Dr Andi Campitelli has been a Naturopathic Doctor for 15 years and is a one of the foremost natural health experts on keto and a massive Pruvit fan… she does “Live Videos” each week answering questions about everything Ketone related…how to maximize your experience, keto troubleshooting, and how to feel your best. I
In this video she covers how ketones can impact Kidney Stones, B12, Autoimmune Conditions, Vitamin D, and Hair Loss.
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Do ketones help with kidney stones?
Do ketones help with kidney stones? No, and I’d like to repeat that ketones will not cure any medical condition. I wouldn’t say they’re going to help with kidney stones and they are not going to cure your kidney stones in any way.
Will drinking exogenous ketones cause kidney stones? No, but the ketogenic diet does actually have a correlation to the development of kidney stones. Again, it usually comes back to the minerals. With the loss of minerals that we experience on a ketogenic diet, adding potassium can sort of counteract that effect, and usually can prevent the development of stones in general. However, always consult your doctor before starting ketones or the keto diet if you have concerns.
Taking ketones shouldn’t cause kidney stones, but it’s not going to cure them either. And there’s some other things that you can do to try and help and sort of dissolve and get rid of stones but I haven’t seen any research to this point to suggest that the ketones will help to do that. If they ever come across any I will let you know. But no, there’s no research that I’ve seen at this point.
If vitamin B12 is high, should I cut back on ketones?
My bloodwork shows that my B vitamins are high, should I cut back on ketones? It’s hard to say. It depends on whether you mean B-12. That’s the most commonly tested B vitamin. I’m assuming you mean that your B-12 level is high. The upper normal B-12 range for Canadian values is around 700. We have a lot of people whose B-12 levels are EPA, 14, or 1400. And we have a lot of people whose B 12 levels are higher than that. It’s not really a concern, I’m not overly concerned if someone has slightly elevated B-12. It depends on how high they are. I mean, if you’re getting into B 12 toxicity, then yes, you want to cut all B vitamins. I’m not usually over concerned if someone’s just like a little bit above the normal range. That’s not usually a problem.
Some people get concerned about the recommended daily intake and B vitamins. And I always remind people that the recommended daily intake of vitamins, all vitamins, is based on the bare minimum amount that you need, so that you don’t have a disease, not the amount that you need to replenish a deficiency or the amount that you need for optimal wellness. It’s just the bare minimum you need so you’re not ill and unwell. And so, that level in of itself isn’t really a great marker, we don’t want to just not have an illness of some kind, we want optimal levels of vitamin. So it’s very important to remember when you see something that is, you know, 10 times the recommended daily allowance. We have to understand what that daily amount is really telling us so that doesn’t mean that’s all you should have in a day. If not optimal vitamin levels, you can have a much higher amount. I use Vitamin C as a really good example for that. And so, for example, vitamin C, the recommended minimum amount of vitamin C is anywhere from 60 to 90 milligrams in a day and that’s usually what you get from a banana or from an orange. But if you want to get the optimal benefit from vitamin C, including the antioxidant properties and the immune properties, you need to be taking upwards of 1000 milligrams a day. That’s about 10 times the recommended daily amount, and it’s not a toxic level in any way. There’s a very significant gap from optimal wellness and just, I don’t and just not being sick.
It’s important to keep that in mind when we see those recommended daily allowances that people talk about when we see the amount of B vitamins and the ketones as well, as it’s important to remember what, what those values are actually based on.
Can I mix my ketones on my smoothie?
Can I mix my ketones into a smoothie with almond milk, strawberries, and cream? Yes, absolutely. You can mix it into a smoothie. I know some people who will bake with them as well. The only issue with baking is you obviously get the reduced amount, you’re only getting a small amount per serving if you’re making little bars for instance. If you’re only using one sachet for the whole recipe, you might not be getting the full amount of beta hydroxybutyrate.
Autoimmune and lupus
Ketones and Autoimmune conditions…I’m getting a lot of autoimmune questions and lupus as well. I always want to start by saying that drinking ketones and taking exogenous ketones will not cure any medical condition. If you do have an autoimmune condition, the ketones will not be a cure for that. But what I always say to patients is that there are always underlying contributing factors that we can address.
Lots of people will say, we don’t know why an autoimmune condition developed and we don’t know what the triggers are. Usually, for an autoimmune condition, there is normally some kind of underlying trigger; it’s usually stress. There’s usually some kind of really significant stressor that happened before the onset of symptoms of that condition. It’s either long term chronic stress or illness, death, divorce, etc. or some big event that precedes the onset of symptoms. We know that chronic stress is a really big trigger. So first of all, if you have an autoimmune condition, stress is one of the primary things you need to manage because it’s usually one of the primary triggers. Then we know with autoimmune conditions, we have things like mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and low BDNF. BDNF stands for brain derived neurotrophic factor which allows us to create new neural pathways in the brain, highly correlated with cognitive function, we see low levels of BDNF, and those cognitive decline later in life. And when we look at the research, we know the ways that we can address some of those underlying factors. We often see low BDNF with autoimmune conditions.
