- We are Running on Ketones. This is not a typical story; we are endurance athletes at different stages of our lives, who are experimenting with a low carb Ketogenic diet. We are not doctors or scientists, just athletes. Anthony is the youngest and the fastest, age 20, and prefers ultra road running. Eric (ZoomZoom), age 27, is ukulele playing mixed distance runner. Dan (SKA Runner), age 42, is new to running, prefers mountains ultras, and a bit of a computer geek. Bob(uglyrnrboy), age 54, prefers mountains ultras and loves to tele ski. This site,, will document our journey as endurance athletes implementing a low carb ketogenic diet in to our lives. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about our experiences.

What is a Nutritional Ketosis Diet? []

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. This elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood is a state known as ketosis.


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Ask us a Question . . . []

Is Upgraded Coffee Special?

For about a year now I've been very suspicious of all Dave Asprey's products. I always wondered why he didn't publish the mold test data on his coffee and other competing coffees. In this clip you can hear Joe Rogan from Onnnit describe how his molds tests found upgraded coffee to be nothing special.

A recent report from Consumer Labs on coffee molds in general as been the final straw in the coffee issue in my view. Sorry this post isn't really related to keto, but since so many of us drink fat coffee as inspired by bulletproof coffee I thought that it was appropriate.

~zoom zoom

Is it true that most coffee is contaminated with mold?

Coffee beans, like many other agricultural crops and foods (oats, corn, peanuts, rice, wheat, cocoa, grapes etc.) are susceptible to contamination with mold. While some molds are harmless, others can produce substances called mycotoxins, which can be harmful. Of most concern in crops such as coffee beans are the mycotoxins ochratoxin A (OTA) and aflatoxin B1. However, as explained below, amounts found in roasted and brewed coffees do not appear to pose a health risk. In fact, you may be exposed to more of these mycotoxins from eating other common foods.

Ochratoxin A (OTA)
OTA may be harmful to the kidneys, and is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (IARC Monograph 2015 -- accessed from IARC Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans). There is no current FDA limit for OTA in foods in the U.S. but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established a limit of 5 mcg/kg for roasted coffee and 10 mcg/kg for instant coffee (Fapohunda, Basic Res J Agric Sci Rev 2014; EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain, EFSA J 2010; International Coffee Organization 2005).

Much of the concern about mold in coffee comes from a frequently cited study which found 91.7% of green coffee bean sampled (Coffea arabica from Brazil) to be contaminated with mold (Martins, Food Addit Contam 2003). However, it is important to note more than half the samples tested did not contain OTA -- only 33% were found to be contaminated with OTA, and of these, half contained levels between 0.2 and 1 mcg/kg (well below the European limit of 5 mcg/kg for OTA in roasted coffee). In addition, these beans were not roasted, which has been shown to reduce the amount of OTA in coffee by between 30-90% (Fapohunda, Basic Res J Agric Sci Rev 2014). Although one very small study found that ground roasted coffee retained between 22 and 66% of its OTA after brewing (Malir, Toxins 2014), amounts in final coffee products have still been found to be well below EU limits. In a study of 633 roasted, ground and instant coffee products commercially available in European markets, the average amount of OTA in roasted and ground coffee was 0.0008 mcg/g -- drinking four cups of coffee per day for a week would contribute less than 2% of the EU's tolerable weekly intake (Stegen, Food Addit Contam 1997). In comparison, it is estimated that people in Europe are exposed to 10 times that amount of OTA from weekly consumption of cereals.

Alflatoxin B1
Aflatoxin B1 is classified as a human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (IARC Monograph 2015 -- accessed from IARC Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans). The FDA limits the amount of total aflatoxins (including aflatoxin B1 and others) in most foods to 20 mcg/kg (FDA Compliance Policy Guidance Manual 2014). One study of arabica and robusta varieties of ground coffees that were stored in humid conditions for 30 days found the aflatoxin levels to vary, ranging from 0.000094 to 0.002086 mcg/kg -- all well below the FDA's limit (Al-Abdalall, Can J Pure Appl Sci 2014).

As with OTA, roasting coffee beans significantly reduces the amount of aflatoxin B1, by an estimated 50 to 100%, and brewing coffee in a coffee maker appears to further decrease aflatoxin B1 that remains after roasting (Soliman, J Agric Food Chem 2002; Micco, Myctoxin Res 1992). One study of roasted coffee which had been artificially contaminated with aflatoxin B1 found brewing reduced the aflatoxin B1 that remained after roasting by up to 99%, depending on which type of coffee maker was used (Micco, Myctoxin Res 1992).

Overall, the risk of exposure from mycotoxins in coffee appears to be low, as they are significantly reduced during processing and roasting and brewing and have been found to be well below guidelines set by agencies like the EFSA and/or FDA. If you want to further reduce your exposure, however, it is interesting to note that caffeinated coffee may contain lower levels of aflatoxin B1 than decaf and that regular ground coffee was found to contain lower amounts of OTA than instant (Soliman, J Agric Food Chem 2002; Stegen, Food Addit Contam 1997).

Additionally, remember to clean your coffee maker, which can contribute to mold in your coffee. According to a study by NSF International, coffee maker reservoirs are among the top five "germiest" items in a household, found to be more contaminated with yeast, mold and bacteria than bathroom doorknobs and light switches (NSF 2011).

Note: There do not appear to be any studies of mycotoxins in supplements made with green coffee bean extract. While the beans are not roasted before extraction, the extraction process itself may eliminate mold. Some brands of green coffee bean extract, such as Svetol® do set a limit for total yeasts and molds (unspecified) in the extract, although this is not required by federal regulations.


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