if it were muscle tissue by burning or oxidizing carbohydrates directly for fuel (UCP-1; BAT is more electrical because of amount of mitochondria it contains) but at the same the browning or beiging (iron rich mitochondrial adipose tissue) of white adipose tissue (WAT) rather being stored as white adipose fat (WAT) or a lipid droplet by insulin.

Seems to be one draw-back though, it may not work very well if you have too much white adipose tissue (WAT) tissue and I think that may be because muscle tissue volume and/or BAT is outnumbered by white adipose tissue (WAT) volume (at least from what I can see in what little research they did on the subject). (I’m still on the fence about that):

Skeletal Muscle Volume in ratio to WAT volume; in ratio to BAT volume ect.

It is the cold shivering thermal-genesis and spleen that activates and makes more BAT like that seen in infants (a human survival mechanism and trait; how babies keep warm when exposed to cold conditions; generates intense heat; UCP-1)

I’m trying to stuff a lot of science into this tiny post to give brief easier to understand explanations so please forgive my grammar…lol

(Bunny) #4

I totally understand what you mean, you can up your carbohydrate intake after being in ketosis a long-time because you will probably have more mitochondria in your fat cells + more skeltal muscle volume (if so); then you have probably transformed yourself into a fat burning machine with a back-up unit, thinking you must remain at 20 grams of carbohydrates should not be a requirement, but I don’t think it would hurt either.

Once the mitochondria and brain starts using oxidized fatty acids (ketones) for fuel the body still needs to produce glucose which different parts of the body like the kidneys need to live; they cannot use ketones for fuel and in the case of diabetes the liver will produce more fructose.

I could go on for hours about this from memory alone but will stop here.

Right now I’m studying skeletal muscle physiology (internal cellular mechanisms) which is a whole other animal in the branch of human physiology and the missing link in human metabolism that researchers, scientist, doctors and lay persons seem to be neglecting?

(Bob M) #5

I’m not sure there’s a lot of basis for this 20 gram requirement. Before I say more, I note that I’ve been low carb/keto for almost 6 years now, so this may not apply to everyone. I can eat what I estimate to be about 20 grams of popped popcorn (with about 1 Tbsp fat, a mixture of butter, ghee, and coconut oil) and get zero blood sugar rise on my CGM and still be in ketosis the next day, and this doesn’t include the other carbs I’ve eaten that day. Part of that is likely due to popcorn (how much of this are you really converting into blood sugar?), but no one ever speaks of the nature of the item, only the carbs that are written on the box/bag/some website.

And maybe if it were 6 years ago, I would’ve gotten a different result from eating this. But I’m hesitant to say that ketosis must have 20 or less grams of carbs, particularly if you’re exercising.

(Bunny) #6

I think that is a correct assessment, because the longer we go with less carbohydrates which could be 20 grams for one person and up to 200 grams of carbohydrates long-term for a person like myself and still showing trace ketones on a meter consistently and sequentially, that means the body is using ketones + glucose for fuel more efficiently!


When your burning exclusively glucose for too long that’s when the trouble begins?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

Followup (2 years on) to Bikman’s first talk linked above.

(Bob M) #8

It’s unclear to me. I ate very low fat, very high carb for a long time. I was young and exercising a ton. Without fat, this works from a weight perspective. I think at some level, you have to add in fat. So, it’s high(er) carb plus fat. This likely isn’t that critical, as unless you’re as crazy as I was and keeping your fat below 10% by calories, you’re going to get enough fat.

I also wonder if this level for keto people might go up over time? I never took good enough records, and honestly I think the ketone meters are so bad and ketones are affected by so many things that it’s likely impossible to tell anyway.

(Bunny) #9

I think after while we start to exceed our carbohydrate tolerance, I’m always seeing it sited in the science as having to do with age (hogwash), I really DO NOT think that is the case in the slightest because when we start to lose muscle volume (e.g. the classic ectomorph) with time in contrast to what we are eating then we start storing more lipid droplets because those highly concentrated carbs start to out number oxidation capability.

Another Extended Example:

I once observed a friend who was extremely muscular and looked extremely healthy but was a type 2 diabetic (insulin dependent)? What is wrong with that picture? He ate a lot of foods and drinks containing high fructose corn syrup and would drink beer until he passed out (continuously)! A skinny diabetic? (TOFI or true obesity, he was in-fact morbidly obese!) I can just imagine what the visceral fat populated around his liver and pancreas must have looked like?

The true scientific definition and meaning of obesity is not just reserved for people who are fat.


By combining certain allies after getting 100% fat-adapted, one can create metabolic healing and then go on to have what I think of as keto-cusp superpowers - metabolic agility, HGH, ketones to feed the brain which makes BDNF, and mitochondrial biogenesis.

For me, its:

daily coconut oil ketone boost (at least 1 tblsp if not 2) via bulletproof tea/coffee
frequent IF 16-18 hours (about 4-5 days a week)
TMAD and sometimes OMAD, hardly ever 3 meals a day
moderate carbs (around 30 per meal, doing TMAD),
a cool water head/body rinse after each shower for a l’il hydrotherapy,
and… weekly intense weight lifting :boom:


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #11