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BHB vs. ACA vs. Acetone: What are the Differences?

If you are anybody who follows the diet industry, chances are that you have heard about ‘ketones’, ‘the ketogenic diet’, or ‘ketones’.  Whenever you do hear any of these terms, chances are that you also hear talks about a higher fat, low-carb diet.  While in this day and age the norm is a low to no fat diet, the entire concept of a low-carb and high-fat diet may seem insane.  And this is all before most people are confused about what a ketone actually is and how they can help you.  So let’s take a second and learn more about ketones and how they can help you.

What Is A Ketone And What Is Ketosis?

When most people think of the body’s main fuel source, you will normally go straight to sugar, or glucose.  While the body does need to use glucose as a source of energy, what you may not know is that there are certain fats that can be equally, or even superior fuel sources for the human body.  That’s exactly what ketosis is.  It’s the human body’s ability to use fats as it’s main source of energy instead of glucose.

So how ketosis works, is that the body uses fats as its main source of fuel.  When it does this, three bi-products are produced.  The first bi-product is B-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB.  The second bi-product is acetoacetate, which is also known as ACA.  The third bi-product is known as acetone.  All three of these bi-products are known as Ketones.  This process occurs naturally within the body and helps the human body to survive when there is extreme food restriction.

When you start to follow a low carbohydrate nutritional diet, you force your body to look for another way to get the energy it needs.  This is when it will typically start using fatty acids and stored fats to create the energy that it needs.  Your liver will break down the fats and then release ketones into the body so that the brain and other organs are able to produce energy.

The neat thing about ketones when compared to glucose, especially BHB, is that it may be much more efficient as a fuel source for the brain.  And since all ketones are water soluble, if there is an excess within the body, they are simply eliminated when you urine (ACA and BHB), or when you breathe (acetone).

What Are The Main Benefits?

While the ketogenic diet is now a mainstream ‘weight loss’ diet, it first became popular when it was used as a treatment for children who suffered from seizures caused by epilepsy.  This is when the benefits of ketones were first discovered.  But the more research that goes into ketosis grows, the amount of benefits grows larger as well.

  • Blood Sugar Balance and Weight Loss

This is one of the main reasons that ketones have become so popular among the masses.  Ketones work to help improve insulin sensitivity, as well as normalize and lower blood sugar levels, decrease food cravings and even help increase the feeling of satiety.  In fact, those who do have higher levels of ketones are more easily able to step outside the mainstream dieting ideology that having more smaller portioned meals per day is the best way to lose weight.  Because of this increased level of satiety, you are more likely to only eat when you are actually hungry.  This means that the days of counting calories and measuring your food out in advance are a thing of the past.  And it all happens with the same, and sometimes even more significant weight loss.

In fact, the improvement of the blood sugar levels with the help of ketones also help explain why ketones are able to help benefit those with type II diabetes and some women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

And if that weren’t enough, ketones have been shown to help athletic performance and increase energy levels.  Since ketones play one of the major roles in increased blood flow, this in turns helps your blood vessels to dilate and be able to carry more oxygen to your muscles.  This then leads to increased performance and even improved motor function performance.  It is due to this that ketones are commonly referred to as ‘super fuel.’  And ketones don’t stop there.  They are actually a powerful antioxidant as well, and help promote and preserve muscle mass as well.

At the end of the day, ketones are something that everybody should want to be benefiting from.  What makes it even better is that you no longer have to rely on your body to make them for you.  With proper supplementation of ketone supplements, you will be able to reap all of the rewards and benefits of ketones on your body, without having to stick to those tough, extremely hard to follow dietary guidelines.