Everything You Need To Know About Ketones & Ketosis With Dr. Latt Mansor of H.V.M.N.

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Biohacking, Body, Diet & Nutrition, Fitness, Low Carb & Ketogenic Diet, Nutrition, Performance, Podcast, Podcast-new, Supplements

If you've ever looked into ketogenic diets or ketone supplementation, you may have already heard of H.V.M.N.

As one of the most research-backed companies in their field, they make one of the best supplemental ketones on the market.

The company was first founded in 2014 by my former podcast guests Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt (see Geoffrey Woo's interview at “The Latest Research On Ketones & Ketosis For Performance & Recovery, Do Ketones Break A Fast, Using Ketones For 45 Days Of Crossfit Murph, Ketone Esters vs. Ketone Salts & More With Geoffrey Woo of H.V.M.N.” and Michael Brandt's interview at “The Crazy New World Of Ketone Esters (& How To Use Ketones For Sleep, Performance, Recovery, Fat Loss, Plant Medicines & Much More) With Michael Brandt Of HVMN.”)

Since that time, the research on ketones has exploded. In 2018, H.V.M.N. products affiliated with United States Special Operations Command were tested as part of Operation Tech Warrior, and in the 2019 Tour de France, multiple cycling teams including Team Jumbo–Visma and Lotto–Soudal confirmed usage of ketone ester for performance and recovery.

My guest on this show is H.V.M.N.'s research lead Dr. Latt Mansor, who holds a Ph.D. in Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics from the University of Oxford. He also holds an MA (Columbia University) and a BS (University of Nottingham) in Biotechnology. Latt brings over a decade of experience spanning academic research, health technology, and pharmaceuticals to the H.V.M.N. team, and now, to this conversation.

He oversees all the scientific development and clinical applications for all H.V.M.N. products, and this episode is all about what the company actually makes and how their products work, including how to time and dose ketones as a supplement. In this episode, you'll learn everything you need to know about ketones (and maybe even more that you didn't know you needed to know!) – enjoy!

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-How Ben, as a triathlete, got introduced to ketosis…07:36

-Dr. Latt Mansor, research lead at H.V.M.N….11:59

  • Dr. Latt Mansor 
    • Ph.D. in physiology, anatomy, and genetics from the University of Oxford
    • Over a decade of experience in academic research, health technology, and pharmacology
    • Oversees the scientific development and clinical application for HVMN (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • Ketone-IQ Shots (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • Also the host of the HVMN podcast
  • Ben uses Keto Brick to make cheesecakes

-When did Latt first start messing around with ketosis or get into ketones?…14:12

  • Latt was born in Malaysia
  • Brought up in a family with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
  • As a child was overweight
  • As an undergrad from the University of Nottingham
    • Started learning about biotechnology, physiology, and metabolism
  • Started exercising
  • His final year project was a mathematical model of adipose tissue metabolism
    • Adipose tissue is the main fat storage in the body
  • Started losing weight – lost 45 lbs. in 1 year
  • Research continued with his Master's in Biotechnology at Columbia University, focused on
    • Drug development
    • Pharmaceutical sciences
  • Learned how the world treats diseases
  • As a scientist wanted to have impact on people’s lives
  • Found a job in a pharmaceutical company
    • Worked for a year and was inspired by the scientists there
  • Applied for a PhD at Oxford
    • Specialized in cardiovascular disease and diabetes
    • Researched metabolism of Type 2 Diabetes in hypoxia
  • Differences between fat metabolism and glucose metabolism in hypoxia
  • Looking at the link between cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
    • Using hypoxia as a subset of ischemia
    • Cardiovascular disease causes hypoxia
  • Ben's podcast with Gary Brecka:
  • When you have clotted arteries, your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen or removing enough waste
  • Researched the ability of heart to switch to glucose
    • Found out that in diabetes there is much less ability to shift from fat to glucose
  • Worked in health tech and diabetes management program until 2019
  • Got introduced to HVMN via Dr. Brianna Stubbs, former research lead at HVMN (use code BGL to save 20%)
    • Honesty, transparency, and scientific integrity
    • Constantly improving products
  • First ever exogenous ketone in the market, Ketone Ester to Ketone IQ (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • While he was in research, he looked at ketones as just a side product
  • When he joined HVMN, started on a keto diet
  • At the moment, on a low-carb diet
  • Wanted to have the benefits of ketones without conforming to a strict diet
  • Latt is also the host of the HVMN podcast

-What is ketoacidosis?…24:34

  • When you have high levels of ketones in the presence of high levels of glucose
  • It's like you are starving but at the same time have an abundance of substrate
  • The increase in ketones lowers blood ph, potentially causing death

-If somebody has diabetes, should they not be using ketones?…25:44

-How come ketones lowers blood glucose?…26:42

  • Ben experienced being pale and clammy after taking ketones before dinner
  • Had low blood glucose, in the 40s after he tested with a CGM
  • Exact mechanism of action is not known but the hypothesis is that ketones signal the liver to reduce production of  glucose via gluconeogenesis
  • Metabolism consists of anabolism and catabolism – building up and breaking down

