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Eggplant

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Botanical Name:Solanum Melongena
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. melongena

Other common Name: Brinjal,Aubergine

Habitat: Native to India and Sri Lanka.Now growing throughout the world.


Synonyms:

The eggplant is quite often featured in the older scientific literature under the junior synonyms S. ovigerum and S. trongum. A list of other now-invalid names have been uniquely applied to it:

*Melongena ovata Mill.
*Solanum album Noronha
*Solanum insanum L.
*Solanum longum Roxb.
*Solanum melanocarpum Dunal
*Solanum melongenum St.-Lag.
*Solanum oviferum Salisb.
An inordinate number of subspecies and varieties have been named, mainly by Dikii, Dunal, and (invalidly) by Sweet. Names for various eggplant types, such as agreste, album, divaricatum, esculentum, giganteum, globosi, inerme, insanum, leucoum, luteum, multifidum, oblongo-cylindricum, ovigera, racemiflorum, racemosum, ruber, rumphii, sinuatorepandum, stenoleucum, subrepandum, tongdongense, variegatum, violaceum and viride, are not considered to refer to anything more than cultivar groups at best. On the other hand, Solanum incanum and Cockroach Berry (S. capsicoides), other eggplant-like nightshades described by Linnaeus and Allioni respectively, were occasionally considered eggplant varieties. But this is not correct.

The eggplant has a long history of taxonomic confusion with the Scarlet and Ethiopian eggplants, known as gilo and nakati and described by Linnaeus as S. aethiopicum. The eggplant was sometimes considered a variety violaceum of that species. S. violaceum of de Candolle applies to Linnaeus’ S. aethiopicum. There is an actual S. violaceum, an unrelated plant described by Ortega, which used to include Dunal’s S. amblymerum and was often confused with the same author’s S. brownii.

Like the potato and Solanum lichtensteinii—but unlike the tomato which back then was generally put in a different genus—the eggplant was also described as S. esculentum, in this case once more in the course of Dunal’s work. He also recognized varieties aculeatum, inerme and subinerme at that time. Similarly, H.C.F. Schuhmacher & Peter Thonning named the eggplant as S. edule, which is also a junior synonym of Sticky Nightshade (S sisymbriifolium). Scopoli’s S. zeylanicum refers to the eggplant, that of Blanco to S. lasiocarpum.

Description:
It is a delicate perennial often cultivated as an annual. It grows 40 to 150 cm (16 to 57 in) tall, with large coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm (4-8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) broad. (Semi-)wild types can grow much larger, to 225 cm (7 ft) with large leaves over 30 cm (12 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) broad. The stem is often spiny. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is fleshy, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms.

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The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain (an insignificant amount of) nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.

Cultivated varieties
Different varieties of the plant produce fruit of different size, shape and color, especially purple, green, or white. There are even orange varieties.
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The most widely cultivated varieties (cultivars) in Europe and North America today are elongated ovoid, 12–25 cm wide (4 1/2 to 9 in) and 6–9 cm broad (2 to 4 in) in a dark purple skin.

A much wider range of shapes, sizes and colors is grown in India and elsewhere in Asia. Larger varieties weighing up to a kilogram (2 pounds) grow in the region between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, while smaller varieties are found elsewhere. Colors vary from white to yellow or green as well as reddish-purple and dark purple. Some cultivars have a color gradient, from white at the stem to bright pink to deep purple or even black. Green or purple cultivars in white striping also exist. Chinese varieties are commonly shaped like a narrower, slightly pendulous cucumber, and were sometimes called Japanese eggplants in North America.

