Exogenous ketone salts contain three of the minerals that are often depleted at the start of a keto diet:
As these minerals are depleted, the loss of them is often a trigger for the keto flu.
Taking an exogenous ketone supplement is one of the ways that you can elevate the symptoms in the first week or two.
This study linked the ingestion of ketone esters with appetite suppression. The study concluded that:
Exogenous ketosis following KE drinks reduced two measures of appetite, hunger and desire to eat, compared with DEXT drinks. This occurred in conjunction with decreased levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Therefore, KE drinks offer a unique opportunity to isolate and exploit the effects of ketosis on appetite without other dietary interventions.
However, the same study also pointed out that it was not clear that ketone esters could be consumed long‐term for appetite control.
Therefore, until any chronic effects are fully characterized, ketone supplements should not be used to replace dietary strategies for weight control.
So, as a short term appetite suppressant, especially when you first start the keto diet, it would seem that exogenous ketones can be of benefit.
Another well documented short term benefit is that exogenous ketones can give you an energy boost for several hours.
This seems to be especially effective if you are already well keto adapted.
This is an area in which there is overwhelming evidence that exogenous ketones can be of benefit.
The study reports that :
It has been demonstrated in animal—and/or human studies—that ketogenic diets and supplements may have metabolism-based therapeutic potential in the treatment of several diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (53–57), Parkinson’s disease (54, 58–60), glucose transporter type 1-deficiency syndrome (61–63), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (60, 64), cancer (44, 58, 65, 66), epilepsy (54, 67, 68), schizophrenia (42, 69–74), anxiety (55, 75–77), autism spectrum disorder (78–81), and depression (69, 77, 82).
It’s important to note that this study found ketone supplements to be equally useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and psychiatric disorders.
The authors of the study go on to say that sometimes it is difficult for some to stay within the strict 20g carb limit of the keto diet.
In this case, a supplement of exogenous ketones is of benefit.
They further suggest a mix of ketone ether or ketone salts with MCT oil. This mix offers an enhanced cognitive benefit for psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Thus, it is possible that exogenous ketone supplementation-induced ketosis may be an effective therapeutic tool against psychiatric diseases.
There is evidence that for fat burning and weight loss it is better to achieve this through the keto diet.
Diet alone has more benefits than combining diet with exogenous ketones.
This is due to the fact that exogenous ketones raise ketone levels much faster than diet alone.
This triggers a response in the body which limits fat burning and at the same time increases sensitivy to Insulin.
Increased sensitivity to Insulin will also have the effect of reducing overall fat loss, as storage of fat will be increased.
However, for a quick mood boost or some extra energy, exogenous ketones can be of benefit.
The effects of which can be felt for several hours.
Further, if you suffer from depression, anxiety or several other mood disorders, exogenous ketones can be very helpful.
It has been shown that they decrease the effects of these conditions.
There is also evidence that exogenous ketones can lessen the effects of neurodegenerative diseases.
So, if you want long term weight loss, its more useful to continue to adhere to the keto diet. Attempting to shortcut this process with exogenous ketones won’t be doing you any good.
In fact, it will slow your progress.
However, if you want to boost your energy levels, focus and mood, there are enormous benefits for you in including exogenous ketones in your routine.
Add some MCT oil to your exogenous ketones and you will enhance these benefits even further.
Click here for a review of the best exogenous ketones