February 24, 2018
[00:00] Introduction/Daily Harvest/Organifi
[04:57] About Rob Rogers and Gary Millet
[09:30] The Unique Technology That Gary and Rob Licensed From Dominic D. Agostino
[11:00] Why You Would Want Combine MCT oil With Exogenous Ketones
[14:30] The Patent That Gary and Rob Hold On
[20:18] How to Raise Blood Ketones and Lower Blood Glucose at the Same Time
[24:25] If There Are Any Health Risks to Having Blood Ketones and Blood Glucose Simultaneously Elevated
[28:45] Why Wouldn’t You Just Fast and Limit Carbohydrates to get Into Ketosis
[32:08] HealthIQ/Four Sigmatic
[34:40] Why Rob and Gary Added BHB Quad Salts with Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) to Kegenix Prime…
[37:50] The Reasoning Behind the Different Salt Forms of Beta-Hydroxybutyrate in Keto Meal
[45:45] Why Kegenix Does Not Use Ketone Esters in its Products
[47:50] Why Rob and Gary Added AAKG With Glucuronolactone to Keto Spray
[53:40] Rob and Gary’s Take On Exogenous Ketone Dosing in Terms of How Much, How Often, What Time of Day and Why
[57:25] How to Measure Your Levels of Ketosis
[1:05:27] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey kid, you wanna know how to get into ketosis in 60 minutes or less? Do I sound like a used car salesman? This is Ben Greenfield. No, actually we do go into how to get into ketosis in an hour and which vitamins and nutrients and more kinda fill in the holes of the ketogenic diet, on today’s podcast with Gary Millet, which I think is funny because millet is a whole grain and you don’t eat a lot of those when you’re ketogenic. That’s where my weird brain goes.
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In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: “One of the big myths that we kind of inherited when we first started this, which would now seem exploded, was that glucose is the preferred fuel for the body. And now we know from science literature that actually ketones are the preferred fuel of the body.” “What we’re looking for is that sustainability, so we’re not looking for a product that will take you up and then bring you right back down. We’re looking, as Gary said perfectly, we’re looking for that product that will stay in your system and keep ketones in your body throughout the day.”
Ben: Hey fellas, it’s Ben Greenfield and as you know, lots of folks are talking about ketosis these days, so I decided to get a couple of experts on the show who specifically have taken a pretty deep dive into ketosis and this whole idea of exogenous ketones along with what kind of vitamins and minerals and nutrients that you might need in your diet to fill in some of the potential holes of the ketogenic diet or the use of exogenous ketones. And my guests today, actually they operate a company called Kegenix, K-E-G-E-N-I-X, and their names are Rob Rogers and Gary Millet. And Rob is a graduate of University of San Diego, he played professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians, and after his baseball career ended, became a serial entrepreneur, eventually meeting up with my former podcast guest Dominic D’Agostino to learn about ketosis and ketones. And he and my other guest on the show, Gary Millet, have actually licensed the worldwide rights to Dominic D’Agostino’s ketone technology, and now they’re creating these exogenous ketone supplements based on Dr. D’Agostino’s research. And Gary Millet is the co-founder of Kegenix and actually one of the key authorities on their website for everything from keto-eating to ketone supplementation to keto-protocols to keto-coaching. He’s also the inventor of something we’ll talk about today called their Quad beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, pending patent. So, we’re gonna dive into a lot of ketone related stuff on today’s show, so if you happen to be holding a baguette or sitting in an Italian restaurant, you may wanna shut this one off right now. Otherwise, if you like things like avocados and olive oil and Mediterranean cheeses and all that good stuff then you’re in a good place. So welcome to the show guys.
Rob: Pleasure, Ben.
Gary: Thanks Ben.
Ben: Yeah, I’m excited to have you on and Rob, fill me in on when you were playing professional baseball, were you into this stuff at all? Were you back there when everybody else was eating sunflower seeds in the dugout, stuffing your face with coconut oil? How’d you get into all this?
Rob: Yeah, sunflower seeds and chewing tobacco.
Rob: You know though what’s kinda funny, Ben? I played baseball a million years ago but no, that was what was so hard when we met with Dominic, because everything he said went against what I was taught as a pro athlete which was eat carb, carb, carb.
Rob: And honestly, I didn’t even know how to spell ketones, so when he was talking to us I had no idea what he was talking about.
Ben: So, when you actually met up with Dom, how’d that happen? How’d you guys actually get to know each other?
Rob: Someday, somebody’ll probably write a book about it coz it’s been a five year journey with myself and Gary. How I met him was on night I was drinking, part of what I want to do when I got out of baseball was to get back, so I started a softball organization, primarily for my two daughters. So one night I was drinking with one of the parents and he said “hey, do you know who my brother is?” And I didn’t, and his brother was good friends with Dominic. So we started talking and he started telling me about the work that Dominic was doing down in University of South Florida, and I said “hey, can you introduce me to his brother?” which he did. And I talked to his brother who subsequently introduced us to Dominic, so it was intriguing, I didn’t understand it.
Gary did, Gary has an extensive background in chemistry and biology. So I said “Gary, let’s go down and meet with this guy” and it was a chance to go down to Florida where it was nice and warm so I said let’s go. So we went down there and Dominic, literally to this day is one of the most, not just from ketones but in nutrition, one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met. So we went down, he explained to us saying about this technology he had, very intriguing, it went against everything I knew as an athlete, but was interesting. So Gary and I came back from Florida and I said “Gary, what do you think?” I said it’s way above my head, but Gary said “you know, there’s something here and I truly believe this is where eventually someday this is where it’s gonna go.” So we did license the worldwide rights for the technology from the University of South Florida, and then that’s where the work began because at that point it was just an idea. It was “how do you turn this incredible idea into a product and how do you commoditize it?”