Oval or elongated oval-shaped and black-skinned cultivars include Harris Special Hibush, Burpee Hybrid, Black Magic, Classic, Dusky, and Black Beauty. Slim cultivars in purple-black skin include Little Fingers, Ichiban, Pingtung Long, and Tycoon; in green skin Louisiana Long Green and Thai (Long) Green; in white skin Dourga. Traditional, white-skinned, egg-shaped cultivars include Casper and Easter Egg. Bicolored cultivars with color gradient include Rosa Bianca and Violetta di Firenze. Bicolored cultivars in striping include Listada de Gandia and Udumalapet. In some parts of India, miniature varieties (most commonly called Vengan) are popular. A particular variety of green brinjal known as Matti Gulla is grown in Matti village of Udupi district in Karnataka state in India.

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Watch your garden grow;

Growing Guide: Eggplant ;

Varieties
*Solanum melongena var. esculentum common eggplant (Ukrainian Beauty)
*Solanum melongena var. depressum dwarf eggplant
*Solanum melongena var. serpentium snake eggplant

Cooking
The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Salting and then rinsing the sliced fruit(known as “degorging”) can soften and remove much of the bitterness though this is often unnecessary. Some modern varieties do not need this treatment, as they are far less bitter.  The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth; as in the related tomato, the numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so that peeling is not required.

The plant is used in cuisines from Japan to Spain. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, the Italian melanzane alla parmigiana, the Arabian moussaka, and Middle-Eastern and South Asian dishes. It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so that the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients such as lemon, tahini, and garlic, as in the Middle Eastern dish baba ghanoush and the similar Greek dish melitzanosalata or the Indian dishes of Baigan Bhartha or Gojju. In Iranian cuisine, it can be blended with whey kashk e-bademjan, tomatoes mirza ghasemi or made into stew khoresh-e-bademjan. It can be sliced, battered, and deep-fried, then served with various sauces which may be based on yoghurt, tahini, or tamarind. Grilled and mashed and mixed with onions, tomatoes, and spices it makes the Indian dish baingan ka bhartha. The fruit can also be stuffed with meat, rice, or other fillings and then baked. In the Caucasus, for example, it is fried and stuffed with walnut paste to make nigvziani badrijani. It can also be found in Chinese cuisine, braised , stewed  or stuffed.

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Eggplant information, recipes, and cooking tips
Nutrition properties of Eggplant, raw including levels of vitamins …
Nutritional Value of Eggplant :

Medicinal  Uses  & properities
Studies of the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil, would have shown that eggplant is effective in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. Another study from Heart Institute of the University of São Paulo found no effects at all and does not recommend eggplant as a replacement to statins.

It helps to block the formation of free radicals and is also a source of folic acid and potassium.

Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs (9 kg) of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.

Medicinal Properties of Eggplant

From yesterday…
Until the 18th century, the eggplant was looked upon in Europe as something nefarious, capable of inducing fever or epileptic fits. It was even called Solanum insanum by the great botanist and taxonomist Linnaeus before he changed it to Solanum melongena .

To today…
Eggplant is not eaten plain nor used in infusions. It can be cooked in various ways to provide medicinal properties without resorting to the rich and heavy method of cooking it in oil.

*Anti-rheumatism

*Cardiac
recommended for those with cardio-vascular illnesses and obese persons whose excess weight is harmful to their heart. See also: cholesterol

*Combats constipation
*Digestive

*Lowers cholesterol
Eggplant contains elements that trap cholesterol in the intestine and cause it to be eliminated from the body. It thus helps prevent the formation of fatty deposits around the heart.

*Diuretic
*Relieves colic
*Reduces stomach ulcers

*Sedative
* Calmative
*Stimulant for the liver and intestines
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease. Consuming even small quantities of flavonoid-rich foods may benefit human health.

Several studies show that consumption of the flavonoids known as anthocyanins has played a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular study revealed that those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins had 34% less risk of heart disease than those who consumed less. In another clinical study, researchers found that increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.

Blood cholesterol:
Research on the effects of eggplant consumption in animal studies has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.

Laboratory analyses of the phenolic compounds in eggplant reveal that the vegetable contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most powerful free radical scavengers found in plants. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to decrease LDL levels, and also serves as an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic agent.

