Ketone Esters Vs. Ketone Salts & More With Geoffrey Woo of H.V.M.N.

It’s time for a serious geek out on all things ketones, ketosis, ketone esters, and more!

My guest on today’s show, Geoffrey Woo, is co-founder and CEO of H.V.M.N. – Health Via Modern Nutrition. He is also the host of the Health Via Modern Nutrition Podcast, a health & performance podcast that recently broke 4 million downloads. H.V.M.N. helped popularize ketones as a food group beyond fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and makes foods & supplements for metabolic performance and health—fueling some of the world’s top performers, athletes, and military service members.

Geoff is an avid self-experimenter who like to do 7-day water fasts, has inspired thousands under the COVID-19 lockdown to push themselves with positive challenges by completing the Crossfit Murph workout for 45 days in a row, and studies the optimization of human performance—at the individual scale, the team scale, the organization scale, and at the civilizational scale. He holds a BS with honors and distinction in computer science from Stanford University.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Geoffrey used ketone esters while doing a Crossfit “Murph” for 45 consecutive days…5:45

  • Named after Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan
  • Consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, then another mile run
  • Staying with a routine when COVID-19 became a serious issue
  • Low carb diet overall
  • Need for muscle and liver glycogen repletion
  • Added carbs to the diet, as well as ketone esters and exogenous ketones
  • Used ketones more for recovery than for performance

-Why ketogenesis is not a physiologically typical state…13:00

-The role ketones play when it comes to recovery…16:15

  • Research thus far has been focused on acute performance benefits
  • Trials performed on runners and cyclists; much easier to quantify than other sports
  • Tour de France cyclists reported exogenous ketones were better for recovery than for pre-race fuel
  • 2019 study on mimicking Tour de France training regimen with ketone esters
  • Ketones plus carbs and protein upregulates mTORC1
  • Anti-catabolic effects are consistent from an evolutionary perspective
  • Ketogenic diet inhibits mTOR
  • If you want to use a ketogenic state for recovery:
    • Have adequate nutrient availability, caloric intake, and carbs (allows liver and muscle glycogen levels to be full)
    • Include ketone esters with regular meals (induces anabolic pathway not present without ketone esters)
  • To trigger autophagy, decrease mTOR, and enhance fasting:
    • Use nutritional ketosis and/or ketone esters
    • Lower amount of carb intake and calorie availability
  • Open question of inquiry: Is β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) itself the signaling molecule that triggers HDAC inhibition, FOXO3, other longevity pathways, or is it the caloric restriction itself?

-Pros and cons of endogenous and exogenous ketosis…24:18

  • What’s happening physiologically:
    • Endogenous includes carb restriction by default (not necessarily calorie restriction)
    • The brain senses lower AMPK due to a lack of glucose
    • Increases lipolysis and fat mobilization
    • Blood-brain barrier prevents fat from entering to provide substrate for neurons
    • Increase in free fatty acids
    • Fat burning lipolysis
  • Exogenous ketosis: eating calories in the form of ketones
  • Exogenous ketones will elevate BHB aggressively
  • Inhibit lipolysis (fat burning) and free fatty acids go down
  • Ketones can be used a metabolic fuel as well as a signaling metabolite
  • Ketones mediate ghrelin (the appetite hormone) which signals satiety

-The difference between ketone esters and salts…35:15

  • Ketone salt: BHB bound to a mineral (a salt)
  • Pros and cons of salts:
    • Cheap and available
    • Often too much mineral in a ketone salt product
  • Ketone esters: Organic molecule that has an oxygen double bond between different components (monoesters and diesters)
  • Future research will reveal a “family” of esters, similar to carbohydrates, fats, etc.
  • H.V.M.N. focuses on a monoester: BHB esterified with R1,3-butanediol
  • This ketone ester delivers 100% of BHB vs. ~50% with ketone salts
  • Another ketone ester is acetoacetate diester, that Dom D’Agostino has worked on.

