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H.V.M.N. created a new market for exogenous ketone drinks with the launch of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester in 2017. There are a number of companies currently selling various forms of exogenous ketones from ketone salts to ketone esters. One of the more popular and exciting technologies in the exogenous ketone space is the one H.V.M.N. productized: D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester, a ketone ester that’s FDA GRAS (“generally recognized as safe”). Now as the exogenous ketone space has matured and become more popular, there are now a variety of companies selling ketone esters including KetoneAid.

The History

In the early 2000s, DARPA Program Manager Joseph Bielitzki called for research proposals to develop novel foodstuffs to enhance cognitive and physical performance of US warfighters as part of "Metabolic Dominance." One of the winning proposals was based on the research of Richard Veech of NIH, the Principal Investigator.

The end result of the the program was a ketone ester, more specifically the D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester that H.V.M.N. introduced to the world. This molecule has a number of synonyms, depending on scientific or colloquial reference: D-beta-hydroxybutyrate-(R)-1,3 butanediol monoester, D-beta-hydroxybutyrate D 1,3-butanediol Monoester, (R)-3-hydroxybutyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate, D-BHB Monoester, D-BHB Ester, D-BHB Ketone Ester, CAS# 1208313-97-6.

After the conclusion of the DARPA funding, the technology spent years languishing in academia before H.V.M.N. made a splash in the metabolism community and created the infrastructure to finally introduce this technology to the world in late 2017.

What’s KetoneAid?

KetoneAid was founded by Frank Llosa, who has a family relation with Richard Veech, and they also manufacture a D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester drink. KetoneAid began an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund its launch in late 2017 and raised nearly $130,000 to kickstart the business as a popular, alternate brand to H.V.M.N.

H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is made up of water, D-beta hydroxybutyrate ester, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors, malic acid, potassium sorbate, and potassium benzoate.

KetoneAid contains D-beta hydroxybutyrate ester, water, allulose (a low-calorie sugar), L-Taurine (.5g, an amino acid commonly added to commercial energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster), organic stevia, natural flavors, and potassium sorbate.

H.V.M.N. has done extensive testing on our H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester. We post our CofAs online for public scrutiny and viewing. Because our drink is used extensively in professional sport, we additionally screen every single batch for banned substances with a highly reputable World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)-compliant testing facility. We publicly share these results and allow everyone to scrutinize our data because we stand behind our product’s quality, safety, and rigor. We recommend that everyone does their due diligence and asks their nutrition suppliers for CofA's as standard diligence practice.


Multiple on-going research efforts are currently underway to further refine and elucidate our understanding of how to best use exogenous ketones for different applications.

D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester, the main ingredient in H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, has been used in numerous clinical trials and over two dozen research studies. And H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester has been supplied to a number of groups currently conducting research using the product specifically, so we expect a number of papers crediting H.V.M.N. as the supplier in the coming months and years. KetoneAid has also been active in working with researchers including Brendan Egan who studied athletes via intermittent running tests.

Product Types

KetoneAid has two products: KetoneAid KE4, a 30 gram D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester drink, and KetoneAid KE1, which is a 5 gram blend of D-Beta-hydroxybutyrate, R-1,3 butanediol monoester, D-BHB free acid, and D-BHB salt.  

Don't Settle

H.V.M.N. is trusted by the world’s best. It's exciting to see the exogenous ketone landscape evolve, and you can be sure H.V.M.N. will be your trusted resource to navigate it.

Further Learning

Now we’re clear about the stories of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester and KetoneAid, let’s discuss why ketosis, ketone esters, and exogenous ketones are so promising, both from a science and also a health, performance, and longevity perspective.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where ketone bodies are present in the human body. Generally, this is agreed upon to be ketone levels present in the blood at levels above 0.5mM.Volek2011

The human body evolved to be able to enter a state of ketosis. When our ancestors were out on long hunts, we needed some source of fuel to function. Carbohydrates are used for a quick energy boost, but between meals, we didn’t have any as energy sources. What did we have? Large stores of fat (when compared to carbs).

The problem? The brain can’t use fat for fuel (it loves carbohydrates). So we evolved to be able to tap into those fat stores and provide energy for the brain in the form of ketones, produced by the liver—a hyper-efficient fuel source for both the brain and the body.Cahill2006 Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier.Hasselbalch1995 And for this reason, many people cite improved mental performance while in ketosis.

You can get into ketosis through a variety of means today. Usually a person enters a state of ketosis through these three mechanisms:

  • Fasting
  • Eating a low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein ketogenic diet
  • Consuming exogenous ketones like H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester

The ketogenic diet is one of the most popular ways to enter ketosis (and is lauded for its weight loss and fat-burning capabilities). Fasting is also popular, and many people who practice a keto diet will also employ intermittent fasting because they both result in endogenous ketosis.

But there’s also another way to enter ketosis: consuming exogenous ketones. This is a relatively new strategy, in which the ketones come from an external source.