-If you are fasting all day and you take ketones that result in a drop in blood glucose, can you just eat carbohydrates?…28:36

  • If you start feeling unwell because of very low blood glucose, eat carbohydrates
  • Ben's experience when using ketones

-Ketone IQ as DNA protection…29:46

  • Ketone IQ (use code BGL to save 20%)
    • Small bottle (Shots) – 10g of R-1,3-Butanediol (each 59ml serving contains 10g of ketones)
    • Big bottle – 100g or 10 servings of R-1,3-Butanediol (each 35ml serving contains 10g of ketones)
  • Ketones have DNA protective effect
  • Great mitochondrial protection especially against radiation
  • Just concluded review of a grant application to the European Space Agency
    • To get Ketone IQ to astronauts for protection against ionizing radiation
    • Cosmic galactic radiation

-The difference between BHB, Ketone Ester, and R-1,3-Butanediol…39:23

  • Our bodies are designed to create and metabolize ketones
  • We produce 3 types of ketones
    1. Acetoacetate
    2. Acetone
    3. BHB (β-hydroxybutyrate) – is the main form of ketone in the body
  • There is a powder supplement called Free BHB Acid – causes GI issues
  • Twenty years ago, DARPA was looking for potential super fuel to power soldiers for demanding missions
    • Toyed around the idea of exogenous ketones
    • As a result, they came up with ketone ester
      • They bound BHB to butanediol
      • Butanediol goes to the liver and is converted directly to BHB
  • When you drink ketone ester
    • The esterase cuts the ester bond
    • BHB goes to the blood
    • Butanediol goes to the liver, gets converted to BHB in slow releasing form
  • That’s the ketone ester HVMN brought to the market in 2017
  • Drinking ketone ester
    • Raises blood ketone levels 3-5 millimolar
    • Just above 1 millimolar – start to get into ketosis
    • Above 3 millimolar – you get to feel really stable
    • Above 7 millimolar – danger of going into ketoacidosis
  • It was earlier thought that 3.5 was good
  • Dosage and measuring ketones
    • Nutritional ketosis – above 0.5
    • Therapeutic ketosis uses (epilepsy, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases) – above 1 millimolar
    • Performance ketosis – 1.5 to 2.5
    • More than 3 – going to acidification of the blood and ph lowering
    • Acidification of the blood upregulates all cardio-respiratory stress biomarkers to expel the CO2 to neutralize blood ph
      • Heart rate
      • Breathing rate
      • Have higher RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) during exercise
  • To measure ketones
    • Keto mojo
    • Precision Xtra
    • Blood measurement measures BHB
    • Breath measurement – measures acetone (not very accurate)
    • Urine measurement- measures acetoacetate (not very accurate)

-What was the DARPA grant actually for?…46:00

  • In 2017, started STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) Phase 1 trial with SOCOM (Special Operations Command)
    • Looked at the decline in cognition in hypoxia
    • That decline was mitigated with Ketone Ester
  • Got funds for Phase 2 study
    • The study was prolonged, way longer, because of COVID
    • More conflicting studies and data came out during that time
  • Offered the product with a refund so everybody can try
  • With Butanediol, the increase of BHB in the blood is slow and steady – the liver is the gatekeeper
  • In an internal study, Latt took 80g (not recommended) – his blood BHB did not go higher than 2.5 – just felt sleepy
    • The study was for safety and tolerability
  • Recommended is 1 dose – 10g Ketone IQ Shots (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • The slow increase in blood BHB gives people more time in ketosis
  • Why the switch to butanediol
    1. Pharmacokinetics
    2. Price point
    3. Taste – ketone ester still tastes horrible
  • One of the tasks of the $6M grant was to improve the taste

-Is it because of Butanediol high dose that it simulates the effects of alcohol?…52:13

  • KetoneAid Ketohol simulates cocktails
  • It falls to the dosing – anything high dose makes you ill
  • It could be the hypoglycemic effect that is simulating the relaxing effect of alcohol
  • Ketones act upon the GABAergic pathway where it has an anxiolytic effect
  • The running community uses THC for performance
  • Ketones are like an adaptive fuel
    • Seen in studies that it has opposing effects
    • Gives calm energy and yet gives better performance
  • Appetite suppression –
    • Ketone ester decreases ghrelin
    • R-1,3-Butanediol has leptin sensitizing effect
  • Ben's experience with the adaptogenic effects of Reishi mushrooms
    • Relaxes when ready for a nap or to settle down
    • Gives energy when you want more energy
  • Ketones and inflammation
  • With regard to sleep, more research needed
    • Some people claim to get better sleep