Cancer:
Polyphenols in eggplant have been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and in turn prevent tumor growth and invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.
Cognitive function

Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin within eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lipids comprising cell membranes in brain cells from free radical damage. It has also been proven to help facilitate the transport of nutrients into the cell and wastes out.

Research has also shown that anthocyanins inhibit neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent age-related mental disorders and also improves memory.

Weight management and satiety:
Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. Since eggplant is already low in calories, it makes a great part of a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Click & see :What Are Eggplants Good For?.

As a native plant, it is widely used in Indian cuisine, for example in sambhar, chutney, curries, and achaar. Owing to its versatile nature and wide use in both everyday and festive Indian food, it is often described (under the name brinjal) as the ‘King of Vegetables’. In one dish, Brinjal is stuffed with ground coconut, peanuts, and masala and then cooked in oil.

In Bangladesh, it is called Begun. It, along with the fish Hilsa, is used to cook a famous wedding dish. Slices of the fruit are fried, covered with icing and eaten as snacks. This is called Beguni.

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*Eggplant extract for medical treatments
Allergy to Eggplant ( Solanum melongena ) Caused by a Putative …

Known Hazards: Eggplants  contain oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can lead to acute oxalate nephropathy or even kidney death. Consuming foods containing oxalates, such as eggplant, is not recommended for those prone to kidney stone formation, and it is suggested that those suffering from kidney stones limit their intake of oxalate-containing foods.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant
http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/products/articles/eggplant-or-aubergine-medicinal-properties/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php

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Yotishmatee(Celastrus paniculatus Willd)

Botanical Name : Celastrus paniculatus Willd.(Celastraceae)
Family Name: Celastraceae
SYNONYM(S) : Celastrus dependens Wall.
Vernacular Names:-
BENGALI : Malkanjri.
ENGLISH : Black oil tree, Celastrus , Climbing staff plant, Oriental bittersweet, Intellect tree.
GUJARATI : Malkangana, Velo.
HINDI : Kondgaidh, Malkakni, Malkamni, Malkangni, Sankhu.
KANNADA: Kangli, Kangodi, Kariganne.
MALAYALAM : Polulavam.
MARATHI : Kangani, Malkangoni.
SANSKRIT : Jyotishka, Jyotishmati, Kanguni, , Katabhi, Sphutabandhani, Svarnalota
TAMIL : Valuluvai.
TELUGU : Teegapalleru, Malaria teega.

Habitat:It grows almost all over India up to altitude of 1,800 m. It is also found in the middle of south Andamans.Also grows in Indo-Malaysia to China and Australia.

Description: A large, woody, climbing shrub. The leaves are ovate,oblong-elliptic,the flowers are unisexual,small,greenish white or yellowish green,the capsules are globose, yellow,1-6 seeded and transversele wrinkled; the seeds are ellipsoid or ovoid, yellowish or reddish-brown in color, enclosed in scarlet aril, which stains yellowish orange.

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Bark brown, thin. Branchlets hairless, with many distinct minute white dots called lenticels. Leaves alternate, egg-shaped to oblong-elliptic, about 5-15 x 2-8 cm, base round, apex acuminate, margin toothed with rounded teeth, hairless; lateral nerves 5-8 pairs, slender; leaf stalks about 3 cm long. Flowers unisexual, about 6 mm across, greenish white, collected in terminal paniculate cymes; panicles 5-30 cm long, pendulous. Capsules sub-globose, 5-10 mm across, smooth, yellow when mature, transversely wrinkled, dehiscing by 3-valves. Seeds 1-6, ellipsoid or ovoid, about 6 x 3 mm, yellowish brown, enclosed in crimson-red aril.
Flowering: February to April;
Fruiting: May to December

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Main Constituents: The seeds are reported to contain the alkaloids celastrine and paniculatin.

