Testing enhanced fat burn with raw whole ginger root

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

I just posted the following comment in another discussion, but upon further reflection thought it warrants its own topic:

Here is both the original forum discussion I referred to in my comment above about cheap breathalyzers and my first comment in that discussion explaining why I think a cheap breathalyzer does give us useful information:

Need help with Apple cider vinegar
Jeff’s accountability thread
(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

So here’s the proposition for anyone who wants to find out whether or not eating raw whole ginger root does or does not enhance fat burn on a ketogenic diet.

Equipment Required

  1. A good scale
  2. A CHEAP breathalyzer

I imagine we all own a decent scale, if not get one. As for the breathalyzer: you can buy a CHEAP breathalyzer on both Amazon and eBay in the $2-$20 range. The reason we want one of these and not a more expensive item is that the sensor used in the cheap devices can not distinguish ethanol from acetone. Thus, we can use a cheap device to measure relative changes in acetone concentration in the breath (hereafter referred to as BrAce). From the relative changes in BrAce we can infer relative changes in the rate of fat burn. We can do this because BrAce is essentially the exhaust gas produced by metabolically burning fat. I’m not going to address objections to this relationship here. If you doubt it, then you can investigate it for yourself to confirm. There is an extensive science literature defining, describing and quantifying BrAce, as well as using it as a measure of fat burn.

If anyone already owns either a Ketonix or Levl device, you can measure real ppm acetone! You could provide an excellent reference for those of us using cheap breathalyzers. I encourage you especially to participate.


  1. Learn to use your device correctly and consistently
  2. Establish your baseline
  3. Consume measured amount of raw whole ginger root
  4. Measure and record data


  1. Learn to use whatever breathalyzer you purchase. It will take some time and effort to to get correct and consistent results. If you already own a Ketonix or Levl, consult with the manufacturer to determine correct sampling procedures. The following instructions and suggestions apply to those of us using a cheap breathalyzer for sampling.
  • It’s not a simple as you think! Getting consistent results requires trial and error and lots of practice. All cheap breathalyzers require some period of time to ‘reset’ after taking a sample. This allows the sensor to dry and the sample to evaporate completely. I suggest 60 minutes, but you may find that 30 minutes is long enough. Whatever you decide, do the same EACH TIME you sample your breath. This is the first step to getting consistent results.

  • Inadequate and inconsistent sampling is the biggest problem testing BrAce. You can’t just ‘blow’ into the device and expect accurate results. Acetone accumulates in the alveoli at the bottom of the lungs. That makes it difficult to exhale thoroughly and consistently and requires a technique that compresses the bottom of the lungs. Breathalyzers have a 10-20 second sampling time which counts down to zero before displaying the results of the sample. More accurate results are obtained by using the first half of the sampling time to exhale the air in the top of the lungs in a steady, but relatively rapid rate. At mid way in the countdown, slowly and steadily compress the abdomen moving upwards to include the diaphragm and expel as much remaining air from your lungs as possible. This will feel uncomfortable. If if does not feel uncomfortable, you are not doing it correctly. The more uncomfortable the better! So practice getting it right and consistent.

  • Expect to spend at least several days and up to a week or so learning to get consistent results. This is probably the most important preparation you do. If you don’t get consistent results from your technique, your samples are not going to be consistent and useful.

  1. Establish your baseline to determine your normal fat burn pattern during the day. You will do this without making any changes to your daily eating and activities. I recommend that the time used to establish your baseline be at least one week, in order to ‘smooth’ out any daily minor irregularities.
  • Each day, upon awakening and each hour during the day until retiring, take a sample of BrAce.

  • Maintain a log for your samples. Record the time and the breathalyzer result for each sample. If anything out of your ordinary routine occurred prior to sampling make a note of it. These would include any unusual physical activity or exercise, or eating something you don’t ordinarily eat. Basically, anything that might effect fat burn. Do this every day for the duration of the sampling period.

