Editors Note: The following article is a guest blog by Farmacist
When ketogenic diets came back in vogue in the 90’s, bodybuilders were looking for ways to speed up getting into ketosis. The diets were cyclic and it took several unpleasant days to get into full blown ketosis. Glucose disposal agents were typically used, but some of the more daring folks used low doses of insulin to speed the process. The idea was, the faster you get into ketosis, the more fat burning days you would get per cycle. This of course carried the risk of overdosing and becoming hypoglycemic, so this was probably not done by too many people.
Today something like Ketoforce could get your ketones raised quickly, to avoid the unpleasant shift from glucose to ketones for fuel by your brain. That said there are some interesting things that could be, in theory, done with insulin and ketosis.
Disclaimer: Insulin can kill you, do not use insulin without medical supervision. This is not a how-to guide, merely some thoughts on possible pharmacological processes.
The prospect of using insulin without carbs could be a way to reap some of the anabolic benefits of the hormone with a lower likelihood of fat gain, or it could be a way to speed “full” ketosis or ketoadaption by driving glucose levels down.
Something that may not be well known is that ketones are protective of the brain during hypoglycemia. In fact there are studies that show injecting insulin into someone with high levels of ketones will bring blood sugar into dangerously low levels, without the patient exhibiting hypoglycemic symptoms.
Insulin is known to decrease hepatic ketogenesis, so slowing ketone production may be an issue if using exogenous insulin. There is some animal data showing that ketone production from octanoate is preserved however, when insulin is administered. This is potentially important as medium chain triglycerides are about 70% octanoate.
Do humans continue to make ketones from octanoate when insulin is given? Are exogenous ketones enough to combat low blood sugar? Do you need to be ketoadapted to be protected?
While it would make interesting research, the unknowns still make this a dangerous proposition.