Ketone: A waste product in the body when it is burning fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrate.
Are they Dangerous? Good question. In the wrong quantity yes. In small quantities I would have to say no.
Let's look at some definitions, then go from there:
Ketogenic diet: This is where I feel the controversy starts, people automatically link Ketoacidosis with Ketogenic, and therefore they conclude that having a small quantity of ketones in the blood is a life threatening thing. Which it is not, in my opinion. Actually it is very common when fasting for over 12-15 hours to have a small amount of ketones in the blood or urine.
The question arises, as usual with science is; what are the long term consequences of being in a semi-ketogenic state while dieting? Good question; and there are studies, many of them, and I have yet to find a negative one. I am not a scientist, however, but I like to believe I have common sense.
It has been noted in many popular weight loss books using the ketogenic diet principals, that the heart and brain prefer the energy derived from ketones as opposed to Carbohydrate. Interesting. In the book titled Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, Sareen and colleagues provide evidence of what the body prefers during a 40 day period of starvation. Basically the brain and the muscles convert to using ketones as an energy source, not out pf preference but necessity.
There is once again, a lot of controversy, or perhaps confusion, about ketones, or more specifically Ketogenic diets.
So are ketones bad? My opinion, not in the right quantity with the appropriate amount of insulin.
What do you think?
Sareen S, et al, Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (2009)Page 263, table 7.2.