Whether ketones come from eating a very low-carb ketogenic diet, or from coconut oil (coconut ketones), their therapeutic effects are the same. Ketones have been shown to improve all of the health markers doctors’ measure when evaluating a patient’s health status. Ketones do the following:
- Reduce blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity
- Reduce blood insulin levels
- Raise HDL cholesterol
- Reduce blood triglycerides
- Increase large, beneficial LDL cholesterol
- Reduce small, dense, potentially harmful cholesterol
- Reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI)
- Reduce waist circumference (reduce abdominal or visceral fat)
- Normalize blood pressure
- Reduce cholesterol ratio (total cholesterol/HDL)
- Reduce triglyceride ratio (triglyceride/HDL)
- Reduce C-reactive protein (a marker for systemic inflammation)
- Increase human growth hormone (HGH) levels
- Reduce advanced glycation end products (AGEs)
- Reduce free radicals and oxidative stress
All of these contribute to improved health and longer lifespan. AGEs and excess free radicals (oxidative stress) have long been implicated as major contributors to the aging process, and reducing their influence has been viewed as a key feature in preserving good health and extending healthspan (healthy lifespan).
Human growth hormone (HGH) has gained the reputation of being an anti-aging hormone. We have high levels of HGH in our youth, but levels decline with age. HGH supports bone mineralization and density, maintains and increases muscle mass, reduces fat production and storage, supports immune function, improves memory and cognitive function, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, and promotes rapid healing from injury and illness. Bodybuilders and athletes often use the synthetic version of the hormone to aid in weight loss, boost muscle strength, and improve athletic performance. You don’t need to inject a synthetic hormone to accomplish this, therapeutic levels of ketones from a proper ketogenic diet can stimulate your own body to produce natural HGH—the kind most suitable for your body, without all the side effects associated with the synthetic versions.
Studies have repeatedly shown that the ketogenic diet slows down the aging process and extends healthy lifespan. For decades researchers have studied the life-extending effects of calorie-restricted diets, where total daily calorie intake is reduce by 20 to 40 percent. In animals, lifespan has increased by as much as 40 percent simply by reducing the amount of food they eat. Age-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and failing memory, are also suppressed. Studies have shown this same effect can be duplicated simply by reducing carbohydrate consumption, without actually reducing total calorie intake.1-2
A recent study suggests that a ketogenic diet could increase healthspan by as much as 10 years. In the study mice were assigned to one of three diets: a ketogenic, low-carb, or control diet. As the mice aged, only those on the ketogenic diet maintained their youthful physiological function. The high-fat ketogenic diet significantly increased lifespan compared to the other two diets. These mice saw a 13 percent increase in lifespan, which would translate into 10 extra years in humans.3
If you are experiencing symptoms of premature aging, a ketogenic diet or the consumption of therapeutic levels of coconut oil may not only slow the aging process but possibly reverse it! Many people with high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high oxidative stress, excess body fat, and other symptoms of aging and poor health, have been able to successfully reverse all of these conditions, essentially turning back the clock on the aging process.
You can learn more about all of this in my book Ketone Therapy: The Ketogenic Cleanse and Anti-Aging Diet.
- Veech, RL, et al. Ketone bodies mimic the life span extending properties of caloric restriction. UBMB Life 2017;69:305-314.
- Newman, JC, et al. Ketogenic diet reduces midlife mortality and improves memory in aging mice. Cell Metab 2017;26:547-557.
- Roberts, MN, et al. A ketogenic diet extends longevity and healthspan in adult mice. Cell Metab 2017;26:539-546.