Ben: Gary, what exactly did you guys license from University of South Florida?
Gary: It was really the technology that Dominic had come up with in the combining of beta-hydroxybutyrate and the chain triglycerides, MCT. And what we kinda looked at in terms of that research is what’s the actual benefit of doing that, and so being able to connect the two dots. So mid-chain triglyceride, it responds differently in the body than it does an exogenous ketone, so when you combine the two of those in kind of a tight blend in the right ratio, you tend to get a much better and sustained level of ketones than you do with simply mid-chain triglycerides alone or simply beta-hydroxybutyrate alone. And so when you start looking at what his research was and being able to demonstrate that, we thought if we’re going to commoditize this product, why not use the technology that is beyond the components? And so that’s really the driver behind licensing those two, that patent.
Ben: So can you explain to people, either of you, what’s going on when you combine medium-chain triglycerides or these MCTs or MCT oil or MCT oil-powder with something like an exogenous ketone like beta-hydroxybutyrate? Why is that better, what’s actually going on from a physiological standpoint that makes that superior fuel mix or something you guys would even wanna patent?
Gary: What ends up happening in that type of process is that you see beta-hydroxybutyrate really hits the bloodstream pretty quickly, and that’s absorbed very rapidly through as it is. Coz once beta-hydroxybutyrate hits the bloodstream, it doesn’t do a lot of transformation, meaning it doesn’t go back and forth between itself and acetoacetate. But however, the delivery of the beta-hydroxybutyrate along with the MCT, the MCC, seems to travel that hepatic path, and it essentially goes through the acetyl-CoA into acetoacetate and then the body seems to determine what level of beta-hydroxybutyrate it wants to make or retain as acetoacetate. But I think physiologically, I think what we have been working on and believe happens is that there’s a certain ratio of ketones that the body monitors. So if it has all of one ketone and none of the other, so it has all beta-hydroxybutyrate and none of the acetoacetate, we believe it signals such that the system says “oh wait a minute, maybe I have too much of this and not enough of that” and I think it has a tendency to impair the endogenous ketone production. But the other thing about the MCT, as you probably know Ben, is it aids in endogenous ketone production. So now you got two things going on. You’ve got the exogenous ketones of beta-hydroxybutyrate going into the blood and you have also the endogenous being converted through acetyl-CoA through the liver.
Ben: And that acetyl-CoA that is allowing for ketone production through the liver, most of that is coming from the medium-chain triglycerides?
Gary: Yeah it is, exactly.
Ben: Okay. Alright, got it. So it’s not as much the exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate that’s getting converted into, I think the path would be acetoacetate then acetyl-CoA, it’s more the fact that the MCT oil is making acetyl-CoA, the beta-hydroxybutyrate is supplying it just basically as a direct mainline to the bloodstream. So between the two, you’re kinda getting a double whammy effect.
Gary: Exactly, and I think that’s what Dominic’s patent was so elegant in demonstrating, Ben, is that there’s a synergistic relationship that allows for higher sustainability of ketones than simply either of those substrates taken alone.
Ben: Okay, interesting. So when I look at Dominic’s patent that I think, did he create that patent with Patrick Arnold?
Gary: He did.
Ben: The guy who… I think that was the very first ketone supplement I ever tasted was Patrick Arnold’s supplement, years and years ago when I was experimenting with this stuff for Ironman. It tasted freakin’ like acidic rocket fuel but it worked.
Ben: So his patent on compositions and methods for producing elevated and sustained ketosis, which you can find this patent anywhere online and look at it. Basically what it says is that it’s beta-hydroxybutyrate, it’s mineral salts combined with medium-chain fatty acids, that’s the same as MCT oil, alright?
Ben: Okay. Or an ester, thereof, such as medium-chain triglycerides, used to induce ketosis, achieving blood ketone levels of 2-7 millimolars with or without dietary restriction. And it says that that combination results in big improvements in metabolic biomarkers related to insulin-resistance and diabetes and weight loss and physical performance and a much higher elevation of blood ketones and lowering of blood glucose levels than you’d get if you didn’t combine those two. One question that I have for you though is this whole idea of it working with or without dietary restriction. There reason I ask this question is a lot of people ask me this: is it even natural for us to be eating ketones versus getting there via calorie restriction or carbohydrate restriction? Could it potentially be like a dangerous state for the body to be getting these external sources of ketones because potentially you wouldn’t be in an energy restricted state when you’re getting them, right? So maybe you would have high blood glucose combined with high ketones, which from what I understand could potentially create almost like a diabetic-esque ketoacidotic state where you have simultaneous high blood glucose and high ketones. Do you guys ever get concerned about or have you researched at all the potential negative implications of this stuff? Is there any research on this?
Rob: Yeah, let me get on that real quick, Ben, and then Gary can hit as I gun out. So as a company, you hear a lot of people that say “can I take ketones and keep eating unhealthy, keep eating carbs and sugars?” and the answer’s no. The supplement is tremendous, and combined with cutting back on your carbs and certainly sugars, you’re gonna see some effects. The hardest part when we got into this, Ben, and where a lot of our money is now going is there’s thousands of studies, Dominic, Jeff Volek, Phinney have done. There’s thousands of studies out there on the benefits of being in a ketogenic state, but there have been little, if any, studies done on exogenous ketones. And that’s where we’re putting a lot of our money, in fact we just finished, and will be releasing probably within the next few weeks, a study we did with 130 people taking an exogenous ketone and the results were amazing. But Gary, as far as any ill effects of exogenous ketones can do, you can hit on that.
