What Are Exogenous Ketones? Do they Help Fat Loss?

exogenous ketones, fat loss

I have been seeing people in online health groups asking if exogenous ketones will help with fat loss so I thought we’d take a look at what they are and what they do for you.

The main essence of the ketogenic diet is to put your body into the state of ketosis. In this state, your body will be able to produce ketones that fuel your body for energy instead of using glucose from carbs.

Your body can produce ketones endogenously, meaning from within your body, or they can be obtained from a synthetic source, such as exogenous ketone supplements. These supplements can help to significantly increase your ketone levels and help you stay in ketosis easily.

What Exactly Are Exogenous Ketones?

Typically, the body produces ketones when fasting or when restricting your consumption of carbs by going on a keto diet. Exogenous ketones are synthetic ketone bodies that are now available as supplements. The Diet Doctor states,

“Endogenous ketones are produced naturally inside the body by the liver as a result of restricting carbs and sugar”

The term “endogenous” came from the Greek word, “endon” that means within. However, scientists have found a way to obtain these ketones from the outside and that is in the form of exogenous ketone supplements.

Two Types of Exogenous Ketones

There are two types of exogenous ketones and these are ketone esters and ketone salts. The ketone esters come in the form of liquid while ketone salts are in powder form.

Ketone esters – these ketones are linked to another compound known as an ester and are packed in the form of a liquid. Ketone esters are mainly used for research and may not be easily available for purchase, unlike the ketone salts.

Ketone salts – these are bound to a salt, usually potassium, sodium, magnesium, or calcium. They are in powder form and can be mixed with liquid.

Both supplements work by increasing your ketone levels and will mimic what happens in ketosis once you follow the keto diet.

Benefits of Exogenous Ketone Supplements

You’ll find many different brands of exogenous ketone supplements these days and all of them claim to provide the following benefits:

• Helps to get into ketosis fast
• Prevents Keto Flu
• Suppresses appetite
• Improves mood
• Improves the quality of sleep
• Minimize inflammation
• Improves athletic performance
• Increases energy
• Increases the body’s fat burning abilities

Writing on Health Line Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD states

Supplementing with ketones is thought to have many of the same health benefits as a ketogenic diet, including weight loss.

People also take ketone supplements along with a ketogenic diet, especially when first beginning the diet.

This reduces the time it takes to reach ketosis and lessens the unpleasant effects that may come from transitioning from a standard, higher-carb diet to a ketogenic one.

Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketone Base

exogenous ketones

If you want to try an exogenous ketone supplement then I can recommend Perfect Keto Base. It comes in a variety of flavors like chocolate, coffee, vanilla, peach and salted caramel. It contains only natural ingredients which is important because so many brands contain fillers and additives that you don’t want to put into your body.

This brand is sweetened with stevia and monk fruit, natural sweeteners that don’t spike your blood sugar and contains zero calories.

Getting into ketosis isn’t easy. Staying there can be even harder for many people. Perfect Keto Base is the easiest way to get started with your keto diet and prevent that dreaded keto flu.

Do Exogenous Ketones Help with Fat Loss?

Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS, sports chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner states:

One common misconception is that taking ketone supplements will induce immediate weight loss, but ketones are only a piece of the puzzle in your weight loss journey.

Remember exogenous ketones are supplements, and therefore should be supplementary to a low carb ketogenic style. Ketones don’t cause weight loss, they help cause ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body is using fatty acids for its primary source of energy.

Just because you are using fat does not necessarily mean you are going to be losing weight or have a decrease in body fat percentage over an extended period of time.

Holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque while talking about the keto diet says

For best results you should be following a mostly ketogenic diet, wherein you get about 80 percent of your calories from fats, 15 from protein, and 5 from carbs. From there, exogenous ketones will help amplify the diet’s effects.

And Kim Crawford, MD is reported as saying:

Once you’ve been eating keto for a while exogenous ketones can help you bounce back into fat-burning mode following a carb-heavy meal.

Concerns about ketoacidosis

It’s been suggested that by taking exogenous ketones you could put your body in a state of ketoacidosis but research suggests that this is not true.

One study, at The University of Oxford, London, England, looked at the effect of exogenous keto drinks and found that there was only mild elevation of acid-base balance. What they did find was that exogenous ketones lowered blood glucose and lipids.

Another recent study, although done on rats demonstrated “the efficacy and tolerability of oral exogenous ketone supplementation in inducing nutritional ketosis independent of dietary restriction”.

The researchers also stated that “Ketone supplementation could be used as an alternative method for inducing ketosis in those who have previously had difficulty implementing the Ketogenic diet because of palatability issues, gall bladder removal, liver abnormalities, or intolerance to fat”.


I think that the question is summed up in an article on Everyday Health which quotes Dina Griffin, RDN as saying:

There’s some support that exogenous ketones can be helpful for people already dutifully following the keto diet — but research has been limited. One thing we know for sure: These aren’t a get-thin-quick solution. I think people are drawn to a quick, easy fix, kind of a magic bullet supplement, and it’s not that this won’t contribute to weight loss, but it’s not that magic bullet.

More research is needed to determine if the exogenous ketone supplements may help with weight loss and fat loss. Until then, it may be best to use the supplements for the benefits as stated above.


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