Mike's Excellent Exogenous Ketones Adventure 👀

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

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, my level of ketones - based on BrAce measurements only - appears to be very low (consistently < 5ppm) after 4 1/2 years on keto. And, yes, I know that BrAce is just exhaust fumes. At my age of 76 years I’d like to feed my brain as much ketones as I can, so I’m going to try and find out what happens when I do, or try to. Whether there are any noticeable effects and if my BrAce goes up. If things start to look interesting I may even get a blood meter to follow up. To that end I have purchased the following product from Amazon Canada and it arrived today:


Interesting results using a Ketonix device
(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Wed Aug 25 21:00

First 8 gram dose mixed with a 473ml can of C4 Energy Drink. The C4 contains caffeine, taurine and L-Arginine. Keto Cuts made a few small lumps as I added the beverage.

To set a baseline I took two BrAce readings prior:

  • 18:14 1.6ppm
  • 20:18 2.3ppm

Note: Between 18:14 and 20:18 I ate supper consisting of brie cheese and an Angus patty fried in palm kernel oil. I also measured BrAce this morning: 07:24 2.6ppm. All three BrAce reading prior to taking the Keto Cuts are pretty typical of what I’ve been getting for the last few months.

BrAce readings after taking Keto Cuts:

  • 21:10 3.3ppm
  • 21:32 3.0ppm
  • 22:01 4.9ppm
  • 22:40 5.7ppm
  • 23:40 3.8ppm


The real question… do you feel you could flap your arms and fly over a building? If it wasn’t so cost prohibitive I’d take exogenous ketones daily. I feel awesome on them, I like that your go-to when trying them was to mix them with a C4! That’s some crap I’d do!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

Thu Aug 26 06:15

Observations: Awakened this morning at 05:25, got up and took a hot shower. I felt less tired than I have usually felt getting up this early, especially since I went to bed at 23:00 last night, so only about 6 hours total sleep. Plus, I had already fallen asleep and woke up at 23:40 to take last night’s final BrAce reading. Slept well. Awakened at 03:00 to pee and fell asleep again quickly afterwards. Awakened again at 04:45 and stayed in bed and ‘dozed’ until I got up.

Mixed 8 grams into my morning keto coffee. So now I’m drinking watermelon flavoured coffee! Took a couple of BrAce readings prior to drinking any coffee; started drinking coffee immediately after the second reading. I should get in 3-4 readings before I have to leave for work at 08:00:

  • 05:27 2.0ppm
  • 06:10 1.8ppm
  • 06:11 started drinking coffee - finished 06:50
  • 06:25 1.9ppm
  • 07:03 2.8ppm
  • 07:05 started eating my ‘coconut/casein pudding’ - finished 07:21
  • 07:32 3.2ppm
  • 08:02 5.7ppm

After work:

  • 17:52 1.3ppm
  • 19:37 1.5ppm
  • ate supper 19:40 - 19:50 Angus mozzarella cheese burger fried in palm kernel oil
  • 20:07 1.9ppm
  • 23:24 4.7ppm

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

Not fly, but within an hour of consuming Keto Cuts last night I felt very alert and awake. That could be due just as well to the C4 as the Keto cuts, however. I won’t be taking it with C4 today, I’ll see.

I will note that I’ve been up and about, taken a shower, made my morning cold coffee and I feel better rested, more awake and alert than I have generally felt when getting up for an early shift at Walmart. This despite getting a bit less sleep than I would like. Also, during the shower I felt actual hunger for about 10-15 minutes. That’s unusual.

(Bob M) #6

Have you tested over the course of a day (without exo ketones)? If so, what was your pattern.

I used to do this with blood, but I haven’t done it lately with my ketonix, as I just keep it at work. Maybe I’ll test later in the day to see what happens.

Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to get my ketonix to read out in ppm. It’s the first version, so maybe I can’t?

Like you, my breath ketones are always low. But so were my blood ketones, only about 0.1-0.2 every morning. So I stopped taking them.

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

I posted Jul and Aug here:

No readings during the day, however. I don’t have any reasons to suspect that they might have been significantly different from what’s on this plot. If readings start to look interesting during this experiment I might start taking my Ketonix to work to measure through the day periodically.

(Bob M) #8

I do get some anomalous readings every once in a while:

But I haven’t tested throughout the day enough to know what’s happening.

When I was testing BHB, they always started low and got higher. So, 0.1 mmol/l in the morning, but maybe 0.5 or so at night. I haven’t seen that with breath, but also haven’t tested it.

Edit: I theorize that 53 is basically because I “overate” fat the day before (and possibly calories?) and my body is effectively “backed up” trying to get that energy to the rest of the body. And it does, leading to the 17 later in the day.

It’s effectively “excess” energy/fat clogging up the system.

(Bob M) #9

Had another thought. I think of breath ketones as basically being lost energy. I believe this is one reason people in ketosis seem to burn “extra” calories. They are lost to the body.

So, in part, this is just lost energy being excreted.

Which means some of your expensive exo ketones are simply being breathed out.