Gary: Yeah, thanks Rob. I think, Ben, it’s kind of an interesting question, I love the question because we do get asked that question. And what’s very interesting is if you take a look at the liver’s potential to produce endogenous ketones, it’s about 130-150 grams of ketones a day at full tilt. So if you were in starvation mode, the body has the ability to produce a lot of ketones, and that really comes down to producing maybe 7-9 grams of ketones per hour if you break it down into a 24-hour cycle, okay? What’s kinda interesting about that is that the exogenous ketones that we’re supplementing with over the course of a day really equates to about 20 grams. So you’re so far under what the body’s ability to accommodate in terms of ketones, but what’s really exciting that one of the big myths that we kind of inherited when we first started this, which would now seem exploded, was that glucose is the preferred fuel for the body. And now we know from science literature that actually ketones are the preferred fuel of the body, so it’s almost a perfect scenario where the body gets the ability to have endogenous ketones and it takes them in and it utilizes them very, very quickly, and almost preferentially of course to glucose because of some of the qualities that ketones have and the mechanism by which ketones are actually transferred into the system.
Ben: One of the things this patent says is that this particular mix, these beta-hydroxybutyrate mineral salts in combination with medium-chain fatty acids, it says that it yields a significant elevation of blood ketones and a reduction of blood glucose levels. So does that mean that when ketones go up upon consumption of this mix, that blood glucose goes down?
Gary: Yeah, exactly.
Gary: That’s what happens.
Ben: And that’s just because of what you just explained? The body’s gonna preferentially use ketones, so because it has no need for glucose, where does the glucose go? Does it get taken up in the liver and muscle or does it simply, I mean I would imagine it’s not gonna get burnt as a fuel if the ketones are getting burned preferentially as a fuel. Do you have any clue how it’s lowering the blood glucose?
Gary: Well, it’s kind of interesting because, and this is something that maybe we can talk about a little later in the podcast, is this whole concept of utilizing two fuels at once. But unused glucose has a tendency to become glycogen as you probably know. And you’ve got two reservoirs of that, you got one reservoir that harbors itself in the liver and you got another reservoir that harbors itself in the muscles. Now the muscle glucose doesn’t have a chance to become released into the blood, it’s only the liver glucose. So I think the first thing you start seeing is kind of a storage mechanism, and you start to see a slowdown in actual glucose production. And so the real interesting thing about ketones, and you probably know this as well, is it suppresses insulin, so when you get a response of ketones in your system, it’s almost like your body kinda stores the glucose to the side and says “hey, let’s use these first and then we’ll come back to that later.” And likewise, if you’re not really fully keto-adapted, the body still consumes glucose through the muscle, and so you’re seeing an overall decrease in blood glucose and that usually comes from the hepatic system as opposed form coming from the muscle.
Ben: Okay, okay got it. So basically a lot of this glucose then would be stored away as glycogen, that would be one of the main ways that, when you consume exogenous ketones, blood glucose would get lowered?
Gary: Yeah or just consumed on the normal course of… coz the amount of exogenous ketones that you put into your body is not going to provide all the fuel you need, so it’s just gonna be burned off as a normal course of metabolism.
Ben: Right. And related to what you just said, you alluded to this idea of somehow elevating blood ketones and elevating blood glucose simultaneously.
Ben: If one were to do, coz I’ve done that, I did that a few years ago actually, in a few races. Races that required both endurance as well as some glycolytic effects, what we in the endurance racing world call “burning the match”, right? Where for example, in one case I did it during a tough mutter in Las Vegas, where I’m running for long periods of time and trying to rely upon ketones for a somewhat aerobic running protocol, but then I’ll have 1-2 minute periods of time where I’m burning massive amounts of glucose by climbing up a wall for example or hauling a sandbag. And so what I did was I actually took ketones and combined them with, I think I slammed them with a Gatorade gel or something like that. And I had high blood glucose and high blood ketones, meaning that, and I actually measured this, I remember I did like a Snapchat or an Instagram story on it, but my blood glucose levels were above 100 and my blood ketone levels were above 5, and so both were elevated and there was a pretty significant, at least subjectively, performance enhancing effect. It was like rocket fuel, thankfully no explosive diarrhea or any deleterious symptoms like that, but you also just mentioned that a few minutes ago that you had some thoughts on that, so what are your thoughts on elevating ketones and elevating glucose simultaneously in terms of using that for performance or any other effect?
Gary: That’s a topic that we’re doing a lot of research on right now, and Rob, he can probably talk about that. I fixed up a few things in the lab for Rob and he’s like one of those guys who’ll take anything, and you are just the same way and I’m the same way. We’ll take just about anything and try it, but I did pretty much the same type of experiment with a little bit more paying attention to exactly what went into that mixture. And maybe Rob, you can kind of explain what that resulted in and what you did.
Rob: Yeah, Gary made this product that was a combination of everything we’re talking about, and I took it about 30 minutes before I went in the gym. I did it about 3 or 4 days and I’ve never had a workout like that. The third day when I left, I called Gary coz I was gonna be on the road for about literally a month. And I said “Gary make me up 30 packets immediately, I need this stuff.” So what I felt was, from a strength standpoint and from a cardio standpoint, I literally was in the gym the last day for 3 hours and felt like I wasn’t even I there for 10 minutes. And so whatever this combination is, it had a dramatic impact from working out, and we’ve been working with it with some crossfitters in Miami and they’ve had the exact same results, so we seem to be on to something here.
