Measuring Serum Blood Glucose and Ketones to Target Therapeutic Ketosis

What is Ketosis?

Nutritional ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body uses ketones, produced from fat, as its primary energy source instead of glucose. This state happens by restricting carbohydrate intake to less than approximately 50 grams per day. Serum ketone level for nutritional ketosis is 0.5-3.0 (mmol/L).

Therapeutic ketosis is a deeper state of ketosis and used to treat certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. A carbohydrate intake of less than 20 grams daily is targeted to achieve therapeutic ketosis. Serum ketone levels for therapeutic ketosis are 3-7 (mmol/L).

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines. The optimal serum ketone level will vary depending on their needs and goals.

How Do You Measure Glucose Ketone Index (GKI)?

To measure the Glucose Ketone Index (GKI), you will need a blood glucose meter and a ketone meter.


  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Prick your fingertip with a lancet to draw blood.
  3. Apply a small drop of blood to the blood glucose meter test strip.
  4. Wait for the meter to display your blood glucose reading.
  5. Apply a small drop of blood to the ketone meter test strip.
  6. Wait for the meter to show your ketone reading.

Calculating Your GKI

Once you have your blood glucose and ketone readings, you can calculate your GKI using the following formula:

GKI = (Blood glucose reading ÷ 18) ÷ Ketone reading


Blood glucose reading: 100 mg/dL Ketone reading: 1.5 mmol/L

GKI = (100 ÷ 18) ÷ 1.5 = 3.33

Interpreting Your GKI

A GKI of less than 1.0 indicates that you are in a deep state of ketosis. A GKI of 1.0-3.0 means that you are in a moderate state of ketosis. A GKI of 3.0-6.0 shows you are in a mild form of ketosis. A GKI of greater than 6.0 indicates that you are not in ketosis.

Most therapeutic strategies for cancer target a GKI of less than 2 for a direct impact on cancer metabolism, but even a moderate state of ketosis may stress cancer cells and sensitize them to other layered therapies and protect normal cells from standard-of-care therapy normal cell toxicities. Data is still evolving on the synergies of therapeutic ketosis combined with fasting mimetic repurposed drugs, supplements, additional lifestyle (exercise), or adjunctive therapies (Infrared Sauna, HBOT, IVC, PEMF). History informs us that more is not always better, so one must consider the economy of balance to support recovery of our normal cells from the hermetic challenges.

How Often Should I Measure My GKI?

How often you measure your GKI depends on your individual needs and goals. If you are new to ketosis, you should measure your GKI daily to track your progress. Once in ketosis, you should measure your GKI less frequently, such as once a week or once a month.

Recommended Tools & Resources

Keto and Low-Carb Living for Ultimate Health & Well-Being | KETO-MOJO
The best tool for finger sticks’ dual glucose-ketone monitoring is the Keto Mojo, which allows one system and two different types of strips for testing. This fantastic product now comes with an excellent app offering dietary advice and recipes while storing blood data. The system automatically calculates the GKI and stores it linked to the time of day so one can iterate to learn and improve one’s metabolic health. Click here to visit Keto-Mojo.

Consent Form – CGM – Meakin Metabolic Care
To dive in deeper, one may consider a Continuous Glucose Monitor  (CGM) system, and we prescribe the Freestyle Libre 3 when patients want to add this tool. This dynamic tool allows for precision moment-by-moment blood glucose measurements (without ketone levels) to better understand your metabolism’s response to foods, exercise, drugs, stress, and supplements. There is a separate discussion on CGMs; MMCs can prescribe them medications and labs. Click here to get started.

Other Resources