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in order to explain how the ketogenic diet works i must first explain the basic workings of the body's metabolism your body has two opposing biochemical pathways promoted by the peptide

hormones insulin and glucagon think of them as the yin and yang of your metabolism where the goal is to balance your blood glucose levels to maintain availability of energy for your body's cells insulin's job is to lower blood sugar

levels it does this by promoting the uptake of glucose into cells once glucose is absorbed into cells it can undergo glycogenesis or lipogenesis glycogenesis is the process by which glucose absorbed by cells is converted

to the polysaccharide glycogen and lipogenesis is the process by which glucose is converted to triglycerides in other words fat glycogenesis occurs in skeletal muscles lipogenesis occurs in

fat cells and both of these processes occur in the liver glucagon's job is the opposite of insulins it raises blood sugar levels by promoting glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in glucogeneolysis glucagon binds receptors in the liver the liver cells

then convert glycogen to glucose and release it into the blood an average person's glycogen stores can last about 12 to 14 hours or two hours of moderate exercise this is maintained via the

ingestion of about 250 to 400 grams of carbs daily glycogen stores run out during prolonged exercise hence the feeling that you hit a wall and can't keep going it can also be depleted during fasting low carb diets or with

untreated type 1 diabetes gluconeogenesis is the term for the metabolic pathway in which glucose is generated from non-carb sources like glycerol which are components of fat or from glucogenic amino acids amino acids are components of proteins fasting can

cause your cells to start breaking down protein in order to release amino acids into the bloodstream the glucogenic amino acids can be converted to glucose in the liver a major source of protein is your muscle mass which is why people are warned that fasting can result in

the wasting away of muscles there is also another category of amino acids ketogenic amino acids these can be converted directly into acetyl-coa the precursor of ketone bodies unlike fat

glycogen can be mobilized rapidly in skeletal muscle and utilized as a fuel source without the presence of oxygen when you consume carbs they get converted into glucose which floats around and is particularly important to brain function meanwhile fat oxidation

or burning requires the input of energy triglycerides are the major fat in our bodies and in our food a triglyceride consists of three fatty acid groups attached to a glycerol via an ester bond

hence fatty acids are subunits of fat molecules during lipolysis the ester bond between the fatty acids and the glycerol is cleaved the fatty acids are removed from the fat cells to flow in the bloodstream this process is triggered by high levels

of glucagon which occurs as a result of low blood sugar triglycerides can enter most of the body's cells exceptions being red blood cells due to their lack of mitochondria and the central nervous system due to the blood-brain barrier enzymes then catalyze reactions to

convert the fatty acids to acetyl coa which can then enter kreb's cycle krebs cycle also called the citric acid cycle is a series of biochemical reactions that oxidize acetyl-coa to release energy ketone bodies get produced by the

liver when it breaks down fatty acids and deaminates amino acids in the absence of carbs and glycogen hence ketone bodies are present during intense gluconeogenesis ketone bodies include acetoacetate beta hydroxybutyrate and acetone which is a

spontaneous breakdown product they are easily taken up by cells of other tissues for instance the brain unlike glycerides ketone bodies can pass the blood-brain barrier and replace glucose as the brain's energy source they then

get converted to acetyl-coa which can enter the krebs cycle so now i'm going to talk about the ketogenic diet i'd like to stress that i'm neither promoting it nor discouraging people from trying it i'm only describing it and if you are considering it then you should do a lot of research and decide

for yourself whether it is right for you in the ketogenic diet the goal is to switch from a state of glycolysis where your body is burning glucose to a state of ketosis where your body is burning ketones in plain english you are forcing

your body to start burning your fat as its main energy source instead of incoming carbs this is accomplished by making one's food intake high in fat with moderate protein and almost no carbohydrates the body soon runs out of

its preferred energy source carbohydrates and begins to burn fats instead on this diet the aim is generally for carbs to make up about five percent of macronutrient intake while protein intake is 15 to 30 percent and fat intake is the rest it takes

 to adapt to the change in macronutrient composition over the first few days on the keto diet the body enters a state of ketosis and insulin levels drop rapidly while ketone bodies increase many though not all people experience the keto flu

phenomenon during this time this is caused by the rapid loss of water that has been retained in the water along with the carbs from the previous diet along with this water there is a massive loss of electrolytes

including sodium potassium and magnesium symptoms are thirst frequent urination fatigue muscle cramps and headaches nausea and mental fog for many people taking supplements or consuming pickle juice for the lost electrolytes and drinking plenty of water makes their

keto flu go away faster once the keto flu has been overcome many people report improved mental clarity energy levels and decreased appetite some people use the keto diet for its weight loss potential weight loss is

very rapid in the first few days due to water loss afterward weight loss slows down but stays linear a study has shown that athletes on the ketogenic diet burn significantly more fat during a workout many people go on a ketogenic diet to increase mental clarity another side

effect of the ketogenic diet is breath smelling fruity or like nail polish which comes from the ketone bodies the smell comes from the spontaneous decomposition of one of the ketone bodies acetoacetic acid into acetate

many report that this side effect goes away after being on the diet for a while anyway that was my short summary of the biochemistry behind the ketogenic diet hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot

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