  • When you have completed the sampling period you need to do two things. First, graph all the samples for each day; and, second, graph the average values as a ‘reference day’. The reference day graph is your baseline. If you know how to do this with a spreadsheet that will make sharing your info much easier. Of course, you could do this manually as well. I’m sure we can devise a method to share manually graphed data.

  1. Consume raw whole ginger root to help determine whether it affects rate of fat burn. Do this for one week.
  • Each day, 60 minutes prior to retiring, eat 10 grams of raw whole ginger root. The most palatable way to do this is to cut the root into thin slices until you have a total of 10 grams. Suck each slice slowly for a few minutes before chewing it to a pulp and swallowing.

  • It is important to CHEW the root before swallowing. So don’t just cut it up into little pieces and swallow to avoid the heat/spice generated by chewing.

  1. Measure and record time and breathalyzer sample results each day for a week, just as you did when you established your baseline.
  • Again, when you have completed the sampling period, you will graph all the samples for each day; and also graph the average values as a ‘typical results’ day.

  • Comparing the graphed results for your reference day and your typical results day will show you how much if any influence consuming 10 grams of ginger root had on fat burn rate.

  • To verify any suspected weight loss during the week’s testing of ginger root, weigh yourself one full day before and one full day after the test week.

"Cheat" Weekend to Kickstart Weight Loss?
What are your keto sick day staple recipes?

I :heart: Ginger! (My experiments don’t involve graphs or fancy equipment though - just a measuring tape and self-care lol).

And chewing raw Ginger is very unpleasant for most people. The raw protocol may be appealing to those who are in the mood for a wild ride or who feel desperate - but actually the dry protocol works amazingly well without such a huge habit change or palate challenge. I only like Ginger raw when used as a condiment with certain cooked dishes myself - chopped into super thin matchsticks. It’s strong and hot - which is why traditionally it’s been used in cooking or infused as medicinal teas and in broths, or preserved w/ sugarcane juice for palatability (Trader Joe’s sells tasty natural Ginger candy, traditionally used as a post-prandial digestive), or taken as dry pellets.

Many modern medical studies proving out how the use of dry Ginger for reduction of cortisol, insulin, and fibrin works exist - along with studies about its pro-enzyme assistance and appetite suppression (I’ve posted some on this forum in times past, can be found with search bar). It’s a potent NSAID that addresses/blocks the COX 1 and 2 enzymes that relay pain - and a 1.1 gram dose works as good as prescription Ibuprofin without liver harm. Most of these studies have been done by physicians and students either in the east or from the east - as Ginger is pretty central to eastern cuisine. :herb:

More compelling that that for me personally is the ancient usage in eastern medicine of Ginger as a superfood - with specific preparations of fresh or dry depending on conditions (for more on that by Vasant Lad PhD in his ayurvedic reference book called The Yoga Of Herbs).

I’ve had much more success with compliance by using the dry via capsules (up to 3.3 grams dry per day is considered safe for adults and chidlren) as fresh Ginger doesn’t work with my daily lifestyle - though I cook with it a couple times a week. The fat recomposition progress is so obvious via belly measurement changes + subcutaneous squishiness that I’ve no need for testing. Being a female over 50, it’s very dramatic actually! My n=1 experience the last 1.5 years has been amazingly effective - as typically midlife females have belly fat that is very challenging to access.

What’s amazing is how economical Ginger capsules are compared to pain relievers of course, as well as to many of the other adaptogens (ashwaganda, rhodiola) and enzymatics (serrapeptase, enzyme supplements). Plus, it’s a superfood which delivers many more benefits than just the one a person may be taking it for. Ginger helps in ways that we may not even be aware of, as some things can take a long time to become physically manifest in the body.

Someday I plan on making my own Ginger pellets with the dry powder bound by fresh Ginger juice, the traditional medicine.