It might be a better test to combine both BHB and breath. Do BHB ketones go up first, then breath ketones follow? Or do they track each other “exactly” (nothing is every exact)?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #10

This study tracked both, along with glucose. Not a ketogenic diet, but apparently used fasting to induce ketosis.

Daily variations in breath acetone, blood glucose, and blood ketone over 30 days Figures 2 and 3 show the day-to-day variations in BA, BG, and BK in the 5 healthy subjects and selected 6 T1D outpatients respectively. For the healthy subjects, the mean intra-individual coefficient of variation (CV) (the variation among breath acetone concentrations of an individual volunteer) is 40.4%, which is smaller than the mean inter-individual CV (the variation among the individual means), 56.9% [33]. Similarly, for the 20 T1D outpatients, the mean intra-individual CV is also smaller than the mean inter-individual CV (41.9% versus. 87.5%). Among the 5 healthy subjects (Figure 2), the subject Healthy 1 had the highest mean intra-individual CV of 53.6%. This high CV was attributed to the unscheduled exercises of the subject, which were identified in the recorded data form. Schwoebel et al. conducted a real-time analysis of four breath VOCs including acetone in seven healthy subjects in-exercise using PTR-MS and the results show that breath acetone from the subjects in-exercise had relatively high scattering signals and had a higher concentration [19]. Our observations in the subject Healthy 1 show the similar trends. The subject Healthy 3 had the highest mean breath acetone concentration (3.2 ppm) among the five healthy subjects (Table 1). Interestingly, this subject was under weight, whose BMI was only 17.75 kg/m2. Indeed, according to the work by Kinoyama et al. in which concentrations of acetone and isoprene in the exhaled breath in 451 students were measured using a Biogas Acetone Analyzer (BAS-2000) to evaluate their lifestyles in the annual medical checkup at the university [34], the measured breath acetone concentrations were correlated inversely with BMI. The students with BMI under 25 kg/m2 had significantly higher breath acetone concentrations than the obese students with BMI over 25 kg/m2. Also, it should be noted that the BK levels in the healthy subjects were relatively low and stable, the BK variance was hardly observable when its concentration was below 0.2 mmol/L, like the healthy subject 5 in Figure 2. However, using the LaserBreath-001, BA level variance was observed due to its high sensitivity.

(Bob M) #11

FYI, here’s diet doctor’s test of exo ketones. Short story: they didn’t like them.


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

My understanding is that acetoacetate is the ‘prime’ ketone, that is the direct product of ketogenesis. Unfortunately(?) acetoacetate is an unstable energy molecule that if not oxidized quickly - I suspect within minutes, but just guessing - it will spontaneously self-destruct into acetone or transform itself to β-hydroxybutyrate which is it’s more stable form. Just guessing again, but I suppose β-hydroxybutyrate persists for several hours, during which it can do various healthy stuff in it’s role as a hormone or signalling molecule. Eventually, β-hydroxybutyrate reverts back to acetoacetate then either to oxidize, self-destruct or transform back to β-hydroxybutyrate to repeat. The ultimate fate of every molecule of acetoacetate is either ATP or acetone. OK, some gets pissed out.

So theoretically, if I ingest exogenous β-hydroxybutyrate most remains stable for a few hours before starting to revert to acetoacetate. So the acetone I’m exhaling within a couple hours or so, should not be derived from the breakdown of acetoacetate derived from my exogenous β-hydroxybutyrate but from my current endogenous supply of acetoacetate. I suspect acetone might increase simply because the ‘cargo’ of acetoacetate is less likely to convert into β-hydroxybutyrate - since I just ingested a substantial quantity - but instead hang around in the blood long enough for more than usual to self-destruct. If I’m lucky or fat adapted well enough, I suppose more might get oxidized as well. But generally speaking, more acetoacetate results in more acetone. We just can’t determine how much of each unfortunately.

I may be wrong, and if so I’d appreciate someone correct my understanding.

I agree. But I’m reluctant to donate blood unless I see it might serve a useful purpose. Hence, my non-invasive experiment first. As I mentioned in the OP, I’m open to the possibility of blood meter testing if the BrAce testing looks interesting.

Thanks. I think they should have run their tests for a week or more rather than only 2 days. That’s why I intend to track/record what I’m doing for a month - until I run out of Keto Cuts. I tried using MCT oil to increase ketones both by itself and in conjunction with regular coconut oil I don’t notice that it’s doing so.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #13

The only thing I don’t like here - and elsewhere discussing exo ketones - is the (mis)use of the word ‘ketosis’. In the Diet Doc’s article, it’s mentioned that advocates for exo ketones generally define ‘ketosis’ as ‘having measurable ketones’. And I agree with Diet Doc that this is incorrect and misleading. Of course, the folks selling/advocating exo ketones are also claiming that you can get ‘all the benefits of ketosis’ without the effort and dietary restrictions (of those wonderful carbs we all love and crave). I don’t think you can.

I think ‘ketosis’ is a metabolic state that includes the presence of measurable ketones; and also includes much more in terms of lipolysis and overall metabolic health. It also excludes the presence of elevated glucose, insulin and other related stuff. I agree with the exo advocates that some of the benefits of higher levels of ketones might accrue - in the case of brain and/or neurological disease/disfunction specifically. But I don’t agree with calling something ‘ketosis’ when it’s not. It’s just glycolysis with ketone medication.