-The ketone esters developed by the DARPA program…38:45

  • Beginning in the 1960s, various studies conducted to determine the efficacy of ketones
    • Fasting study at Harvard by George Cahill – studies on starvation
    • Dr. Richard Veech, one of the earliest researchers of ketones and understanding the metabolic implications of ketones
    • At the start, a lot of people thought of ketones as metabolic waste products for type 1 diabetics, did not realize the broader implications as a fuel substrate as well as a signaling metabolite
  • Early 2000s, DARPA program headed by Dr. Joseph Bielitzki initiates project to determine the human factor in fighting wars
  • Quercetin, cooling glove out of Stanford and ketone esters were part of the program
  • DeltaG is the code name for a ketone monoester developed in the program
  • Last 4-5 years, performance-enhancing aspects of ketones have been studied as part of the program
  • Geoffrey’s podcast with Dr. Joseph Bielitzki of the DARPA program

-Gold standard usage for dosage and frequency of ketone esters…44:45

  • Dosage is based on body weight
  • High amounts needed for pre-exercise (for Tour de France cyclists)
  • Aim for a threshold of BHB in the blood
  • Body becomes more efficient when more adapted to ketones
  • Blood BHB is the most important variable—dependent on body weight, metabolism, and keto adaptability
  • Ketones uses:
    • Cognitive use (military and sports decision making)
    • Used prior to and after fasting
    • Transition to ketogenic diet minus the “keto flu”
  • Blood is the best way to measure ketone levels
  • You don’t excrete as many ketones when you become keto-adapted

-Whether or not ketones break a fast…53:35

  • What is the purpose of the fast
  • Which metabolic pathways do we care about
  • Ketones are mildly insulinogenic at best
  • They do not upregulate the mTOR pathway (only happens when stacked with carbs and protein)
  • Ketosis shifts NAD+ and NADH ratio to enhance sirtuin activation

-How a process called lactylation enhances the expression of longevity genes…57:11

  • BHB binds histones through process called β-hydroxybutyrylation
  • Same thing happens with lactate
  • “Biology is a study of snapshots”
  • Lactic acid builds up during exercise
  • Lactate crosses the blood-brain barrier
  • Possible use in treating TBI, concussions, etc.

-Parallels between lactate and ketones…1:02:15

  • Not insulin-mediated; substrates for metabolic health
  • Cognitive and TBI repair
    • No glucose can be utilized by the brain after a concussion or TBI
  • Potential for use treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.
  • HBOT chamber (use code BEN to save $500)
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is the best way to buffer lactate

-Stacking sodium bicarbonate with ketone esters pre-workout…1:07:15

  • Water, tip of teaspoon (microdosing) leading to the workout helps with potential diarrhea
  • Lactigo transdermal carnosine applications (use code BEN to save 20%)

-Ketones used in place of alcohol in cocktails…1:10:15

  • 1,3-butanediol can give the buzz minus the toxicity of alcohol
  • Anti-anxiety effect demonstrated in animal models
  • Butanediols combined with alcohol is highly discouraged
  • Minimal sleep disruptions with use of ketones rather than alcohol
  • CBD and ketone combinations

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Geoffrey Woo:

– BGF podcasts and articles on ketones and ketosis:

– Gear and supplements:

– Other resources:

Episode sponsors:

Kion Cold Thermogenesis Challenge: The challenge starts August 3rd, it’s completely FREE to join, and when you do you’ll get a bunch of exclusive content on how to set up a cold exposure practice no matter where you live, access to video content from experts, and a chance to enter an epic giveaway with premium cold thermo gear.

Organifi Red Juice: Enjoy all the benefits of the 11 superfoods and their micronutrients that help increase resting metabolism, support cardiovascular health, and remove toxins to turn back the hands of time! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Clearlight Saunas: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF and ELF Shielding and their Lifetime Warranty. Use discount code BENGREENFIELD to get $500 off your sauna, free shipping, and a free bonus gift!

Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card up to $20 when you begin a new membership using my link.

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Geoffrey or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Source link

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts


Latest posts

The Real Story Behind Hair Loss and the Revolutionary Approach to Treating It – Roland Peralta

Why you should listen – Today’s guest, Roland Peralta, struggled with hair loss for over 15 years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and...

Biohacking Your Brain With Precision Medicine, Genomics, Psychedelics, Advanced Nutritional Strategies & Much More! – Ben Greenfield Fitness

Drs. Matt Dawson and Mike Mallin are the head honcho docs at Wild Health, with locations in Versailles, KY, and Bend, OR. I...

BMX Superstar, Brain Tumor Survivor and Advocate: Josh Perry’s Amazing Story of Triumph

Why you should listen – Professional BMX athlete Josh Perry was just hitting his career stride when he was diagnosed with the first of...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!