Life Extension Benefits from This One Drink Mix
Can a drink extend your lifespan? New research suggests that it can! Even without making other changes.
I have been in and out of ketosis for the last 5 years. On my journey to optimal health and healing of my own personal issues, I’ve visited the ketosis locker many times.
The first couple times were rough and I didn’t feel great, was hungry and had low energy. Nowadays I drop into ketosis easily and have very little trouble staying there if I want. Usually, I do not stay long. I’m not yet convinced long term ketosis is beneficial for me.
I’ve tried a number of diets and drink mixes over many years. Most drink mixes are filled with artificial sweeteners and colors. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with quite a few Ketone drink mixes. Some are awful and taste like salt.
In fact, most ketones are made from ketone salts. That is, the drink mix is made from a ketone attached to salt. Thus, if they aren’t formulated well or chock full of artificial sweeteners, they taste salty.
Many of the ketone drinks contain caffeine, which may increase the body’s production of ketones, but also gives you an energy jolt so perhaps you think the ketones are giving you more energy than they are. I don’t need caffeine most of the time, so I try to skip added caffeine in supplements and drinks. There does appear to be some research that suggests caffeine increases ketones, so if you aren’t caffeine sensitive, you might as well go for it.
Why am I experimenting with ketone drinks?
The latest article in ketone science states that ketones may be one of the major keys to human longevity.
One form of ketone, beta hydroxybutyrate has been shown in a new paper to increase the lifespan of round worms and is hypothesized to be able to do the same in humans.
Specifically, the D-BHB extended lifespan, while the L-BHB did not (in the study performed by Dr. Veech, who sells a D-BHB ester supplement). The D version forms NADH and it’s the NADH to NADPH conversion that increases energy and appears to extend lifespan. The L BHB is consumed by the oxidation pathway and produces no net increase in ATP or energy as compared to the D form according to the paper. However, other sources state that the L form can be metabolized in oxaloacetate and then into the D form of BHB, so perhaps it’s not all bad. Most ketone supplements and drink mixes on the market today are a mixture of D-BHB and -L-BHB.
If you can find a drink that’s pure D-BHB, that would be best for longevity, but as far as I can tell, only Dr. Veech manufactures such a product and it’s very expensive for now. Prices will come down as the market expands.
Calorie restriction Extends Lifespan
For years we’ve known that calorie restriction extends lifespan. By eating significantly less than we want to, we can live longer.
Yet most people who try this approach end up cold, hungry and weak. I do not recommend it as a way to increase your life satisfaction. Sure, you may add a few extra years to your life, but ultimately you may not be happy with the overall results.
New Science Says Calorie Restriction Extends Lifespan Due to Ketone Bodies
This is novel science. Brand new science from Dr. Veech’s article published in April 2017 posits that caloric restriction extends lifespan because of the presence of ketone bodies.
This is amazing news! Instead of constantly being hungry and eating less than we want to, we may be able to simply increase the ketones in our blood and get the same benefits as fasting and calorie restriction.
Ketosis Can Improve Alzheimer’s and More
The article from Dr. Veech states “Alzheimer’s disease, the major cause of which is aging  can be improved clinically by the induction of mild ketosis in a mouse model of the disease  and in humans . Ketosis also improves function in Parkinson’s disease  which is thought to be largely caused by mitochondrial free radical damage [19, 88]. Ketone bodies are also useful in ameliorating the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . It is also recognized that ketosis could have important therapeutic applications in a wide variety of other diseases  including Glut 1 deficiency, type I diabetes , obesity [78, 92], and insulin resistance [20, 39, 93], and diseases of diverse etiology .”
What if We Could Produce Ketone Bodies Without Caloric Restriction?
If much of the benefit of caloric restriction in extending life comes from the presence of ketone bodies, then it follows that adding ketone bodies into our blood stream may have the same benefit without starving ourselves.
The human body, and life in general, are infinitely complex and likely just the addition of ketone bodies will not significantly reduce lifespan. However, that’s exactly what we see in Dr. Veech’s latest paper, which studied the effect in round worms. He is quoted in the paper stating “We hypothesize that increasing the levels of ketone bodies will also extend the life span of humans and that calorie restriction extends life span at least in part through increasing the levels of ketone bodies”.
How to Increase Ketone Bodies in Your Blood
There are three ways I can think of off the top of my head to increase ketones in our blood.
- Fasting – fasting forces your body to rely on fats to produce energy rather than glucose or glycogen. After a full day of fasting you likely have used up your stored glucose and must burn fat for energy, increasing ketones in your blood. This is actually the approach I recommend to most people. Fasting is a neglected part of total health and more of us should take advantage of it. Eats free, saves you money, can be done on any diet, at any time and has many benefits. My favorite fasting doctor, Dr. Jason Fung has all the clinical research to back it up and many YouTube presentations and blog posts.
- Ketogenic Diet – eating a higher fat, low carb diet that is also lower in overall protein also forces your body to use fat for fuel. When eating lower carbohydrates, generally said to be below 50grams per day of total carbs for most people, the body will resort to using fat for fuel.
- Drinking Exogenous Ketones – many companies produce ketone supplements and drink powders that directly feed ketones into your blood without fasting or eating high fat.
Exogenous ketones that we use regularly come from:
Ketone drink mixes like Pruvit can also be used. There are many ketone drinks on the market today that are made from ketone salts like betahydroxybutyrate. Keto OS from Pruvit is the one we use, but there are many others. Or you could just interittent fast or do a full 24 hour+ fast to get the benefits.
Aging Related Disorders May Benefit from Ketones
Many aging related disorders result in the inability of the body to efficiently processes glucose for energy. Increasing blood levels of ketones give the body and brain and alternative fuel to provide energy.
Experiment with ketosis of some form, or just add ketones into your regime. They may just extend your life.