Glucose Ketone Index – GKI – The Ultimate Measure of Metabolic Health

Published: April 23, 2019

Glucose Ketone Index – GKI – The Ultimate Measure of Metabolic Health

When it comes down to finding your ultimate metabolic zone, where your body is thriving the most in a ketogenic state, you have to look at something known as the GKI, the Glucose Ketone Index. Your GKI number is a biomarker calculation from a very simple formula (you can calculate your level of ketosis and glucose levels then use a glucose ketone index calculator to calculate it), but it uncovers a lot about your bio-individuality and overall wellness in a snapshot. t gives you an overall picture of where you are in a state of ketosis in relationship to your levels of glucose as well. In fact, it’s a very simple ratio. It’s basically just your ratio of glucose to ketones. There’s a simple way to measure it and when you utilize the Keto-Mojo meter, it can make your life a lot easier. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, and we’re going to break down the GKI and how you can use it to advance and optimize your life, foster weight loss, help understand the combined meaning of your glucose readings and ketone readings, and more!

Who Developed the GKI?And Why?

Okay, so first things first, we have to look at how the GKI was overall developed and looked at. It was developed by a doctor named Dr. Thomas Siegfried. He worked with cancer patients, particularly brain tumor patients, and he needed to find a way to determine where these patients would thrive and where they would have the best results when it came down to their level of ketones. But he also knew that if he just measured their ketone levels, they would vary throughout the day and not give him a clear picture. He also knew that if he just measured their glucose levels, those would vary throughout the day, as well, clouding the insight. The reason this was so important with brain tumor patients is because brain tumors, by and large, are usually glycolytic, which means they feed on the fermentable fuel, which is glucose. So, he knew that if he could bring glucose levels down that he would essentially starve these tumors. He also knew that if he brought up the non-fermentable fuel, ketones, that he could increase his patients’ quality of life while also starving these tumors. So it was very, very important to him to get a clear picture.

American College of Nutrition Journal Study

There are a couple of studies that take a look at this in general. One study was published by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. It took a look at two pediatric patients with brain tumors and essentially what it found was that when the GKI level was brought down, they would end up having a reduced level of the fuel that would feed these tumors. In this case, fluorodeoxyglucose, which is basically glucose that gets metabolized in a certain way to ultimately be brain tumor fuel. They found there was a significant reduction in the overall fuel that these tumors had when GKI was brought down. On average between these patients, GKI came down from 27 all the way to 0.7 to 1.1, you want to have your GKI nice and low. A low GKI indicates that you have low blood glucose levels and moderately high blood ketone levels.

Nutrition Metabolism Journal Study

Now I’ll explain exactly how it breaks down and how to calculate a little bit later in this video. There’s another study that I want to look at that was published in the journal, Nutrition Metabolism. This study took a look at a different kind of cancer. This woman had a glioblastoma, so, this is again still a brain tumor, but they all respond differently. What they did with this patient is they had her go on an eight-week ketogenic diet with mild calorie restriction. Of course, what they found is that her overall GKI came down from the mid 30s all the way down to about 1.4. Okay, so success. They brought the GKI down, which means they brought ketones up over the long haul and they brought glucose (carbohydrates) down over the long haul, not at just one specific point in time. Well, the interesting thing is they found that after eight weeks, the brain tumor reduced in size so much that it wasn’t even detectable. Then when she went back on carbs and off the low-carb keto diet for about 10 weeks, the brain tumor reappeared and was detectable again.

Understanding the Science

What does this mean for you? If you don’t have brain cancer is this important to you? Well yes, it is because the science that has come from the cancer community regarding the GKI has opened up a whole world for performance, for overall life optimization, for overall cognitive function because now we can take a look at the larger picture.

The GKI is a helpful biomarker of overall well-being. It can also be an indicator as to whether you are staying in ketosis and metabolic wellness or missing the mark and perhaps setting yourself up through diet- and glucose-related higher risk of health problems and chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or obesity.

Again, let me make some sense of this. When we test our ketones, it could change minute to minute because we’re not a perfectly pressurized system where we have the fuel and the ketones running through our body at all the same rate, the same pressure, it doesn’t work like that. Our liver produces ketones in these surges and then our blood surges. We might measure ketones and they just give us random results. Not random, but they might give us results that are within a realm but not exactly the same over time. But if we start looking at the GKI, we can get a bigger picture of where something is working and where something is not.

I’ll give you an example with physical activity. Exercise is a perfect one because when you exercise, your glucose levels go up and your ketone levels may go up, too. But more than likely your glucose levels are going to go up, and your ketone levels will stay about the same. This alarms people, but the fact is, if you were to actually look at your GKI over the course of your entire workout, you would find that the overall net result of your workout is actually about the same as what it normally would be, you still have a good amount of ketones.

The other thing is, if you practice intermittent fasting this could be very optimal for you simply because it’s going to let you know where you’re burning the most dietary- and body-fat, where you’re getting the most metabolic effect. If your ketones are low while you’re fasting, or your glucose is high because of peripheral insulin resistance, you’re not getting that much of a benefit, your GKI is still staying high. If you want the effects of fasting, you want your GKI to be nice and low, so, it’s very powerful. Again, with the bio-individuality with food, too. If you’re concerned about eating something and it kicks you out of ketosis, well, you might eat something and it spikes your blood glucose, but you might find that your ketone levels don’t change or they do actually go up, too, because you ate some fats.

How Do You Measure GKI with the Keto-Mojo Meter?

The GKI will give you peace of mind. It gives you that bigger picture and helps you find that metabolic zone. Very important, so how do you actually measure this with your Keto-Mojo meter? Well, what you’d want to do is you is you’d want to measure your glucose levels and then you’re going to divide your glucose levels by 18 and then you’re going to divide that number by your ketone levels. Or, you can use the Keto-Mojo GKI calculator.

Okay, what this does is it takes your milligrams of deciliter glucose and turns it into millimoles (mmol) per liter. And then you divide that by ketones and it gives you your simple glucose to ketone ratio. So, you want to be below a 5. Let’s just put it there. If you’re below a 1 on the GKI, you’re in a therapeutic state of ketosis. Epilepsy, seizure treatment, some cancer treatment, etc. 1 to 3, you’re in a nice, deep state of ketosis. This is great just for optimal ketone production and overall function. And then up to 5, you’re still at a moderate ketone range where you’re doing pretty good overall. Once you get over 9, you’re not in ketosis at all. So, it’s just a nicer way for us to look. It’s almost comparative to looking at our A1C if you’re diabetic, it gives you a bigger picture which helps us out overall. As the ketogenic community evolves and we start to learn more scientific ways to truly optimize our lives, we’re going to realize that it’s more than just testing that one number.

You can head on over to for a way for you to enter your readings into their simple little GKI calculator, which will give you everything you need to know when it comes down to what your GKI is at that point in time. As always, make sure you’re keeping it locked in here with Keto-Mojo. Leave that guesswork out of the equation and start being data-driven and utilize a Keto-Mojo meter. I’ll see you in the next video.


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