Medicinal Uses:In the East Indies the oil obtained from the seeds of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. is used as a powerful stimulant and diaphoretic in rheumatism, gout, and various fevers. The oil is said to be deep reddish-yellow, and to become thick and honey-like on keeping.

The stem bark is used as an abortifacient and brain tonic. Leaf sap is a good antidote for opium poisoning. Seeds are stimulant, diaphoratic, diuretic, tonic, appetizer, anti-inflammatory and used for abdominal disorders, leprosy, pruritus, skin diseases, paralysis, asthma, leucoderma, cardiac debility, inflammation, amenorrhoea and fever. Also used to stimulate the intellect and sharpen memory. The seed oil is used to cure berbery, sores and to promote intelligence and sharpen memory.

As per Ayurveda:-It is katu, tikta and sara; beneficial in deranged kapha and samira (vata).ushna, emetic, teekshna, gastric stimulant; promotes intelligence and memory.

Parts Used: Seeds and bark.

Therapeutic Uses:

Seeds are acrid, bitter, emollient, intellect promoting, digestive ,laxative, useful in vitiated vata , kapha, abdominal disorders, leprosy, pruritus, skin diseases, paralysis,cardiac debility, for stimulating the intellect and sharpening the memory.,alterative, antirheumatic, aphrodisiac; laxative and nervine tonic;decoction beneficial in gout, leprosy and paralysis:

oil is rubefacient and stimulant; efficacious in beri-beri and oedema; improves memory;, intellect promoting, in abdominal disorders, and sores

The bark is depurative, brain tonic

Leaves are emmenagogue and leaf sap is a good antidote in opium poisoning.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/herbfinder/h_celastrus.htm
http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Celastrus.htmli
http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/celastrus.html
http://envis.frlht.org.in/cpaniculatus.htm
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#jyotishmatee

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Type of Body Fat ‘Boosts Health’

Body fat found under the skin – and particularly on the buttocks – may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research suggests.

The study contrasts this subcutaneous fat with visceral fat, which is wrapped around the organs, and raises the risk of ill health……...CLICK & SEE

It is thought subcutaneous fat may produce hormones known as adipokines which boost the metabolism.

The Harvard Medical School study appears in the journal Cell Metabolism.

The researchers, who worked on mice, transplanted fat from one part of the animals’ body to the other.

“The surprising thing was that it wasn’t where the fat was located, it was the kind of fat that was the most important variable.” says Professor Ronald Khan,Harvard Medical School

When subcutaneous fat was moved to the abdominal area, there was a decrease in body weight, fat mass, and blood sugar levels.

The animals also became more responsive to the hormone insulin, which controls the way the body uses sugar. A lack of response to insulin is often the first stage on the path to type 2 diabetes.

In contrast, moving abdominal visceral fat to other parts of the body had no effect.

Lead researcher Professor Ronald Khan said: “The surprising thing was that it wasn’t where the fat was located, it was the kind of fat that was the most important variable.

“Even more surprising, it wasn’t that abdominal fat was exerting negative effects, but that subcutaneous fat was producing a good effect.”

Previous research has suggested that obese people with high levels of both abdominal and subcutaneous fat are more insulin-sensitive than those with only high levels of abdominal fat.

Professor Khan said it was possible that subcutaneous fat offset the effects of visceral fat.

Dr David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, said the finding cast new doubt on the merits of Body Mass Index (BMI) as a way to assess whether somebody was unhealthily overweight, as it did not differentiate between different types of fat.

He said it was still important that people tried to control their weight, as healthy lifestyle choices like a balanced diet and taking exercise would overwhelmingly impact on visceral, and not subcutaneous fat levels.

Women have a tendancy to lay down more subcutaneous fat, particularly on their legs and buttocks than men.

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, said: “If there is something about subcutaneous fat which is protective, and actually decreases insulin resistance, this could help open up a whole new debate on the precise role fat has on our metabolism.”

YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE ALSO :->
Fat cell numbers ‘set for life
Belly fat ‘makes more fat cells’
Pot belly linked to heart disease
Test points to ‘hidden’ fat risk
Puppy fat ‘myth’ risking health
RELATED INTERNET LINKS:->
Cell Metabolism
National Obesity Forum
Weight Concern

Sources: BBC NEWS:7Th. May,”08

Fatigue

So many people In our modern society feel overwhelmingly tired. Low vitality seems to be the bane of our daily experience. Everything about our existence in today’s world is moving at such a fast pace that it just leaves us breathless. It seems as if there is never enough time to accomplish our goals. The rhythm of life should be a balance of activity and rest. But today’s world just does not seem to allow for that.

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No matter how tired we may be, we all have the ability to correct the situation through proper nutrition, supplementation, and exercise, combined with the proper balance of rest and activity. The first step is to discover the source of the tiredness.

Nutritional biochemistry, environmental toxins and allergies, stress, adrenal weakness, low thyroid, sleep disorders, hypoglycemia, gut toxicity, and food allergies are some of the causes that can propel us into an unbroken cycle of fatigue. In the following pages we shall go more deeply into the various causes of fatigue and their remedies and thereby hopefully discover the secret pathway to our own radiant health and vitality.

Usually it takes us quite a while to develop fatigue and likewise it will take us a while to build our energy reserves back up. We should be patient with ourselves and unravel the mystery of the cause of our state of fatigue and work consistently to restore our natural state of abundant energy.

Symptoms:

Fatigue refers to a feeling of tiredness or weariness. It can be temporary or chronic. This condition can be remedied by adequate rest. Chronic or continuous fatigue is ,however, a serious problem which requires a comprehensive plan of treatment.

Causes:
A specific character trait, compulsiveness, can lead to continuous fatigue. Many persons constantly feel that they cannot take rest until they finish everything that needs to be done at one time. Thease persons are usually tense and cannot relax unless they complete the whole job, no matter hotwired they may be .

The main cause of fatigue is lowered vitality or lack of energy due to wrong feeding habits. The habitual use of refined foods such as white sugar, refined cereals, white flour products and processed food have very bad effects on the process in general. Certain physical and mental condition also creates fatigue. These include anemia, intestinal worms, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar any kind of infection in the body , liver damage, allergy to foods and drugs, insomnia mental tension, and unresolved emotional problem.

Healing Options:

Herbs : The patient suffering from fatigue should eat nutritious foods, which supply energy to the body. Cereal seeds in their natural state relieve fatigue and provide energy. These cereal seeds are corn seeds, wheat seeds, rye seeds, maize seeds.

Vitamin B , Dates and Lemon balm ….very helpful for all kinds of fatigue.

Ayurvedic Supplements: 1. Keshari Kalp 2. Musli pak 3.Drakshasava (Special)

Diet : Nutritional measures are most vital in the treatment of fatigue. Studies reveal that people who eat snacks in between meals suffer less from fatigue and nervousness, think more clearly, and are more efficient than those who eat only three meal daily .These snacks should consists of fresh or dried fruits, fresh fruit or vegetable Juices, raw vegetables, or small sandwiches of whole gram bread. These snacks should be light and less food should be consumed at regular meals .The snacks should also be taken at specified timing such as 11 am, 4 p.m.

Lifestyle: Chronic fatigue caused by poor circulation can be remedied by daily physical exercise. It will help relieve tension, bring a degree of freshness, renew energy, and induce sleep. Massage cold applications increasing in degree gradually or alternate hot and cold baths, stimulate the muscles to renewed activity, thereby relieving fatigue.