Ketone bodies typically describe beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the primary ketone body; it’s the ketone body circulating at highest levels in the blood, with other types of ketones in lower amounts.Laffel1999

Acetoacetate and acetone are also ketone bodies, but are downstream metabolic products of BHB. Ketone bodies can be metabolized by mitochondria to produce ATP, the energy currency of life, like other metabolic substrates like glucose. However, ketone bodies don’t require insulin and are highly efficient.

Emerging science over the last couple years also suggests that BHB is a signaling molecule. This means that presence of BHB in the body might signal, mediate, and control some of the metabolic benefits that are ascribed to fasting, caloric restriction, or ketogenic diets.

How to Achieve Ketosis

Endogenous ketosis is the body’s natural processes to enter ketosis. This only happens in a carbohydrate-restricted state which can be created through fasting or a ketogenic diet. This means the body is converting its own fat reserves into ketone bodies.

Exogenous ketosis is delivering external ketone bodies directly into the body through foods or supplements like H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester. In this case, a person can have carbohydrates and ketones at the same time, which is not normally possible in the wild.

The differences between endogenous and exogenous ketosis is still an active, ongoing area of research.

Both paradigms result in ketone bodies in the system replete with effects of ketone metabolism and ketone signaling. However there are several key differences.

Exogenous ketones induce the state much more rapidly. With H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, you can get into a deep state of ketosis within 30 minutes where the same level of ketosis would take multiple days of fasting or a week or two of a ketogenic diet.

Also unique to exogenous ketosis is the ability to still have carbohydrates in the system. This is not possible through endogenous ketosis because the context of no-carbohydrate is required to signal the liver to produce ketone bodies from stored fat.

Lastly, with H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, you can dose-adjust how much ketones you want in your body through consumption. With endogenous ketosis, you can’t really control how much ketone bodies the body produces.

Because of these use cases of exogenous ketones, many scientists, athletes, and serious health enthusiasts have been looking at what are the best exogenous ketone types to use.

There are limitations or drawbacks with ketone salts. Plus, it’s required to onboard a large amount of salt to achieve only moderate increases blood ketone levels.Stubbs2017,Omalley2017

And there’s different use cases and value for things like medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). These MCTs are fats that are ketogenic—meaning they’re readily converted into ketone bodies by the liver.

Within the “medium-chain” length of triglyceride, there are even more optimal chain lengths than others. Caproic acid (C6) is the shortest, generally not found in supplements. Capric acid (C10) is found in coconut oil and some forms on animal milk, and may have antibacterial properties.Bergsson2001,Francois1998 Lauric acid (C12) behaves almost like a long-chain fatty acid, and may have skincare benefits.Nakatsuji2009,Aziz2013

Caprylic acid (C8) is known as the most ketogenic form of MCT. It converts into ketones faster than any other type of MCT, and helps reduce gut inflammation.Vandenberghe2017,Nair2005,Hoshimoto2002 This is the type of MCT you should be looking for in your supplements, which is exactly why H.V.M.N. MCT Oil Powder uses only 100% C8.

But the holy grail of exogenous ketones is H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester. It’s by far the most potent and rapid way to induce deep ketosis, raising blood ketone levels to 3mM - 6mM.Stubbs2017,Cox2016,Shivva2016,Clarke2012 You can learn all about ketone esters on the H.V.M.N. Podcast here.

H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester has been employed to improve athletic performance as well. It has been used to break world records, win gold medals and championships, improve recovery, and help a myriad of people with their health and wellness goals. Customers include Tour de France cyclists, NFL teams, MLB teams, the US Military, world championship fighters, and more.

There’s a broad swathe of academic literature that’s constantly expanding about how being in ketosis might be a helpful nutritional state. Literature suggests utility both for medical conditions as well as performance use cases.

Customers of H.V.M.N. use our ketone ester drink for sports performance & recovery, a cognitive boost, metabolic stabilization and control, and for potential longevity benefits of ketone signaling.

Ways to Test for Ketosis

The great thing about H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is that you can directly test if BHB is actually being delivered into your body. There’s a number ways of test ketosis. One can use a blood, urine, or breath as different ways to test ketosis.

The most studied and most accurate way to measure and benchmark ketosis is through blood.

Virtually all clinical trials use blood as the definitive way to measure ketosis, so it’s the most widely used standard. Urine and breath tests usually measure excreted acetoacetate, which is a byproduct of BHB metabolism. These are valid ways to measure ketosis but is not as standardized with blood.

When drinking one serving of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, you can expect to reach 3mM - 5mM of BHB within an hour for a 70kg (or 154lb) person. That level of ketosis would usually take multiple days of fasting or a very strict ketogenic diet to reach.

The proof is in the test. If you can’t measure it, it’s hard to tell if it works. With H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, the data is right there for you to test.

Choosing an Exogenous Ketone

There's can be a lot of confusing information when selecting an exogenous ketone supplement. Find one that you can trust, from a reputable company driven by science. And make sure to research your specific needs. What are you looking for in a ketone supplement? Increased endurance? Improved cognition? A ramp up to natural ketone production? These are all considerations you need to consider before selecting the best ketone supplement for you.

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