How can we upregulate BDNF with beta hydroxybutyrate? Fasting has been shown to do that. Interestingly, saunas have been shown to do that as well. There’s a lot of research out of Finland on that one. The Finnish have genetically low BDNF levels and saunas can upregulate BDNF levels, so that’s just an interesting thing to add in as well.
In mitochondrial dysfunction, we have seen that beta hydroxybutyrate has been shown to optimize the mitochondria. And it’s also been shown to enhance the production of glutathione, which is one of our essential antioxidants. That’s really important when we have chronic stress. What we do internally when our body has stress, is we create these little free radicals and the things that neutralize free radicals are antioxidants with glutathione being one of the primary ones. If you have chronic stress antioxidants, that’s a very important piece of that picture. So from an autoimmune standpoint, that’s triggered by stress and production that glutathione is essential. So we’re turning the mitochondria back on to help our body create energy. We are also neutralizing some of those free radicals, we’re optimizing the antioxidants and we’re up regulating BDNF which has been shown to be low in those with autoimmune condition. As mentioned earlier, it’s not going to cure your autoimmune condition, but it can absolutely help to manage some of those underlying factors which may help with symptom management. But again, it’s not going to cure any of your autoimmune conditions.
Can drinking ketones lower your vitamin D levels?
Can ketones lower Vitamin D levels? No, Drinking ketones should not lower your vitamin D levels. When you say it’s low, I’m assuming you mean for the first time, it’s below the normal range. This is where it comes into how we interpret our blood work. There’s a genetic component to vitamin D, there’s a genetic component that allows us to convert from the sun to vitamin D in the body, and then a genetic component that allows us to take that and store it in our cells. When we look at the range of vitamin D, it’s in Canadian ranges 76 to about 250.
If a patient comes in on the lower range of that, for instance at 78, to me that’s still deficient, I’m not going to wait until they drop to 75, to tell them that they’re deficient in vitamin D. It’s a matter of looking at what those numbers are, somebody went from 150 to a 70 in a two or three month period of time. Now I’m concerned and wondering what’s going on, that’s a really significant drop. I would normally assume that what’s more likely not bloodwork is that there’s been sort of chronically low normal levels that have now transitioned into officially deficient levels. That’s what is important when you’re looking at your bloodwork, ketones should not cause low vitamin D levels, our body will use vitamin D, we use them as it’s stored in our system. It’s an essential vitamin, it’s also a hormone. I’m not sure where you live, but as we transition into the winter months, obviously, our exposure to the sun is quite low. In order to get optimal vitamin D levels from the sun, you have to be out in the sun a minimum of 20 minutes a day with no sunscreen. For most of us who are not doing that our vitamin D is low, or we’re deficient.
Hair loss and ketones
Hair loss and ketones…When hair loss starts, you need to look at what happens three months prior due to how the hair follicles grow. If you are noticing hair loss today, it may have changed three months ago, which can make it harder to identify triggers.
Exogenous ketones shouldn’t contribute to hair loss. Although I have had people complain more about hair loss while utilizing a ketogenic diet. And usually it’s a ketogenic diet that’s not necessarily being followed correctly. Most often they’re not getting those high healthy fats and the oils and things like that, or someone’s following more of a “dirty keto” eating plan. Alos, if they’re following keto where it’s just protein and veggies and no fats at all, I will typically see a a little bit more hair loss. I have also seen a little bit more hair loss in women on carnivores diets than I do on keto.
In addition to food, it’s important to look at what some of those underlying factors might be. So other things that contribute to hair loss are changes in hormones, loss of estrogen, low iron levels, low B 12, chronic stress, etc. There are a lot of other factors that can contribute to hair loss, so you have to take a look at what else is happening in your life. And that may have contributed to making sure you’re getting some really comprehensive blood work done, that’s really important. But ketones themselves, no shouldn’t be contributing to hair loss. Another one for hair loss is thyroid, specifically Hashimotos. So if you have autoimmune thyroid, that’s a very big contributor as well.
Licorice root and ketones
Will the licorice root in the Fueled By Female Keto//OS Nat interfere with any medications or affect high blood pressure? It depends. When you look at the reports on licorice root, you will see that it can cause elevations in blood pressure. But then when you look at it clinically, we don’t necessarily see that correlation. So I would say that you have to work with your healthcare provider if you have high blood pressure and to also make sure there are no interactions with medications. There are also a lot of drug supplement interaction checkers that you can do reliable and dependable ones that you can find online. But make sure that you’re working with a healthcare provider, make sure that they say that that is safe for you to take it.