Yoga Exercise: 1.Basic Breathing (Pranayama) 2.The Shoulder Stand (Sarvang Asana) 3.The Lotus (Padma Asana)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source:Allayurveda.com

Ketoacidosis

Medical defenition of Ketoacidosis:
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) are two of the most serious complications of diabetes. These hyperglycemic emergencies continue to be important causes of morbid mortality among persons with diabetes in spite of all of the advances in understanding diabetes. The annual incidence rate of DKA estimated from population-based studies ranges from 4.8.to 8 episodes per 1,000 patients with diabetes. Unfortunately, in the US incidents of hospitalization due to DKA have increased. Currently 4-9% of all hospital discharge summaries among patients with diabetes include DKA. The incidence of HHS is more difficult to determine because of lack of population studies but it is still high at ~15%. The prognosis of both conditions is substantially worsened at the extremes of age, and in the presence of coma and hypertension.....click & see

The pathogenesis of DKA is more understood than HHS but both relate to the basic underlying reduction in the net effective action of circulating insulin coupled with a concomitant elevation of counter regulatory hormones such as glucagons, catecholamines, cortisol, and growth hormone. These hormonal alterations in both DKA and HHS lead to increased hepatic and renal glucose production and impaired use of glucose in peripheral tissues, which results in hyperglycemia and parallel changes in osmolality in extracellular space. This same combination also leads to release of free fatty acids into the circulation from adipose tissue and to unrestrained hepatic fatty acid oxidation to ketone bodies.

Ketoacidosis is BAD. It is when diabetics have too much sugar floating around in their blood and keytones spill into the kidneys. It causes kidney damage and generally wreaks havoc on the body.

To get ketoacidosis, you need to have no insulin in your blood. This causes blood sugar to rise to extemely high levels because the body cannot take the sugar into its cells without the help of insulin. You can get ketoacidosis if you’re an alcoholic. Diabetec, alcoholic can get ketoacidosis. For others no.

As long as you are not a Type 1 diabetic (and missjudge your insulin injections), you do not have to worry about ketoacidosis. Protein consumption has nothing to do with it.

EVERYTHING ABOUT KETOSIS

What are ketones?…..click & see

Ketones are a normal and efficient source of fuel and energy for the human body. They are produced by the liver from fatty acids, which result from the breakdown of body fat in response to the absence of glucose/sugar. In a ketogenic diet, such as Atkins … or diets used for treating epilepsy in children, the tiny amounts of glucose required for some select functions can be met by consuming a minimum amount of carbs – or can be manufactured in the liver from PROTEIN. When your body is producing ketones, and using them for fuel, this is called “ketosis”.

How will ketosis help me to lose weight?

Most reducing diets restrict calorie intake, so you lose weight but some of that is fat and some of it is lean muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means slowed metabolism, which makes losing weight more difficult and gaining it back all too easy. Ketosis will help you to lose FAT.

Being in ketosis means that your body’s primary source of energy is fat (in the form of ketones). When you consume adequate protein as well, there’s no need for the body to break down its muscle tissue. Ketosis also tends to accelerate fat loss — once the liver converts fat to ketones, it can’t be converted back to fat, and so is excreted.

But, isn’t ketosis dangerous?

Being in ketosis by following a low carbohydrate diet is NOT dangerous. The human body was designed to use ketones very efficiently as fuel in the absence of glucose. However, the word ketosis is often confused with a similar word, ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition for diabetics, and the main element is ACID not ketones. The blood pH becomes dangerously acidic because of an extremely high blood SUGAR level (the diabetic has no insulin, or doesn’t respond to insulin …. so blood sugar rises … ketones are produced by the body to provide the fuel necessary for life, since the cells can’t use the sugar). It’s the high blood sugar, and the acid condition that is so dangerous. Ketones just happen to be a part of the picture, and are a RESULT of the condition, not the CAUSE. Diabetics can safely follow a ketogenic diet to lose fat weight … but they must be closely monitored by their health care provider, and blood sugars need to be kept low, and stable.

How do the ketone test strips work, and where can I get them?