Personally, I think that the western industrial world’s health would be transformed by Ginger supplementation and Ginger in food.

One secret I learned here on the forum has to do with Ginger and pork. In order to protect your house from what is called ‘boar taint’, the horribly decayed smell of male pig meat when cooking that lingers in the home for many days after. Being that one never knows with store bought bacon whether one is going to have male pig meat - an eastern solution is to always add a slice or two of Ginger to the pork-frying pan. It smells lovely, and complements any pork with a natural sweetness that completely makes any taint disappear. I don’t know how it works, but it works!!! :bacon:

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

@SlowBurnMary Thanks for your input. Of course, anyone can do anything they want to do for themselves. If they care to share their individual experiences and conclusions they are welcomed to do so. And hopefully personal anecdotes will inspire others to give ginger a try. Since my accidental discovery, I’ve read lots about ginger, how it’s been used extensively as a dietary adjunct, a medical herb and to aid fat loss. And I’m hopeful that many people who would not otherwise have known the potential of ginger root to aid health generally and possibly fat loss specifically will gain some knowledge and incentive by what gets posted in this topic. Many people on this forum, for example, express disappointment with their fat loss efforts. Maybe ginger root could be an aid to many of them.

In my investigation of ginger root thus far, however, what I have not yet found is any controlled and reproducible study to determine if and to what extent consuming ginger root aids fat metabolism. All I’ve seen are claims, suggestive anecdotal evidence and diet pills. If any controlled study already exists I am hopeful that some interested participant will link to it here.

Granted, my proposal does not qualify as any sort of rigorously controlled experiment since all participants will be doing their own sampling and reporting independently and simply reporting their results. None-the-less I think if participants follow the same procedures we can quantify to some extent whatever effect if any that ginger root has on fat burn.

Regarding your suggestion to substitute powdered ginger root in capsule form instead of eating the whole root raw. We do not know what component(s) of ginger root might aid fat burn. I know from my own anecdotal experience that eating the raw whole root contains whatever component(s) that do so. Whether the active component(s) are also included in the capsule format remains to be determined. So going with capsuled ginger root would be a different experiment of its own.

Whatever components cause the spicy heat of raw ginger root also seem to prevent and help cure colds, etc. That is the reason I first started to eat it. I also suggested slicing it thin to help get accustomed to the spicy heat.

('Jackie P') #5

I make a drink with sparkling water, ACV, tincture of ginger root, tincture of cayenne and a few drops of bitters. Does it increase my metabolism? I dunno but I hope so! It tastes good and takes the edge off my appetite.
Raw ginger has 18g carbs per 100g.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #6

Note the dosage I suggest is 10 grams per day. If ginger root turns out to enhance fat burn significantly, and I think it does, that will be a very well spent 1.8 carbs! :wink:


Definitely! Ginger’s a HUGE ally for fat loss and general health, and there are a number of interesting past threads here in the forum about it. It’s really a lifesaver, an all-around medicine imho. I’ve learned a lot about what ‘superfood’ really means through Ginger.

I think the reason why the dry form goes back thousands of years for medicinal usage is that it’s highly concentrated, and easy to take in various conditions. But Ginger tea and Ginger juice from the fresh is the cheaper and more common usage in eastern households. I take the dry because the fresh Ginger routines are too much of a lifestyle/palate change for me - not keen on the burny pungent taste every day, though I saute Onion & Ginger with green Chillis a couple times a week as a base for many tasty dishes.

This article is replete with great references, all in one place:

Most of the studies I’ve looked at use the dry form, probably due to consistency and ease of dosage.

I first started eating Ginger in indian food 30+ years ago, but only in the last year have I used it as a supplement daily - very grateful for its comprehensive, incremental help (over seasons, not weeks!) as a major ally of my body recomp despite my age and hormonal profile as a 50+ non-obese female which, even with LCHF/keto, is usually very slow going for those of us who aren’t obese to begin with. There’s no other way to explain my transforming belly and many inches lost in the midsection of a midlife body that wants to hold on to any and all fat on behalf of survival of the species as a mammalian mother/grandmother.

