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What are keto (ketogenic) supplements?

Last updated: December-30,2021

What are keto (ketogenic) supplements?

Fats. Proteins. Carbohydrates. Fitness. Nutrition. Diet.

What do all of these words have in common? Other than the obvious? Well, for one thing, it's incredibly difficult to have a conversation about keto (or ketogenic) supplements – what they are, where they come from, etc. – without using all of them several to many times. Keeping that in mind, let's dive in!

Origins of the keto diet

The Ketogenic diet has a long history. Especially if we decide to include the 2,000+ years of history tied to the fasting practices that served as precursors to today's modern ketogenic diet.

An article from The New York Times Archive: A news report of Dr. Hugh Conklin's

Humankind's longstanding love affair with fasting aside, the "modern" ketogenic diet as we've come to recognize it today made its way on to the scene in the early 1900s. Researchers and medical practitioners in the United States and Europe turned to fasting as a means for managing and curing epileptic seizures in both children and adults. While modern science hasn't been able to support fasting (ketogenic or otherwise) as a cure for epilepsy, there is a body of work dedicated to researching the potential of ketogenic fasting as a means for managing epilepsy in some individuals - but that's a separate conversation.

According to records dating from the early 1920s, an American, Dr. RM Wilder, was the first to use the phrase "ketogenic diet" while studying the effects of a modified version of earlier fasting diets, one that prompted the body to produce ketones, on patients suffering from epilepsy.

Thanks to a burst of Hollywood-backed publicity and philanthropic efforts in the mid and late 1990s, keto was able to begin its transition from its 20th-century origins to one of the 21st century's most interesting sports nutrition and wellness trends.

What is the keto diet?

Recognized as one of several "low carb" and "high fat" diets popular today, a "strict" keto diet calls for a heavily monitored food/caloric intake that eliminates glucose and complex carbohydrates in favor of healthy fats and proteins.

For most people, maintaining a diet that consists of roughly 70-80% healthy fats, 15-20% protein, and 5% (or less) carbohydrates can prove incredibly challenging - which is why many people interested in the diet opt for one of the many modified versions that exist.

One of the more popular modified versions of the "strict" keto diet calls for a more attainable goal of allowing carbohydrates to be 30% of your total caloric intake. In turn, the remaining 70% is split between healthy fats (~40%) and proteins (~30%).

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a process in which your body burns fats when it doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy.

A keto diet involves a restricted carb/glucose intake, forcing the body to rely on fats as its primary source of fuel. As the body starts to burn both the consumed and stored fat, it starts to produce ketones as a byproduct. Once a certain number of ketones accumulate in the bloodstream, the body enters the state of ketosis.

While chemistry and physiology buffs are encouraged to look up the nitty gritty details of ketosis and its effects on the human body, the short version is that once entered, a state of ketosis usually results in consistent weight loss (via fat cells) until the body reaches a stable resting weight.

So, what are keto supplements?

An ideal supplement for individuals maintaining a ketogenic diet should adhere to the parameters of the diet (particularly in terms of carbs, fats, and proteins) while also providing additional nutrients capable of supporting the body. Even though special ketogenic supplements aren't required for those on a keto diet, the addition of the right supplements can:

  • improve an individual's chances of maintaining the diet
  • mitigate symptoms of "keto flu"
  • help an individual achieve their personal fitness/nutritional goals

What do Google Trends say About Keto?

Keto supplements have been gaining more and more popularity since 2017, both worldwide and in the United States. This rise of interest in ketogenic diet and supplements was evident with the increasing keto Google trends. In fact, in 2018, the word “keto” was the most Googled food and diet-related topic in the United States.

Keto Supplement Market

According to the report published by Fior Markets, the global keto diet, and keto supplement market are expected to grow from USD 10.3 billion in 2018 to USD 17.8 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period from 2019-2026. The keto diet market has been experiencing steady growth since 2017-2018, driven by the increasing availability of keto supplement products across various stores and distribution facilities. If you are looking to enter the keto industry the best time for you is now.

What are the Popular Keto Dietary Supplements

In today's supplement marketplace, a few key product types have caught the attention of keto diet and sports nutrition enthusiasts.

Popular Keto Supplement Types

Bone Broth Proteins

While traditional dairy-based proteins (think whey and casein) aren't always compliant with keto guidelines, bone broth proteins usually are. As the name suggests, bone broth proteins typically feature beef or chicken bone stock as their primary component. Besides providing many of the benefits associated with traditional protein supplements, certain bone broth formulations can offer users additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Fats & Oils

With the surge in popularity of the keto diet, the nutraceutical marketplace has experienced an influx of high-fat supplements. Whether delivered via softgels or added to food and drinks in their natural liquid state, it's not uncommon to find high-fat supplement formulations built around refining some of today's most popular "healthy fats" like coconut oil, avocado oils, and grass-fed butter.

Ketone Bodies/Salts

Specifically intended to support ketogenic nutritional regiments, ketone bodies, or salts (not to be confused with "raspberry ketones") are naturally derived via a process of combining sodium, potassium, or calcium with BHB (Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid) to improve absorption. When paired with the body's naturally produced ketones, exogenous (created outside the body or supplemented) ketones to the mix may have the potential to enhance the benefits of a ketogenic diet.


Magnesium deficiency is common in many people on ketogenic diets, since foods rich in magnesium are also high in carbs. Magnesium is an important mineral that regulates blood sugar levels and helps improve the immune system. It helps in boosting energy by reducing body cramps and improving sleep cycles. An individual on a keto diet can consume some of the most absorbable magnesium forms like magnesium glycinate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium citrate.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which improve health by reducing inflammation, lowering the risk of heart diseases and preventing mental decline. A high-fat diet contains higher amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, and omega-3 supplements can help stabilize the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio to give the best results from the ketogenic diet. These supplements also help in decreasing triglycerides, insulin, and inflammatory markers.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D supports the immune system, regulates cellular growth, improves bone health, and reduces body inflammation. It also facilitates the absorption of calcium in the body. Since vitamin D deficiency is common in many people, it is a good idea to add vitamin D supplements to maintain optimal levels of it.

Fiber Supplements

Many foods rich in fiber also happen to be high in carbs. So, keeping fiber intake optimal while minimizing carb intake can be a challenge. Thanks to fiber supplements, you can meet your daily fiber intake requirements while on a keto diet.

Ingredients to Consider in Keto Supplements

It is extremely important to optimize health and nutrient intake for people on a high-fat, low-carb keto diet. Here are some ingredients you should consider while manufacturing keto supplements for a wholesome diet with maximum benefits:

  • Magnesium
  • MCT oil
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Exogenous ketones
  • Greens powder
  • Mineral rich foods or electrolyte supplements
  • Supplements to improve athletic performance

NutraScience Labs Can Help You Create Your Own Line of Keto Supplements

With the growing trends and increasing interest in ketogenic diet plans, starting your own keto supplements line can be highly profitable and beneficial. NutraScience Labs possesses more than 120 years of nutraceutical industry experience and has contract manufactured dietary supplements for more than 2,300 brands. In addition to best-in-class supplement contract manufacturing, we provide brand owners with full-service packaging, labeling and fulfillment services.

Ready to get started? Call 855-492-7388 to speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives or send us your request for a free price quote!

Related Reading: What are bone broth protein powders?

April 23rd, 2018

About the Author:

Gene Bruno

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - Mr. Bruno possesses over 43 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a Master's degree in nutrition and a second Master's degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Twinlab Corporation and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.