Moderation: Hormesis, Ketone Bodies, and Polyhydroxy Aldehydes


   Ryan Hall  MS, CSCS, Wellness Coordinator

BOOM! Mind blown! Did he just have to pull out the dictionary for those words?  For those of you that are still with me after that amazing title up there, thank you. This topic may come out slightly different than some of my previous half rants that I have posted here. What I am going to touch on is something that many people are talking about, trying out, believe whole heartedly in, or flat out think is ridiculous. Oh yeah, I’m going there. Let’s talk a little bit about the idea of low carb/no carb diets. First, let me explain the title:

Hormesis:  the term for generally favorable biological responses to low exposure to toxins and other stressors.

Ketone Bodies: three water-soluble molecules (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone) that are produced by the liver from fatty acids found in untreated (or inadequately treated) type 1 diabetes, prolonged intense exercise, periods of low food intake, starvation, or          carbohydrate restrictive diets.

Polyhydoxy Aldehydes: carbohydrates.

The short and sweet is that when blood glucose levels are low, the body can take fat and send it into the blood stream to be used up by most of the metabolizing /exercising muscles as fuel. The cells in the muscles break down the fat into water-soluble chemical products (ketone bodies) through a process called beta oxidation. These ketone bodies are released by the liver and then used by the cells as energy. Unlike fatty acids directly from the body’s fat stores, ketone bodies can pass through the blood brain barrier meaning that they can be used by the central nervous system as well as muscle.

Sounds great, eat protein, minimal fat and don’t eat any carbs, the body will turn our unwanted fat into energy and we all live happily ever after living off of our spare tire. Unfortunately there are a couple of problems. For starters, the liver cannot use ketone bodies as fuel because it cannot break them down. Bummer, liver failure! Second, the brain can only get a portion of its energy from ketone bodies with the rest coming from glucose ie, carbs. Bummer, reduced cognitive functioning! Not to mention that your digestive track would be so bound up by the amount of protein you would have to eat to reach your appropriate calorie intake that you could cause serious internal damage. So what is the upside? Lower, not eliminated, carbohydrate diets with bouts of intermittent fasting have been shown to help the body boost the metabolism of fat from adipose tissue as an energy source, ideally resulting in reduced body fat. Walla, hormesis! So we are back to the well known concept, everything in moderation.

Monday Mourning


Nahshon Cook-Nelson, PR & Marketing Intern

My first job was working at a fresh food market in the 11th grade
Finally it was my chance to get my own wage

Even more than getting paid
I was thrilled for the friends and new relationships to be made

And on that first day I…

Found out it was a masquerade
Most weren’t filled with praise but self-pity

Constantly complaining
Dramatically draining

Persistently persuading themselves and each other
That their place of work was an utter, sentence to chains

Specifically on that first day of the week
There was a sense of mourning
More people grew meek
Seeking to pull themselves from the present

As I look around today
Lots of things seem the same way

Now this may sound dumb
But I think most have grown numb
To the feeling they first had walking in the door
The urge to try new things and explore

Whether it was 9 to 5 or 8 to 4
We were passionate about the struggle and the growth
But now, we’ve grown sore

We are not required to live this way any. more.

If our work has truly brought us to the stage of worry then let it be discontinued
And our refugee begin

Otherwise, the only reason we complain is if we know of something better within
Where every Monday we can pull in to work with a grin

We may approach those whose internal lights have grown dim
But we will spread the notion of TGIM

Where many have felt the need to plead until their last working minute has struck
We will feed the seeds to give our best until our time is up

We can defeat this feeling that is so alluring
Give gratitude instead of complaints. So our joy is ever enduring

When agony rises and moments seem boring
Let us fight back so it is NEVER “just another Monday Mourning”