Ben: Are you guys testing blood like if it would cause an increase in, not to harp on the bad effects, I’ve experienced the good effects but I’m just curious if you’re testing things like inflammation or elevated liver enzymes or other things that might happen if one were to have really high levels of glucose and ketones, coz again it is kinda like a non-natural state for the body to be in at least in my opinion. Didn’t probably see ancestral man walking around too much fasted but high glucose levels unless they were maybe diabetic or insulin resistant.
Gary: No we haven’t got to that stage yet. I think the, Ben, the fun part about my job in the company right now is coming up with some of these wild [censored] things and getting it to a point where we’re satisfied with what it’s doing for people. You know, it’s all about how do people feel and what you could make it do, and then from there you wanna take it and do exactly what you’re talking about. It’s “okay, now that we know we get this impact and we get this effect, and people are really liking it, now let’s take that and further that and have that studied as to what are the biomarker implications of that.” But so far right now, we’re not seeing any big changes in biomarkers and it’s really fascinating how the body works. And the more and more you are into this, the more and more respect you have for how incredible it functions, and its ability to do things that you never thought it could do. And so this is kind of a bright new world being able to experiment now with exogenous ketones, so now you have the option of multiple fuels, what could you do? And so we’re really on the cusp of doing some very interesting stuff with exogenous ketones and I’m just happy Rob is such a willing guinea pig for this stuff.
Ben: Yeah, and one other thing that comes to mind, not to kick this whole exogenous ketone and blood glucose horse to death but just playing devil’s advocate, why can’t people just fast and not eat that many carbohydrates to get into ketosis? Why would there be any advantage to taking exogenous ketones?
Rob: Well, they can and we tell them to. And when we first got into this, you gotta remember this was 5 years ago so when we were doing this, everything about ketones was negative and if you googled ketones the only thing that came up was ketoacidosis. So when we first got into this, the only way we could get the benefit of the ketones other really than what Patrick had with his product was to get into it via diet. And Gary literally started it, probably within 2-3 months of meeting with Dominic and has been in a ketogenic state ever since. I personally go in and out of it, but we would love people to get into a ketogenic state. The hardest part is, as you know Ben because I know you’ve been in it, it’s very difficult. So to take an average person in the U.S. who eats 300 grams of cards a day and then get them to go down to 50-75, it’s incredibly difficult. So that’s where the supplement comes in, it makes it easier to do that, gives the benefit of the ketones without getting in a ketogenic state, but even those people that are keto-adapted, Dominic, they still get benefits from taking ketones. And Dominic himself probably takes our supplement 2-3 times a day, not everyday, and he still gets benefits of it. He’s getting more energy, more appetite suppression.
Ben: Yeah, that’s the main thing I found is even lately due to some gut issues, specifically related to fermentation of carbohydrates and the need for me to eat less bulk in my diet, I shifted back into it. It’s been a while since I’ve done this but I shifted back into almost a full ketosis-based diet, and back in the day when I used to do that what you would call strict ketosis versus cyclic ketosis. Cyclic ketosis meaning before, I’d like to eat a pretty large amount of carbohydrates in the evening and the kinda get back into ketosis the next day and kinda stay there the full day until the next night. I quit doing that and kinda went straight into ketosis and normally I’d be chewing my freakin’ arm off and gnawing on the insides of my cheeks all day.
Ben: But instead, all I’ve been doing is just taking one of those little magic bullets, and I’ve got, just so I’m not constantly hyped up, a big French press full of decaf coffee that I make in the morning now. And whenever I’m hungry, I just go heat up that coffee on the stove, dump the piping hot coffee into the magic bullet then I’ll toss in some cinnamon, some Stevia and some ketones in there, blend it up and just sip on that, I’m fine all day long. I can just go and go. I almost get nervous that I might not be getting enough micronutrients just because I’m literally just drinking coffee and ketones. But ultimately, you are correct when it comes to appetite suppression, the ability to be able to almost maintain that fasted state more easily, it does render what seems almost like an unfair advantage.
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Ben: I did wanna ask you guys though, a little bit about your specific patent and kinda like what you’re doing with Kegenix. For example, one of the things that I noted was the use of the term quad-salts, beta-hydroxybutyrate quad-salts. Is that important that you use a quad-salt and what does that mean?
Gary: So let me take that, Ben. That’s very, very important. I think one of the things I’ve seen on four or five of your podcasts is how important electrolytes are. And you know, we’re just one big electrical system, and so without electrolytes, you really just don’t get those electrical impulses moving as well as they should. And when people go into a ketogenic state, what ends up happening is they lose a lot of electrolytes because a lot of water is flushed out of the system because glucose is very water intensive. And when you start to become more keto-adapted, you’re going to lose some of that water, so it’s very, very important that you replace those electrolytes. And so what better way to replace the electrolytes than to combine them with beta-hydroxybutyrate as a carrier?
So rather than using table salt, sodium chloride, coz we all know the impact of free chloride. It’s not all that good in your system, but can you imagine just transporting the free sodium ion along with the energy substrate directly into your body? So what we tried to do with quad-salts, getting back to your question, is the body has kind of a natural balance of the four main electrolytes of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium. And there’re certain published RDAs on those, now in a ketogenic diet those RDAs probably need to be more elevated because of the need for electrolytes. But what we tried to do in our product is that we have actually engineered the product such that there’s a balance between the calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, so all four of those central electrolytes have now been balanced and are attached to the beta-hydroxybutyrate. And that’s really where that quad-salt concept comes from, and in fact that’s one of the patents that we have actually filed.
