Straight to the point
Testing using a breath testing device is low cost and provides conclusive results that ketones are indeed present and likely to be being used as fuel.
Acetone production is a byproduct of the fat metabolism process. Because of its small size, acetone appears in exhaled breath 1.
Endogenous breath acetone is correlated with and can be used to understand the rate of fat loss in healthy subjects. 1
While there is not doubt that testing for ketones using blood tests is effective it is costly, involves pricking your fingers.
Least conclusive over the long run are urine testing strips since they simply suggest that the body is ridding itself of ketones initially
Three Types of Ketones
Acetoacetate (AcAc): When glucose is no longer available as a primary source of fuel, fat is broken down by the liver into fatty acids, which are further broken down into ketone bodies. Acetoacetate is the first ketone body that is produced and is spilled into your urine, especially in the early stages of ketosis, but rarely in later stages.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB): BHB is the most prevalent and stable ketone body in the blood and is readily transported to cells to use as fuel. It can fuel most of the brain’s energy needs along with organs and muscles and represents approximately 70% of the available ketone energy.
Acetate (Acetone): Acetoacetate, the simplest beta-keto acid, is converted into either Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) or acetone (aka acetate). Acetone is the least abundant ketone body and is exhaled through the lungs as a waste product rather than used as a source of fuel. It is sometimes called the “exhaust” ketone.
Acetone vs BHB
Acetone production is a byproduct of the fat metabolism process. Because of its small size, acetone appears in exhaled breath.
BHB is the most prevalent and stable ketone body in the blood and is readily transported to cells to use as fuel. It can fuel most of the brain’s energy needs along with organs and muscles and represents approximately 70% of the available ketone energy.
Ketone Testing Methods
Breath testing devices test for Acetone in your breath.
First and foremost, the primary downside of doing blood tests is that you must keep pricking your fingers for blood. Second, the strips are very costly (approx $.60 to $1 per strip)
What about Urine strips?
One of the most common ways people have been measuring ketones over the years is using a ketone strip. These strips are relatively cheap and you simply get urine on the surface somehow and it gives a colour based reading
Urine strips were designed primarily to monitor diabetic ketones in order to help prevent diabetics from unknowingly getting into ketoacidosis
Because urine strips measure excess or excreted ketones in the urine, they are inaccurate in determining nutritional ketosis and how well your body is utilizing ketones as fuel.
Consider that a reading for high ketones early on with a urine strip, you may incorrectly think that you’re getting a reading of your level of ketosis.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case as the reading is simply shows excess ketones you are peeing out and is not an accurate account of your level of ketosis (ketones in your blood).
As your body becomes fat-adapted, it converts ketone bodies more efficiently and is less likely to expel them.
They work sort of but suffer the same deficiencies as doing blood tests in that they only determine if BHB is present
Conclusion – Breath Testing is the way
Let’s face it the primary objective in one has when doing measuring is to determine if you are using ketones as fuel i.e. burning fat.
As discussed, just measuring for ketones is not enough. If glucose is present then it will the fuel of choice and no fat will be being burned
Acetone present in your breath absolutely assures that you are indeed not only in ketosis but in fact burning ketones as fuel and therefore burning fat
Where can I get one?
It’s available on Amazon
Links to some experts and sources
People also considered
If you like this article you may also find the pulse-oximeter-fingertip-blood-oxygen-saturation-meter interesting