The ketogenic diet is a famous diet that has been tried and tested by many people worldwide. Even if individuals don’t have personal experiences, they are sure to know someone who has tried the keto diet. But what about exogenous ketones that impact health and performance?
Ketones are metabolites of fat oxidation or in simple terms, are produced when the body burns fat for energy or fuel. Their utmost importance lies in providing fuel to the brain as the brain can make use of only glucose and ketone bodies for energy. The brain usually relies on carbs as a substrate compared to lipids and during starvation, lipids are used to sustain brain functioning via these ketone bodies.
Carbs and glucose are primary energy providers to human body. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which ketone bodies act as primary energy providers to the body in comparison to the glycolysis state in which blood glucose provides energy. The primary ketone bodies used for energy include acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate.
Nutritional ketosis is the state of increased ketone levels in the body that is feasible through multiple ways such as fasting, by consuming a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 50 grams daily), exercising for a long time without carbs or by consuming exogenous ketones. We call it exogenous as we are taking a product that has been produced outside the human body. It is important to note that the terms ketosis and ketogenic have slightly different meanings. Ketosis is increased blood-ketone levels either from endogenous (produced in the liver) or exogenous (taken as supplement) ketones. Ketogenic is the existence of elevated ketone bodies as a result of following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and the ketogenic diet is the best example. Read more about this diet, its advantages and side effects at www.firsteatright.com.
There are two variations of exogenous ketones-salt and esters (mono- and di-esters). Ketone salts that are reasonably priced have mild impact on ketone levels raising the blood ketone levels to around 1 mmol and having a high salt load. Ketone esters, on the other hand, have a significant impact on blood ketones raising blood ketone levels to 3-4 mmol within 20 to 30 minutes of ingestion.
Impact of Exogenous Ketones
The impact of exogenous ketones on endurance performance is interesting as two important studies on this prove contrasting results-one shows positive effects and the other showed negative effects, but one has to remember that the protocols used for testing purpose varied significantly. Exogenous ketones are advantageous when there is overall improvement in substrate metabolism and prove beneficial in numerous ways:
April 25th signifies World Malaria Day which is one of the eight formal WHO health campaigns. The goal of ending malaria though quite ambitious is an achievable one when the right actions are taken as a combined effort.
In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide, but if you compare the statistics between 2010 and 2015, there was a global decrease in malaria incidence (21%) and mortality rates (29%) too. Sadly, the Sub-Saharan Africa still is the home to 90% malaria cases and 91% malarial deaths as per 2016 statistics.
Interesting Facts About Malaria
Vaccination is today’s gift for your child’s healthy tomorrow. Celebrated during the last week of April every year, World Immunization Week is a worldwide health campaign to create awareness on the needs of immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases. Every year millions of people are saved from the deadly attack of illnesses and disabilities such as polio, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, cervical cancer, hepatitis B, pertussis and tetanus, 2-3 million deaths are prevented and people are becoming healthier due to the efficiency of a simple, inexpensive tool called ‘vaccination’.
Vaccination Aids in Disease Prevention
As soon as a child is born, weight and height measurements are taken, head circumference is measured and hearing levels are confirmed. Along with these value charts, the physician gives a list of vaccines that need to be injected as the child grows up. But sadly, in countries where mortality rates are high, more than 50% of the child population miss out on all these essential vaccinations needed for growing up in a healthy way.
Since the last few years, the number of children receiving vaccinations worldwide has decreased drastically and almost stagnated. If the vaccinations had been dispersed to kids as expected, more than 1.5 million lives could have been saved every year. These kids are robbed of their basic essential needs such as poor nutrition and health, inappropriate sanitation services and water which only makes way for diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and measles to attack them even more easily. Most of them live in densely populated poor communities that include slum environments where immunization chances are negligible. In 2016 alone, almost 19.5 million infants were deprived of their routine vaccinations amongst which a majority of them lived in 10 countries and sadly, India is one among them. Urbanization is rapidly happening and the future decades seem bleak as the population of urban slums is only going to multiply, specifically in Asia and Africa. But, this is not a reason to leave our future generation unattended, deprived of their rights and making them a victim of death. Organizations such as the WHO and UNICEF work with different countries and governments to improve knowledge about vaccination and encourage countries to arrange camps and services to reach one and all.
Indian government has opted for a vast immunization program that covers more than 26 million people annually. In late 2014, strategy ‘Mission Indradhanush’ was launched to provide full vaccination for children up to 2 years of age and pregnant women. Last few years helped India increase vaccination numbers by only 1% per year and this strategy aims to increase full immunization coverage to 90% by 2020. Every city, village, nomadic settlements and tribes are marked and local health workers take responsibility to vaccinate people in every marked locality. India’s Universal Immunization Program is the largest in the world which makes around nine million routine immunizations feasible across the country. The Routine Immunization (RI) program caters to the need of 27 million infants and 30 million pregnant women which helps saving the life of more than 4,00,000 children annually.
Interesting Immunization Facts
Blood pressure, stroke, diabetes or heart attack don’t differentiate people and treat every individual equally. These diseases neither know that they should be attacking only older people and spare the younger generation. A person might be fit, healthy, normal weight, does not smoke cigarette or drink alcohol and eats a healthy diet. Still he/she might be affected by a heart attack due to certain other reasons such as birth control pills, Sjogren’s syndrome, increase in lipoprotein level and many more.
Heart diseases is the number one killer among men and women, yet young people, especially those in good health, don’t think about getting themselves tested as they don’t doubt/care about their heart health or their doctors too don’t think that they need to be tested.
There are two interesting facts about heart attack in the younger population:
Research tells that three of four heart attacks in young people could be prevented if they follow the below given healthy lifestyle rules. Rules might seem to be elementary, but the results are far-reaching.
The individual feels void: Life changes overnight for young individuals who are affected by a heart attack. While all their life they have been partying, working, having fun, socializing, parenting and living good, a heart attack makes a person feel house-arrested and bored. Restrictions such as abstaining from alcohol, fatty food and smoking makes them feel deprived of the pleasures in life.
Fears death: Dying or death is not in a youngster’s dictionary and when heart attack strikes, the person starts fearing death. They worry about their future and the condition of their family. Even trivial pain in the body (arm or chest) makes them fear a heart attack.
Learns something positive out of it: Some individuals find something positive in every experience and these people take their heart attack too that way. They either start leading a healthier lifestyle, cut down smoking, drinking alcohol or reduce their consumption of fatty foods. They also suggest others, their family, friends and colleagues, to start leading a healthier lifestyle and avoid making the same mistake that they had committed.
One thing is clear-younger people who experience heart attack are mentally unstable compared to older people. Owing to this, they are less likely to attend rehab, do exercises, take medicines and make lifestyle changes that makes recovery easier. These people get quickly discharged from hospitals as they become physically fit and what needs to be done is to govern their mental health to enable a quicker physical rehab. While many young people think that heart attack draws their life to an end, what they don’t realize is that, it is the beginning of a better life when they follow the instructions given by their doctor and work hard on it.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.