Ben: So you really wouldn’t need to take a bunch of extra electrolytes if you were using a beta-hydroxybutyrate quad-salt coz you’d be covering a lot of your bases with these extra electrolytes?
Gary: Right on track.
Ben: Okay cool, that’s kinda convenient. What about trace minerals? You’ll use a lot of these trace liquid mineral supplements that’ll tell you they got like 80+ different minerals, or I’ve even talked to folks who would combine Celtic and Himalayan salts to get all of their little, tiny microminerals covered. Vanadium, chromium, and a lot of these smaller minerals, do you get worried about that at all or are you just trying to cover the big guns with the four salts?
Gary: Well in the main product, you’re correct. We’re really worried about mainly the electrolytes in our main Prime product but that launches into another topic and you’re dead on in terms of the need now for better micronutrition when somebody goes into more of a ketogenic fat-adapted state. And that’s why we invented a product called KetoEssentials, and what that did is it allows us through a supplement, to engineer a vitamin supplement, basically around ketogenic adaptation. And so that’s how that product came about is recognizing exactly what you stated is “wow, there are certain trace minerals such as selenium and copper and magnesium and chromium that you do need to add back into the diet.” And so that’s why we engineered KetoEssentials to blend in with what you wanna do from exogenous ketone supplementation as well as what you want to do from endogenous ketone production. So it’s all kind of a system, if you will.
Ben: Okay, got it. Now you mentioned Prime, that’s actually the name of one of your guys’ products at Kegenix, right?
Ben: Okay so it’s called Kegenix Prime and is that just basically pretty much this thing that you patented from Dominic, just a basic beta-hydroxybutyrate quad-salt with medium-chain triglycerides?
Gary: It is, and the key to that is really having it in the ratios you want it in that’s going to give you the maximum equilibrium between what we believe is acetoacetate beta-hydroxybutyrate. And what we really are trying to accomplish in all this is extended ketone levels. The whole basis of Dominic’s patent that makes it so brilliant is it’s all based on sustainability. It doesn’t really do you much good to go way up high and way down fast because a three hour window of ketones, I’m not sure and not much literature has shown outside of athletic performance of what’s that value. We believe the best value that people can get into is more mimicking a ketogenic state, which means that you extend the ketone levels for a long period of time. So that’s become, really, our driving force between the products that we’re engineering right now.
Ben: Alright, and so you’re saying that with this combination you can get into a ketogenic state a lot faster?
Gary: And sustain it a lot longer.
Ben: Like how fast and how long are we talking?
Gary: Well we have done experiments, we know right now that we can get to pretty high levels, 2-3 millimoles, and we can sustain it with the dosing requirements of 8-9 hours.
Ben: Oh wow. So that’s not in one dose, that’s kinda like re-dosing throughout the day?
Gary: It’s through two doses.
Ben: Okay, got it. And those doses again are just beta-hydroxybutyrate and MCT?
Gary: Basically yes.
Ben: okay, so that’s the Prime, but then you also have this thing. I kinda like this, I actually tried some and it’s really tasty, this chocolate, I think you have vanilla too, but it’s called Ketomeal. Now how’s Ketomeal different than just this beta-hydroxybutyrate medium-chain triglyceride blend you have in the Keto Prime stuff?
Gary: Well Ketomeal is kind of an interesting animal because one of the things, when people go into ketosis, they’re always complaining about “oh, I’ve got to stop and I’ve got to fix dinner, or I’ve got to watch what I eat whatever the case may be.” And so we got a lot of feedback from our own customer base saying “wouldn’t it be convenient if you could actually create a meal replacement that actually had ketones?” And so the backbone behind Prime is the same backbone behind Ketomeal, but now what we have actually done is we’ve been able to combine the best parts of Prime with protein and some carbs to make it a perfect keto-balanced meal that somebody can just drop in their shaker, shake it up, chocolate or vanilla, and they have a complete meal replacement.
Ben: Now when you say complete meal replacement, what do you mean?
Gary: It means that it has all the amount of fat, protein and carbs necessary to qualify as a complete meal replacement.
Ben: What about vitamins?
Gary: And it has the vitamins as well.
Ben: Okay, so it’s almost like a multivitamin that you’re then added, what’s the source of the proteins, just like whey protein you put in there?
Gary: Its whey isolate protein.
Ben: Okay, so you have medium-chain triglycerides, whey isolate protein, your electrolytes, your beta-hydroxybutyrate in those four different salts that you talked about, multivitamin, and anything else, what’s it sweetened with?
Gary: It’s sweetened with Stevia.
Ben: Okay, got it. So you decided not to put Diet Coke in there, huh?
Gary: Uhh, well Rob and I tossed that up back and forth coz everybody loves Diet Coke but we did settle on Stevia, yeah.
Ben: Okay, no asesulfam here or sucrose. I like it. And what about the vitamins, how do you choose the amount of the vitamins, you just go with the RDA or what’d you go at as far as vitamin content added to this stuff?
Gary: yeah we did go with the RDA in Ketomeal, and that’s because of the fact that we had produced KetoEssentials as an additional add-on to that. So the vitamins that we have placed into Ketomeal gives us kind of a complement to the fact that it’s ketogenic, and it also gives us, right down the line of being an actual meal replacement. So that’s why we call it meal replacement is we follow those guidelines pretty closely.
