There are currently three categories of ketosis pills. Exogenous ketones, starch blockers, and ketosis enhancers. The latter is a new category of supplements that uses botanicals and ethnopharmaceutical extracts to enhance ketosis and help maintain ketosis and ketogenesis for people already on a ketogenic diet. The purpose of these supplements is to affect how carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed by the body as well as how they are utilized, stored or otherwise affect the user. Additionally, they affect how fat is broken down and utilized for energy, which enhances ketosis as well.
Unfortunately, due to the marketing of these and the scams like the “Shark Tank Keto Pill”, ketosis pills have gotten a bad name. The term “keto pill” is a red flag to almost everyone who has heard of them. However this is only relevant for the first two categories. It is not the case for ketosis enhancers.
Prior to KetoSavior™ and KetoGuardian™, there were only two types of keto supplements: exogenous ketones and starch blockers. Exogenous ketones may have a place during the Induction Phase of ketogenic diets (see “Should I take exogenous ketones?”), which typically lasts until around day 4 of the diet, but should not be used to enhance ketosis, despite being marketed as such.
Starch blockers can enhance ketosis during “cheat days” and meals containing large amounts of starch, but most people on ketogenic diets don’t have much use for them otherwise. Blocking the breakdown of starch into smaller digestible sugars would be beneficial to reducing blood glucose and insulin secretion, but starchy vegetables are considered “bad” carbohydrate sources, so aren’t consumed in large quantities on the diet anyway.
At best, starch blockers can have an effect on only part of one of the four processes used to enhance ketosis. It will suppress starch breakdown which will suppress SOME of the carbohydrates absorbed by the intestines, however, these only help with starch and have no effect on simple sugars or starch breakdown products, or any other target for enhanced ketosis.
New Keto Pill Category
Until now, there was nothing on the market that could target the other three biological processes that can be utilized to enhance ketosis (see the Enhancing Ketosis FAQ page). However, there is plenty of research in the scientific literature that describes botanical extracts and how they impact these processes.
In fact, there are many botanical choices that will impact these. However, there are also a lot of botanicals that both help and hurt ketosis at the same time. This is especially important when looking at diabetic botanical extracts. For example, berberine is a supplement that many diabetics take.
It does a good job lowering post-prandial glucose and fasting blood glucose. However, some of the ways it does that is by increasing the number of β-cells in the pancreas (more cells to make insulin) and directly increases the insulin released due to glucose in the blood.
Additionally, it can stimulate free fatty acids (fat broken down) into inducing the secretion of insulin. This is the exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve with enhancing ketosis.
In order to truly enhance ketosis, any keto supplement should focus on all four processes. These processes are:
- Enhancing the ability of glucose to enter muscle cells without increasing fat storage
- Suppressing the production of glucose by the liver
- Suppressing carbohydrate absorption in the intestines
- Suppressing glucose reabsorption by the kidneys
The main focus has to be on limiting the impact of insulin by eliminating as much glucose in the blood as safely possible. For full discussion on each of the processes, click above to be taken to that section of the Enhancing Ketosis FAQ.
In order to purchase keto supplements specifically formulated to enhance ketosis through all four processes, see our Products Page.
Are Keto Pills Safe for Weight Loss?
All three categories of keto pills are safe in general (some brands may be sketchy though). They are made with natural ingredients and are typically safe to use at the recommended dosages.
However, while they may be SAFE for weight loss, that does not mean they are EFFECTIVE for weight loss. Exogenous ketones will NOT help the user lose weight. In fact, using exogenous ketones decreased the body’s need to burn fat and will not result in the weight loss expected from a ketogenic diet.
Starch blockers can have some effect on weight loss, especially when used before a starch-heavy meal. These work by blocking the breakdown of some of the starch ingested into simple sugars. However they don’t block all starch, nor do they block the resulting sugars from entering the blood stream or any other sugars eaten along with the starch.
The ketosis enhancing supplements are not only safe, they increased the effectiveness of ketosis so you burn more fat. Additionally, they protect ketosis by affecting how carbohydrates are digested, absorbed, utilized, stored and excreted. This helps the users stay in ketosis despite eating carbohydrates. Both of these greatly affect weight loss for those on ketogenic diets.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.