Other than that, I think this is good article/study. I think it covers my concerns about actually being in ketosis and supplementing ketones for specific reasons. In my case, for example, to replace more glucose with ketones feeding my brain.

PS: yes, looks like esters are way more effective than salts.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #14

Fri Aug 27 07:30

Observations: As yesterday morning, felt well rested when I awoke and got up this morning. Again, mixed 8 grams into my morning keto coffee. I won’t have my mid-day meal break at work until 2:30-3pm time frame, so instead of my regular morning ‘coconut casein pudding’ I’m eating my ‘coconut-bacon mush’. This is 100 grams of bacon bits, 33 grams of MCT oil and 33.7 grams of coconut oil.

  • 06:37 3.8ppm
  • 07:14 2.0ppm
  • 07:15 started drinking coffee - finished 07:45
  • 07:37 2.6ppm
  • 08:02 5.2ppm
  • 08:05 started eating my ‘conconut-bacon mush’ - finished 08:25
  • 08:30 5.4ppm
  • 09:01 3.8ppm
  • 09:29 2.0ppm

Note: No after work testing tonight. I instead sampled my ‘coffee extract’. The ethanol will spike my Ketonix off the chart, so no point testing.

(Joey) #15

@amwassil Fascinating experiment. Eager to follow your findings. Just be careful with dosage, please. :+1:

@ctviggen Am intrigued by your 8/3/21 entry …

I’m wondering if slathering yourself with cream may have contributed to your ability to fly? :wink:

(Bob M) #16

I get these every so often…believe they relate to an overabundance of fat/energy the day (usually the night) before.

But I get them at times when I don’t eat high fat.

This is why I gave up testing a while back. I only test breath ketones because it’s on my desk at work.

I tried to test things like whether protein causes lower BHB. I’d think it would, then I’d get one, two, three or more tests indicating it didn’t. After a while, I found it useless.

And, realistically, it doesn’t matter. If I’m meeting whatever (paltry) goals I have, then what my ketones are at any particular point are meaningless.

I only care about ketones because all the research for cardiomyopathy (which I have) says ketones are good. What does that mean (if anything) for me, as my ketones are impressively low? I don’t know.


You sir, are both brave and crazy! But… with those car wash buckets you drink coffee out of it’s probably not bad :rofl:

I also have a coffee problem… problem being I only hold so much of it at once.

(Old Baconian) #18

And it’s hard to find home IV drips. :grin:

And likewise for home urinary catheter kits, if you’re talking about the other kind of “holding.” :rofl:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #19

Sat Aug 28 06:30

Observations: Mixed 8 grams into my morning keto coffee.

  • 06:13 2.4ppm
  • 06:34 2.4ppm
  • 06:35 started drinking coffee - finished 07:10
  • 07:00 2.1ppm
  • 07:15 started eating my ‘coconut-casein pudding’ - finished 07:35
  • 0730: 2.4ppm
  • 08:00 5.9ppm

After work:

  • 18:10 1.8ppm
  • 18:47 1.5ppm

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #20

Sun Aug 29 08:30

Observations: Mixed 8 grams into my morning keto coffee. Today is the first day of testing that I don’t have to go to work, so can continue readings through the day fairly consistently.

  • 07:59 2.5ppm
  • 08:31 1.9ppm
  • 08:35 started drinking coffee - finished 09:20
  • 09:00 1.8ppm
  • 09:32 2.1ppm
  • 10:05 3.5ppm
  • 10:40 2.5ppm
  • 11:10 2.3ppm
  • 11:34 2.4ppm
  • 11:50 started eating lunch, a couple butter poached eggs and brie cheese - finished 12:10
  • 12:30 2.5ppm
  • 13:00 2.2ppm

Note: Even though I’m only 4 days into this, I have to say that so far I’m not much impressed. Today’s ‘peak’ an hour and a half after starting my morning coffee with my Keto Cuts dose was only 3.5ppm. That leads me to suspect that the increases over the past few days into the mid and high 5ppm were due not simply to the ketones in Keto Cuts, but also to the generation from MCT oil that I had each morning either in my pudding or my bacon mush. Maybe there was some synergy between the two sources. Who knows? Did not have any MCT oil this morning and the ‘peak’ was hardly a peak at all. Just 1ppm over the typical noise level. I’m working again tomorrow morning, so will eat my pudding as usual, so we’ll see if the ‘peak’ again hits the mid-high 5ppm range.

Further Note: Ate supper 17:15-17:45, included both coconut and MCT oils.

  • 18:00 4.9ppm
  • 18:30 8.2ppm
  • 19:00 9.9ppm
  • 22:00 6.2ppm
  • 22:45 4.6ppm

Humm. This warrants further testing. My next day off is Wednesday. Sep 01. I’ll continue the Keto Cuts testing tomorrow and Tuesday. Wednesday, I’ll not add Keto Cuts but include my pudding and track what happens to BrAce. If MCT oil increases BrAce twice what Keto Cuts does at less than half the price, that’s good news!