Ben: Okay, got it. Now I interviewed Dr. Veech about his ketone esters. Dominic D’Agostino and I talked about a little bit about ketone esters as well, and there’s even new companies popping up with these really fancy albeit expensive ketone esters like, I think HVMN is one popular company that’s doing it, Ketone Aid is another. And they’re seen in DARPA and the Tour de France riders and all these folks using these ketone esters as the ultimate way to get into ketosis as like something that’s supposedly far superior to something like a beta-hydroxybutyrate salt. What’s your guys’ take on ketone esters? Why won’t you use something like that in Ketomeal? Is it just the fact that they’re a thousand bucks to make a small amount of them or are there other reasons?
Rob: We’ve known about the esters from the very beginning. When we talked to Dominic that was one of the things we were thinking of, do we go with an ester or do we go with BHB. And at that time as it is today, the ester’s very expensive and it’s not the best tasting thing you’ve ever tasted, but the companies that you just mentioned have done a great job. Gary and I know ‘em very well, but still today, it’s still the same challenge, the products are very expensive, they still aren’t the best tasting things, and you’re taking a lot of them. Some of the product, minimum is 25 grams up to as much as 75 grams, and it’s really more of a performance product, which is great. We have kinda stayed away from that, what could happen if you took 75 grams of BHB, and so we’re looking at a bunch of different things. We’ve kinda stayed away from that, but from a performance standpoint, there might be a place for the ester, but again what we’re looking for it that sustainability. So we’re not looking for a product that will take you up and then bring you right back down, we’re looking, as Gary said perfectly, we’re looking for that product that’ll stay in your system and keep ketones in your body throughout the day.
Rob: But that said, we’re still doing a lot of work in that area and we have some very creative ideas that we think are gonna change this ketone’s face, and it could be a combination of a lot of things.
Ben: Now what about this keto spray stuff that you guys have, what’s that?
Gary: That’s Ignite, and what we’ve been able to do is put beta-hydroxybutyrate with a couple of other key ingredients, we have alanine alpha ketoglutarate as one of those elements, and we have natural caffeine and we have beta-hydroxybutyrate. And that kinda forms a real beautiful coupling, that when you spray Ignite underneath your tongue, you get more of a sublingual absorption as opposed to digestion, and it gives people that kinda kick. So let’s say for instance that you’re going along and you’re struggling to stay in your diet, you need a little boost for your pre or post workout, just something that allows us to provide additional ketones anytime you want ‘em in a very convenient way to apply it.
Ben: Yeah, how many ketones do you get when you spray this stuff into your mouth?
Gary: Well, it’s maybe not as much coupling, that when you spray Ignite underneath your tongue, you get more of a sublingual absorption as opposed to digestion, and it gives people that kinda kick. So let’s say for instance that you’re going along and you’re struggling to stay in your diet, you need a little boost for your pre or post workout, just something that allows us to provide additional ketones anytime you want ‘em in a very convenient way to apply it.
Ben: Yeah, how many ketones do you get when you spray this stuff into your mouth?
Gary: Well, it’s maybe not as much as that, it’s how much you get absorbed coz when you’re absorbing the ketones under your tongue, you get a much different absorption rate of course than you do when you digest it. So overall, I think that we’re getting probably collectively in the milligram level, probably 100-150 milligrams.
Gary: But it’s certainly being absorbed in a much different way.
Ben: Now the stuff that you’ve mixed it with, arginine alpha ketoglutarate, I’m most familiar with that as a pre-workout, almost like a cell volumizer. It’s an amino acid for pump or vascularity that you’d use pre-workout, why did you guys decide to put that in there and then combine caffeine into this spray along with glucuronolactone, what’s the idea behind this formula?
Gary: It really gives you an interesting nootropic effect, and when ketones are very, what we would say brain-excitable, and so when you combine the three of those, you really get a very interesting lift from a brain function standpoint. And you know as well as we know is that going in a workout or even post workout or even a mood lift, when you can get the brain excited, life is good.
Ben: Now how much caffeine is in this, coz I noticed it says proprietary blend on the side of it but it doesn’t really say how much caffeine. I’m just curious.
Gary: Under 50 mg.
Gary: So it’s minimum.
Ben: It’s kind of a unique approach to a pre-workout because a lot of pre-workouts is caffeine. Used to be a fad there of course back in the day, maltodextrin and fructose, BCAAs, et cetera. This one’s kinda interesting because you obviously have ketones, and then a small amount of caffeine but then there AAKG for the pump with the glucuconolactone and you’ve also go n-acetyl l-tyrosine in there, which from what I understand has an effect on neurotransmitters, right?
Gary: It does, so you hit it right on the head. That’s a very good dissection of a guide in that you can see that in the combination of those four elements, we are really, really targeted to igniting the brain. And it goes in so many applications, it goes in terms of mood change, it goes in terms of helping people pre and post-workout. It’s really good if you’re kinda struggling in your ketogenic diet and maybe you have a craving or something, it’s really good because it affects the brain in such a really interesting way.
Ben: Yeah, it’s a very interesting approach. Actually I admittedly have tried your Ketomeal, I’ve tried your Ketegnix Prime but I actually haven’t tried this ketospray. I’ll have to give it a go sometime to check out how it feels compared to my big ass cup of coffee.
Gary: And Rob you may wanna talk about the fact that we have this positioned a little bit differently as say the way we’re kinda selling these on Amazon, the kind of response we’ve been getting.
Rob: Yeah so to that appoint, we kinda broke out this ketone space because even though the ketogenic face over the last 20-24 month is exploding. It’s still such a very small community, in fact if you go up in ask 10 people if they even know what a ketone is, you’ll be lucky if you get one person that knows ketone or ketogenesis. And we kinda stay away from the ketone area just to see what would happen and the other response has been amazing.