-Breath-hold practice and ketones…1:01:17

  • Ben had 40 extra seconds on breath hold after taking ketones
  • Similar to what was seen in military projects with hypoxic chamber
    • Oxygen saturation decreased from 99% to 65%
    • With ketones decreased to only 72%
    • A 7% increase in oxygen saturation
  • A paper is coming out soon about this study
    • Study using masks and a hypoxic chamber
  • The study also followed the 10th Special Group into the mountains during training
  • When in hypoxia, glycolysis is upregulated
  • With ketones, increase in the amount of oxygen you can carry 
  • Ben's blood glucose is now at 78
    • 87 at the start of the podcast
    • Peaked during the morning walk at a 100

-Ketones and exercise…1:04:42

-New research on ketones related to anaerobic performance…1:09:58

  • Ketones are more related to fats
  • Glucose is always the king when it comes to anaerobic
  • No one has done studies on ketones and anaerobic performance
  • HVMN partnered with University of North Georgia, a military college
  • Did an extreme test (5k run and anaerobic Wingate test) and measured the ketones
    • Had ketones before and after the 5k run
  • Anaerobic Wingate test:
    • 5 bouts of 10-sec sprints on the bike with 7.5% body weight as load
    • 10-sec sprints/30-sec rest 5 times
    • Ketones measured after
  • Saw an increase in average power, peak power, and velocity
    • Paddling harder and faster
  • Also measured fatigue level
    • People on Ketone IQ and carbs experienced less fatigue than the placebo group
  • RER (Respiratory Exchange Ratio) results –
    • Ketone IQ and carbs group had significantly lower RER – burning more fat than glucose
    • Placebo group – 0.94
    • Ketone IQ and carbs group – 0.89
    • Ketone IQ and carbs group had a decrease in ketone levels
  • Another reason for better performance can also be increased pain tolerance
    • Potential analgesic effect on the brain

-Lactate as an alternative fuel to glucose…1:17:26

  • Lactate was not measured between the two groups
  • Lactate and ketones for traumatic brain damage recovery
  • The End of Alzheimer's by Dale Bredesen
  • A pilot study in partnership with the Naval Health Research Center on TBI and the use of Ketone IQ for recovery (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • The University of Western Australia is also going to start a study on TBI using Ketone IQ
  • In the case of traumatic brain injury, within the first 48 hours
    • Hypometabolism of glucose – the brain starts taking all the glucose
    • 7 days after – a decrease in glucose metabolism
    • Huge increase in lactate
    • Years after, patients experience glucose metabolism – are not good at metabolizing glucose
    • Very similar to Alzheimer's disease – also called type-3 diabetes
  • There is some form of insulin resistance, the brain can’t utilize glucose
  • That’s where ketones come in
    • Ketones are the brain's super fuel, ketones can bypass insulin resistance
    • Anti-inflammatory properties of ketones
  • Under normal circumstances, glucose is the brain's fuel
  • Important for a failing heart – the heart upregulates ketone metabolism

-Are ketones safe for kids?…1:24:10

  • Ben’s sons just took their first dose of ketones
  • Ketone IQ is safe for kids (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • Babies spend most of their time in ketosis
  • Ben's sons' regular diet and supplements:
  • Ben is thinking of adding ketones to his sons' diet
  • No studies or trials on cognitive performance
  • Benefits are reported by users of Ketone IQ (use code BGL to save 20%)
  • For every activity that requires brain power, Ketone IQ provides the fuel you need (use code BGL to save 20%)

-What goes well with ketones?…1:28:26

  • Combining ketones with nootropics like modafinil and microdoses of plant medicines
  • Stacking with aminos
  • Latt takes green tea and ketones for pre-workout, protein shake after the workout
  • Ben’s blood glucose – 78 (could have taken a total of 60g for the day)
  • Ketone IQ (use code BGL to save 20%)

-And much more…

  • Scan the QR code on the bottle, follow the instructions, and you will be reimbursed for the first shot!

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Latt Mansor:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Dr. Latt Mansor or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

6 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Ketones & Ketosis With Dr. Latt Mansor of H.V.M.N.

  1. Annah Gardner says:

    Hi, I just came across the Aires Tech products and saw that they were a sponsor. Do you have any insight on this product or any plans to talk about this product on an upcoming show?? thanks

  2. Matt says:

    Ben, I would like to hear your thoughts as KetoneAid and H.V.M.N. have differing opinions on what types of Ketones should be used depending on why one be taking them.

  3. Bill Montgomery says:


    I hope I understood this correctly. I went over to Sprouts and got a couple of the travel bottles. I was thinking about drinking both before climbing a mountain tomorrow, but then read something about having too high of ketones when exercising was bad. So do I need to take some carbs with it or can I wait until I get to the top?

  4. Alex says:

    Should you do any type of fast with ketones?

  5. Alex says:

    Great show!

  6. scott says:

    HVMN seems like a good company but I also feel like the BS a little. They had the right to the ketone ester then “innovated” to R 1,3?? I currently use KetoneAide but I will give HVMN a try after I run out of my current stash.

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