Ketone urine-testing strips, also called Ketostix or just ketone sticks … are small plastic strips that have a little absorptive pad on the end. This contains a special chemical that will change colour in the presence of ketones in the urine. The strips may change varying shades of pink to purple, or may not change colour at all. The container will have a scale on the label, with blocks of colour for you to compare the strip after a certain time lapse, usually 15 seconds. Most folks simply hold a strip in the flow of urine. Other folks argue that the force of the flow can “wash” some of the chemical away, and advise that a sample of urine be obtained in a cup or other container, then the strip dipped into it.

The chemical reagent is very sensitive to moisture, including what’s in the air. It’s important to keep the lid of the container tightly closed at all times, except for when you’re getting a strip to take a reading. Make sure your fingers are dry before you go digging in! They also have an expiry date, so make note of this when you purchase the strips … that’s for the UNopened package. Once opened, they have a shelf-life of about 6 months — you may wish to write the date you opened on the label for future reference.

Ketone test strips can be purchased at any pharmacy, and are usually kept with the diabetic supplies. In some stores they’re kept behind the counter, so if you don’t see them on the shelf, just ask the pharmacist; you don’t need a prescription to buy them.

I’m following Induction strictly; why won’t my strips turn purple?

Ketones will spill into the urine ONLY when there is more in the blood than is being used as fuel by the body at that particular moment.

You may have exercised or worked a few hours previously, so your muscles would have used up the ketones as fuel, thus there will be no excess. You may have had a lot of liquids to drink, so the urine is more diluted. Perhaps the strips are not fresh, or the lid was not on tight and some moisture from the atmosphere got in.

Some low carbers NEVER show above trace or negative even … yet they burn fat and lose weight just fine. If you’re losing weight, and your clothes are getting looser, you’re feeling well and not hungry all the time .. then you are successfully in ketosis. Don’t get hung up on the strips; they’re just a guide, nothing more.


Will I lose weight faster if the strips show dark purple all the time?

No. Testing in the darkest purple range all the time is usually a sign of dehydration — the urine is too concentrated. You need to drink more water to dilute it, and keep the kidneys flushed.

The liver will make ketones from body fat, the fat you EAT, and from alcohol — the ketone strips have no way of distinguishing the source of the ketones. So, if you test every day after dinner, and dinner usually contains a lot of fat, then you may very well test for large amounts of ketones all the time. However this does not indicate that any BODY fat was burned.

The strips only indicate what’s happening in the urine. Ketosis happens in the blood and body tissues. If you’re showing even a small amount, then you are in ketosis, and fat-burning is taking place. Don’t get hung up on the ketone sticks.


Does caffeine affect ketosis?

This is questionable. There ARE a few studies that suggest caffeine may cause blood sugar to rise, with consequent effect on insulin … The studies involve consuming 50 gm glucose orally, followed by a dose of caffeine. This is quite different from a low carber, who is consuming only 20 gm carbs, in the form of high-fiber vegetables, spread throughout the day.

Many low carbers continue to enjoy caffeine-containing beverages with no serious impact on their weight-loss efforts. However, there are some sensitive individuals … and persons who are extremely insulin resistant may need to restrict or even eliminate all caffeine. If you have been losing successfully then find your weight loss stalled for a month or two, and you are following your program to the letter, you might consider stopping all caffeine for a while, to see if that will get things started again.


Will drinking alcohol affect ketosis?

No and yes. The liver can make ketones out of alcohol, so technically, when you drink you’ll continue to produce ketones and so will remain in ketosis. The problem is … alcohol converts more easily to ketones than fatty acids, so your liver will use the alchol first, in preference to fat. Thus, when you drink, basically your FAT burning is put on hold until all the alcohol is out of your system.

This rapid breakdown of alcohol into ketones and acetaldehyde (the intoxicating by-product) … tends to put low carbers at risk for quicker intoxication … especially if no other food is consumed to slow absorption.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Help taken from: forum.lowcarber.org and www.lowcarb.ca