Ben: Interesting, so when it comes to this stuff or any of your other products, how often would you need to dose with ketones, what have you guys seen in terms of how long it takes for blood ketone volumes to kinda start to drop? Is it a few hours, is it the whole day that something like this stays in the system? What’s kinda the goal here, coz I personally, like I mentioned, I’ve been kinda blending up these little blends throughout the day and I’ll do it 2-3 times throughout the day. I’ll drink basically a serving or two of these ketones, but is that normal or should it just be once a day? And I’m a freak of nature because of my skinny-[censored] 3500 calorie a day metabolism.
Rob: [laughs] No you’re right on Ben and Gary, this would be perfect to talk about what you and Dominic came up with that continuous ketone supplement.
Gary: Yeah, this is such a great question Ben, that’s like a podcast in itself but the more we learn, the more we don’t know. And when we first started this, we didn’t know anything really about it, and a lot of this has come through active experimentation and just trying things and seeing what the body does with it. So we’ve actually developed a very, very big appreciation for how unique every single person’s body, like you’re saying “okay maybe Ben’s a freak of nature, and maybe there’s mainstream people. Everybody has a different physiology.” And the key to what we wanna continue to develop and bring to people is a recognition of that unique physiology. So we developed a concept we call continuous ketone supplementation, and here’s the philosophy around that is that some people want to get into ketosis naturally. They want to just go ahead and be ketogenic the old fashioned way, what we call the old fashioned way.
Other people, they would love to do nothing more than continue their diet and supplement themselves continuously and maintain a level of ketones in their body based on supplementation. So we’ve got two extremes that we look at, and then you got everybody else in the middle, so the beauty of trying to build products that allow for what we call continuous ketone supplementation is it allows people to kinda be where they wanna be. How much endogenous ketones do you wanna make, how many exogenous ketones do you wanna take? How much do you wanna take if you’re athletically performing? What if you have a sleep disorder? All these kinds of questions really kinda comes down to allowing an individual to kinda dial into where it fits their needs the best. That’s the concept we call continuous ketone supplementation. So what we wanna provide is just what you mentioned, is we wanna provide a pathway that you can take one or two or three or four doses, whatever size you need, to get where you wanna get in your own personal regimen.
Ben: Got it.
Gary: That’s where you wanna continue to go and this is kind of one of those things that is really personal physiology and personal biohacking and personal training is all about these days.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. I mean it’s pretty easy to measure these days your actual ketone levels and just pay attention to how you feel. Like I’ve been using this, have you guys seen this level ketone monitor?
Ben: Okay yeah, that’s the one I have in my office right now. It’s like breath ketone monitor. How do you guys measure it? Do you both follow a ketotic-based diet? What are you doing, blood measurements or breath measurements, what do you do?
Gary: Great question. When you get more and more keto-adapted the ketostrips don’t really work very well because your body is really taking everything your body’s producing. So you can initially go from using a ketostick to seeing that in fact ketones are getting into your body, but the more and more you get keto-adapted…
Ben: You mean like a urinary ketostick?
Gary: Yeah, exactly, like the Bayer Ketostix. The more and more you get keto-adapted, the less and less those’ll register. In my case, I might register light pink, which basically says you got ketones in your body but not much, but if I measure myself on a blood meter, and the problem is the blood meter doesn’t measure all the ketones either. It only measures the [0:58:43] ______ of beta-hydroxybutyrate, so it doesn’t measure acetoacetate, it doesn’t measure the l-version of the BHB or acetone for that matter. So the device you’re talking about, we are familiar with and that is like “hey I’m gonna measure my acetone and extrapolate how much acetoacetate and BHB I’m making.” And to some degree that could be accurate if you’re doing endogenous ketone supplementation but the question I’ve always had is how accurate are those when you’re doing exogenous ketone supplementation. Because the beta-hydroxybutyrate is already beta-hydroxybutyrate, so it’s not a conversion totally in total of acetyl-CoA, and that’s where the acetone, the breakdown of beta-oxidation is breaking it down into acetoacetate and acetone, that’s where you get the acetone. So measurement is tricky in our field. When I’m doing all the tests we’re doing, I use blood.
Ben: Okay, got it. I know that blood’s kinda the gold standard, obviously just not quite as easy to do.
Gary: It is.
Ben: And sometimes I’m lazy and sometimes I don’t wanna bloody up my fingers.
Gary: My fingers are freaked out now.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. It’s like the right butt cheek of people who supplement with exogenous testosterone.
Gary: [laughs] Yeah, that’s right, It’s like “what is that scar tissue on your index finger?”
Gary: “Oh that’s from 4000 needle pricks.
Ben: Exactly, you’ll never be a professional typist. Well this was really interesting guys, I know that you shared a discount code with our audience to try any of this stuff, so a few things if you’re listening. First of all, the show notes for this podcast episode, they’re over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/fastketosis. And over there I’m gonna put a link to all of my previous podcast interviews that I’ve done with Dominic D’Agostino coz we’ve done four together, as well as some other pretty interesting episodes I’ve done on ketones with Dr. Peter Attia and Mark Sisson, and really, a whole host of people. It’s probably one of the topics in addition to cancer that I’ve covered the most on this show, so bengreenfieldfitness.com/fastketosis is where you can go to get that stuff.
And then also, I’ll put a discount code over there for 10% discount on any of the stuff from Kegenix, but you can also just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/kegenix, just like it sounds, with an “x”, K-E-G-E-N-I-X, and you can use discount code GREENFIELD, that’ll save you 10% over there. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. On their spray, on their Prime, on their Ketomeal, anything you want. So it’s actually pretty tasty stuff, I have to say if you haven’t tried that chocolate Ketomeal, you’re missing out. Blend that stuff up with some ice, it’s like a Wendy’s Frosty.
