How Ketones May Not Only Be Fueling Us, but Changing Our Gene Expression
The presence of ketones in our body is not just good for helping us run on fats for fuel or helping improve our cognitive function or helping us lose weight. No, believe it or not, these ketones are now showing evidence of being able to change our genes and change how our body actually sends and receives signals. They essentially have a mind of their own. This is some pretty darn cool science that’s starting to come out. Hey, I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, and today we’re breaking down how ketones are not just fueling us but changing us.
The Role of Beta-Hyroxybutyrate
You see, beta-hydroxybutyrate is known as a lygen. Now, lygens affect receptors in our bodies on cells. For example, beta-hydroxybutyrate triggers a specific receptor on a cell known as the HCAR2 receptor. Now, what this means is that the body has the ability to recognize a ketone as something different. I’m going to make some sense of this. It sounds a little complex at first, but I promise it’s actually quite simple. What this essentially means is when a cell sees beta-hydroxybutyrate, the main ketone body, it has its own ability and its own receptor to actually recognize that ketone and know when we have too much in the way of ketones. So what that means is, if we have a bunch of ketones coming in the body because we’re in ketosis, the cell has the ability to say, oh wait, I’ve seen enough ketones, I can slow down production. Meaning it creates its own feedback loop, very similar to how hormones would.
What is the FFAR3 Gene?
Why is this so fascinating? Well, it’s the only fuel source in the body that can do this. That doesn’t happen with glucose. For example, if we overeat a bunch of carbs, our cells don’t just say, uh you can stop the production of glucose. No, glucose is going to stay there. But our bodies do have the ability to say hey, stop the production of ketones for a minute. The reason this is so fascinating is because it means that ketones essentially have a brain. And our cells essentially have a brain for ketones, so it’s a really interesting process. Another really clear example of this is what’s called the FFAR3 gene. Okay, this FFAR3 gene is very tightly regulated, and it’s commonly found in what’s called the sympathetic nervous system. So like when we get our fight or flight instance on, when we get triggered for some reason and our heart rate goes up and we go into what’s called the sympathetic nervous system, we activate this gene. Well what’s interesting is science is now proving that the ketogenic diet and the presence of beta-hydroxybutyrate actually affect this FFAR gene. They affect it to the point where our heart rate drops, and we don’t go into that sympathetic nervous system as much. Have you ever noticed when you’re on a ketogenic diet, your heart rate’s a little bit lower, and you can do cardio and not get your heart rate quite as high. Well it’s simply because of this, it’s actually affecting us at the genetic level.
What Does the Short Chain Fatty Acid Butyrate Do?
This is very profound stuff. Now let’s take it one step further. You see, beta-hydroxybutyrate, just like the name implies, looks a lot like something known as butyrate. See, butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that’s naturally produced in our body whenever we digest fiber or specific good foods. And butyrate does some really amazing things. Okay, it affects what’s called gene transcription, and actually can make it so our genetics sort of mitigate some of the inflammation within our bodies. Very good thing when we don’t want a lot of inflammation. So when our own genetic system is turned on to mitigate inflammation, we’re in a really good state. Well, that’s from butyrate. But beta-hydroxybutyrate, the ketone, looks so much like butyrate that it does the same thing. So that means, by having a presence of ketones in our body at all times from being in a state of ketosis, we can actually have what’s called this deacetylase inhibiting effect. Now that’s complex, but essentially what it means is, we constantly are turning on our genetic potential to modulate inflammation. Again, sugar’s not going to do that. Ketones have a mind of their own.
Now everything that I’m describing here is the perfect reason why you need to be testing your ketones. It’s not a simple equation. It’s not as simple as eat more fats, ketones go higher. It doesn’t work like that, especially since our bodies have that feedback loop where we can have a bunch of ketones in the body, and eat a bunch of fats, but our cells aren’t always going to accept them. And it might send a signal to slow down production of them. So the point is, we need to test frequently so that we know our body’s cycles, and we know our bio-individuality. Because ketones, like I’ve said many times before in this video, have a mind of their own. And they’re revolutionizing the way that our genetics work, and it’s revolutionizing our own genetic potential. Make sure you’re leaving all the guesswork out of the equation and leave the measuring to the meter. And make sure you’re using that gold standard when it comes down to ketone blood testing, and we’re talking about the Keto-Mojo meter. I’ll see you in the next video.