#245: Ketone Testing: Breath VS Blood & Urine w/ Joe Anderson, PhD

by Mike Mutzel




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About Joe Anderson

Dr. Joe is one of a few breath science leaders in the world, bringing deep experience in pulmonary physiology and breath research science to the LEVL team. He has led the development of breath protocols, performed clinical trials, and structured our science and physiology goals at LEVL, taking the research he performs and helping us translate that into protocols. Prior to joining LEVL, he managed clinical research at a VC-funded company where he guided the development of a medical device through clinical and regulatory hurdles and on to commercialization. He is the owner of Anderson Bioscience and is an affiliate faculty member in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed publications. Joe’s strategic vision and deep expertise have been an immense driver in LEVL’s successes.

Connect with Joe Anderson

Show Notes:

01:33 Dr. Anderson’s PhD was on How Chemicals Come Out in Breath. The focus was on lung health, rather than metabolism.

02:45 Acetone is created primarily from the breakdown of acetoacetate.This process may possibly be expedited with a protein. It could be albumin, a large protein that circulates in your blood.

10:15 Fatty acids are released into the blood. Some of these fats are deposited in the liver. The liver cells will create energy or ketone bodies.

11:02 Your brain is unable to use fat for fuel, and instead uses ketone bodies when sugar is depleted.

11:46 Acetoacetate ketone body is the mother molecule that can be interconverted with beta hydroxybutyrate. Acetoacetate can also be converted to acetone.

12:28 Beta hydroxybutyrate is converted into acetoacetate, which is then used to fuel the cell. Beta hydroxybutyrate is measured and therefore gets all the attention.

15:00 Much of the conversion of ketone bodies occurs early in the transition between sugar burning and ketosis. The number of ketone bodies begin to drop from there.

15:26 Ketone bodies are mainly there to feed your brain. Fats can be used to fuel muscle tissue, heart, etc.

19:47 Beta hydroxybutyrate and ketone bodies seem to be able to bypass some defects in mitochondrial function, the inability of mitochondria to generate fuel from sugars.

21:21 People with dementia may have regions of their brain that are not burning sugar. These regions can begin processing with alternate fuel.

22:17 Acetone as measured by Levl is an indicator of your last 12 hours of fat metabolism. There is a slight delay between the changes in acetoacetate and beta hydroxybutyrate, and acetone.

24:31 The Levl sensor can mistake consumed alcohol for acetone.

25:27 Eight hours after drinking alcohol, you can experience alcoholic ketosis, reflected in acetone levels. This is due to the way alcohol is processed in your body. When ethanol breaks down, some of the intermediate energy molecules can help convert acetoacetate to beta hydroxybutyrate.

28:28 While in ketosis, endurance exercise will cause ketone levels to drop because you are using the ketones.

32:52 The calculation of how much fat you are burning each day, on the Levl app, came from a study of people on a calorie restricted mixed diet.A ketogenic diet would increase the amount of fat mass loss. The study showed that people who had certain body fat losses had a correlation with breath acetone. Two parts per million provided a half pound of fat mass loss. The study range extended to 10 parts per million.

36:55 Bears use ketones for hibernation. Cows make ketone bodies and the ketone bodies flavor the milk.

40:52 Keto breath is mostly acetone.An untreated diabetic may have sweet breath or smell slightly of alcohol.

41:36 Acetone can be excreted through sweat, but there will be a delay as it penetrates the skin and measurements will be diluted.

42:18 Urine testing for acetone has too many variables, like water intake and frequency of urination. It is a mixed concentration. Acetoacetate is also in the urine and may decarboxylate and cause acetone levels to rise in the urine, throwing off the measurement.

43:33 Sevenparts per million or higher of breath acetone would reflect a .5 mml of beta hydroxybutyrate, the definition of nutritional ketosis.

45:22 Measure acetone consistently first thing in the morning when there are fewer external variables. If that is not possible, measure right before dinner or at bedtime.

47:50 Supplemental niacin and aspirin seem to alter the breakdown of fat at the cell, so the fat cell does not dump fat into the bloodstream. This decreases the production of ketone bodies for a few hours.

51:19 People of Saudi and Portuguese decent have more challenge getting into ketosis.

52:14 Ingested shorter chain fats can turn into ketone bodies more quickly than longer chain.

53:30 Levl partners with Heads Up Health, which tracks additional health variables, creating a body of data to be analyzed in a more holistic way.

  1. If you had said how much this device is at first it would save me and many more like me low income. I would not waste my time watching this. $99.00 a month for a year.
    Wow most normal people cannot afford this DEVICE. Forget this video. Sorry Mike but this is the truth. I usually love all your interviews with people.
    But thumbs down for this one.

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