So anyways, Gary and Rob, thanks for coming on the show and sharing all this stuff with us man. I really appreciate it and I love the tasty, tasty stuff you guys are creating over there at Kegenix.
Rob: Thanks Ben.
Gary: Thanks Ben.
Ben: Awesome, well for those of you listening in, again bengreenfieldfitness.com/fastketosis or bengreenfieldfitness.com/kegenix and use discount code GREENFIELD to save 10%. And until next time, I’m Ben Greenfield along with Gary and Rob from Kegenix, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Ben: Hey folks, don’t go yet because Gary just started to spell out for me this amazing smoothie recipe that he makes, so I hit record so you guys can listen in coz we were chatting a little bit after the episode and Gary started to spill the beans on his secret recipe.
Ben: So Gary, give us your secret recipe for using Ketomeal.
Gary: Yeah, my favorite of course, it’s Ben’s favorite too, is our chocolate Ketomeal. So the smoothie I make in the morning is I take some water, I put a couple of scoops of the chocolate Ketomeal with a couple tablespoons of whole cream, the 40% that has no carbs, and then I put some powdered peanut butter, a scoop of freeze-dried coffee, and a couple squirts of this new Stevia caramel, and it makes for an amazing shake. It’s almost like a salted caramel-peanut butter smoothie.
Ben: Okay so it’s powdered peanut butter, cream, and a liquid Stevia, and the Ketomeal?
Gary: And the Ketomeal… and coffee.
Ben: And coffee. Okay, dude I’m gonna do this. I’m out of Ketomeal, you guys send me some, I’ll make this, and for those of you listening in, I’ll write down this recipe right now. As a matter of fact, Gary, if you have exact amounts, maybe email me the recipe, I’ll put it in the show notes for people.
Gary: Yeah, I have an exact recipe, I’ll do it today.
Ben: Alright. For those of you who actually decided to listen in for the end of this podcast, there you go, boom. You got yourself a little bonus, so thanks for staying in until the end. Alright, now we really are outta here, and Gary and Rob, I’ll talk to you guys later.
Meet the guys from Kegenix: Rob Rogers and Gary Millet. These fellas are true experts in ketosis and ketones, and we take a deep dive into ketosis (and how to get into ketosis in under 60 minutes) on today's show.
Rob graduated from the University of San Diego and played professional baseball with the Clevelan d Indians. After finishing his baseball career he has been a serial entrepreneur. As an athlete he has always been focused on health, nutrition, exercise and biohacking – what you can do to make yourself better. His wanting to know what is the newest and the best led him to meet with Dominic D’Agostino to learn about ketosis and ketones. After many discussions with Dom, Rob and his partner Gary Millet licensed the worldwide rights to Dom’s technology and are now fully immersed and committed to ketones, specifically exogenous ketones.
In addition to being co-founder of Kegenix, Gary Millet headed up the development and commercialized the Kegenix product, utilizing the unique patented technology of Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, licensed world-wide from the University of South Florida. Mr. Millet is responsible for springboarding the popularity of the ketone supplementation movement and is one of the key authorities on Keto Eating, Ketone Supplementation, Keto Protocols and Keto Coaching. Mr. Millet is also involved in strategic marketing, and the inventor of the Quad BHB Salts pending patent.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-The unique technology the Gary and Rob licensed from Dominic D. Agostino…[9:30]
-Why you would want combine MCT oil with exogenous ketones…[11:00]
-The patent that Gary and Rob hold on “Compositions and methods for producing elevated and sustained ketosis”…[14:30]
-How to raise blood ketones and lower blood glucose at the same time…[20:18]
-If there are any health risks to having blood ketones and blood glucose simultaneously elevated…[24:25]
-Why wouldn't you just fast and limit carbohydrates to get into ketosis…[28:45]
-Why Rob and Gary added BHB Quad Salts with Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) to Kegenix Prime…[34:40]
-The reasoning behind the different salt forms of beta-hydroxybutyrate in Keto Meal (e.g. cal, mag, potassium, etc.)…[37:50]
-Why Kegenix does not use ketone esters in its products…[45:45]
-Why Rob and Gary added AAKG (known for its ability to increase nitric oxide production) with glucuronolactone to Keto Spray…[47:50]
-Rob and Gary's take is your take on exogenous ketone dosing in terms of how much, how often, what time of day and why…[53:40]
-How to measure your levels of ketosis…[57:25]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Gary's recipe for “Kegenix Caramel-Mocha Shake”
-Cold Water or Brewed Coffee: 8 – 9 oz
-Kegenix Chocolate KETOMEAL: 2 Scoops
-Organic Instant Coffee or Brewed Coffee: 1 tbs
-Honeyville Powdered Peanut Butter: 1 tbs
-DairyGold 40% Cream 1 or other organic heavy cream – 2oz
-Eden Gourmet Caramel Flavored Syrup 2 squirts (or Omica Organic Stevia)
-Into your VitaMix or other blender, pour in the cold water or brewed coffee followed by all ingredients. Blend at low speed until thoroughly mixed. Serve in a 20 oz cup over ice.
-Daily Harvest – Go to Daily-Harvest.com and enter promo code BEN to get three items FREE off your first box!
-Organifi – Try Organifi Gold by going to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Organifi and use the discount code mentioned there for 20% off your order!
-Four Sigmatic – Go to FourSigmatic.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off.
-HealthIQ – To learn more about life insurance for physically active people and get a free quote, go to HealthIQ.com/BEN.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Rob, Gary or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!