('Jackie P') #8

I was in the zone until the honey! But I love my ginger root tincture. I drink matcha tea too so I should be shrinking faster!

(Nasir) #9

Is it just the cheap breathalysers that cannot distinguish between ethanol and acetone or the ones used by police as well?

(Edith) #10

Why can’t one just swallow the raw ginger root?

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

@Nasir The breathalyzers used by police have a different sensor in them which either does not sense acetone or ignores it. It’s only the cheap ones that will work to detect acetone.

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

@VirginiaEdie Chewing starts the digestive process by mixing enzymes with the ginger. Chewing also macerates the ginger into a pulp enabling the nutrients/chemicals in the ginger to break down for easier digestion. There are a lot of different chemicals in ginger and I think this is the best and easiest way to make them as bio-available as possible, whereas just swallowing may not.

That said. If you want to cut it up into little pieces and just swallow it, go ahead. Track and document so you can share results. We don’t know until someone tries whether or not chewing makes a difference.

(Omar) #13

Ginger makes me sweat

Not sure what that is indication of.

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

@Alpha That is a common experience.

(Bunny) #15

What might make it work even better for fat burning (if true) is to use a cheese grader (the fine part) and shred it (raw ginger root) directly into some drinking water with a table spoon of apple cider vinegar ACV and it also makes for a nice digestive bitter?

Apple cider vinegar will force your body into increasing ketosis to burn more body fat through a metabolic pathway called PGC-1 alpha.


”…PGC-1α coactivates PPAR-γ and other transcription factors, is expressed at much higher levels in brown adipocytes than in white adipocytes, and is induced in brown cells upon cold exposure in vivo, or by β-adrenergic stimulation in isolated cells20,21. When introduced into white fat cells in culture or in vivo, PGC-1α ‘switches on’ many of the key features of brown cells, including mitochondrial biogenesis and UCP-1 activity20. Cells ectopically expressing PGC-1α also have an increased fraction of uncoupled respiration, a key characteristic of brown fat. Although PGC-1α is clearly a key effector of the thermogenic programme of brown fat, cells lacking PGC-1α still show a morphology that is brown-fat-like, and still express certain molecular markers of brown fat22. Thus, it seems likely that other factors function upstream of PGC-1α to control the determination of brown fat cells. …” …More

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): If you put two 2x acetic acid molecules together (your own ketones + ACV) you get DIACETIC ACID or ACETOCETIC ACID or 1 of 3 ketone bodies!


Ginger Extract Ameliorates Obesity and Inflammation via Regulating MicroRNA-21/132 Expression and AMPK Activation in White Adipose Tissue

Notice the the reduction in the size of the white adipose tissue (WAT) cells and the swelling (inflammation) in the adipocytes before?

Need help with Apple cider vinegar
(Troy) #16

Interesting topic OP

Love Ginger!
I’m fact, I’m drinking my nightly ACV Drink right now!
And yes, it includes powdered ginger

Although kinda looks like a urine sample on ice :flushed:

(Omar) #17

Any one noticed any differance between boild ginger and raw ginger?

Eventhough boiling damage some micro nutriants, I feel that boiled ginger is more effective.

(Tamela Robinette) #18

Fascinating! Going to buy some ginger TODAY!

(Hyperbole- best thing in the universe!) #19

I just bought some based on this topic myself… but I’ll be damned if I’m buying a breathalizer and follow this protocol. My tape measure will be metric enough for me and I ask the scientific community to excuse me from anything beyond n=1.

“My doctor says I have a malformed public duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre, and that I am therefore excused from saving universes.” ~Ford Prefect

(Tamela Robinette) #20

Yeah I’ve never obsessed over the science, so I don’t test or track ketones.