Dorian Greenow, also known as Mister Mojo, is the cofounder of Keto-Mojo, viewed by many experts as the best strategy to measure your ketone levels. While ketones can be measured by blood, breath or urine testing, blood testing is the most accurate. The drawback has long been cost, which is what Greenow set out to change.
The Keto-Mojo ketone and blood glucose monitoring system is not only the most accurate way of testing your ketones, it’s also far more affordable than other blood testing strips on the market.
Ketone Testing Methods
In all, there are three different methods available for measuring your ketones:
1. Urinalysis strips, designed for Type 1 diabetics, who need to avoid ketoacidosis. It’s important to realize that ketoacidosis has nothing to do with nutritional ketosis.
As noted by Greenow, “Ketoacidosis should really be called glucoketoacidosis, because you can only have ketoacidosis if you have very high ketones, over 12 millimoles, and high glucose over 240.” Urinalysis measures acetoacetate, one of three types of ketones.
“I like to think of [the ketones] as a group of singers,” Greenow says. “You have the two ladies on either side, acetoacetate and acetone, and in the middle you have the big bass guy, beta-hydroxybutyrate, which represents 70 percent of the ketone bodies in the blood.
Acetoacetate gets spilled into the urine in the first stages of going into nutritional ketosis, because your body’s mitochondria have not adapted to take advantage of those ketones. Once they do, those ketones are utilized by the body and not spilled. So even though you are in full ketosis, you may get a negative reading.”
2. Breath analysis, originally designed for epileptic children. There are many cheap and substandard breath meters and only two of these types of devices with any degree of accuracy on the market, the Ketonix and the LEVL. The LEVL meter is very accurate, but at $ 600 plus a monthly calibration subscription it’s also unnecessarily expensive.
3. Blood testing, is the gold standard and used in clinical trials and by doctors.
Greenow’s Personal Story and the Making of Keto-Mojo
Greenow’s journey began in 2015. At the time, he weighed 207 pounds and had all the telltale markers for metabolic syndrome. A friend, Todd White of Dry Farm Wines, told him about the ketogenic diet. In the end, Keto-Mojo grew out of Greenbow’s own desire for a more affordable and accurate way to check his ketone levels.
“I cut my carbs. I kept them under about 30 grams. I was testing with an Abbott meter… [which costs] $ 4.50 per test. I could not understand why the strip was so expensive … I drew up a list of 100 different manufacturers across the globe [and] cross-matched that with the federal regulations of the 510(k) to make sure that they would have something that was legal within the United States.
I then approached all of these different manufacturers. Basically, the business plan was classic back-of-the-cocktail-napkin: [Create a] test [you can do] three times a day for less than the cost of a latte. We need to have affordable testing.
If we have affordable testing, people would know they’re in a state of nutritional ketosis. What they get is this affirmation that the dietary choices they are making are right for their bio-individuality,” Greenow says.
Greenow partnered with a manufacturer that has patents to do both ketones and glucose. “It was important for our meter to be able to do both, and to be able to get it at an affordable price,” he says. Keto-Mojo launched in August 2017, selling keto testing strips at 99 cents per strip.
“Our goal is to really bring about a revolution in health care. I think we have one of the catalysts to be able to do that,” he says. He describes his own health journey into a ketogenic lifestyle:
“Keto and yoga were the two things that I did … I had very little keto flu, because I was making use of proper supplements — potassium, magnesium and salt … bone broth, doing all of those classic things … My weight loss was a steady 1 to 2 pounds per week …
I found that I had a problem with sugar and alcohol through testing. With that, I don’t do any keto cookies or bars or other things. I pretty much eat nice, clean, freshly made home-cooked food …
My weight dropped down until it got to its natural set point, which is between 165 pounds, if I’m really going hard on the yoga, and about 175 if I’m working a little bit too hard and not getting as much sleep … I keep my net carbs under 30 grams and like to have my ketones … between 1.1 and 1.7 … My protein is just really to a point of satiety …
I used to be on antidepressants for many years. Now, I’m not on any antidepressants. I find that when I’m in my personal zone of 1.1 to 1.7, that’s where I’m at my best. I get my best mental acuity. My well-being is really good. I don’t have those fits of despair or … anger that I used to get …
Most mornings I will skip breakfast … I’ll just have a cup of tea in the morning with heavy cream, and then I’ll gently sip on a Bulletproof coffee. At lunchtime, I’ll have a couple of rollups of some meat and cheese and some veggies, and then a yoghurt mix … and then just one evening meal.
Sometimes I’ll [do] intermittent fasting, just doing 16-8 [16 hours fasting, eating all meals within eight hours]. And then, usually about once a month, I try and do a therapeutic fast, which will be about a two- to three-day fast … to get that autophagy and apoptosis.”
The Ketogenic Foundation
Greenow and his wife are also setting up The Ketogenic Foundation, a 501(c)(3) foundation. Their goal is to use some of the profits from Keto-Mojo to fund more ketogenic research. To help with this, they’ve also recently released a Bluetooth connector that allows you to download all of your ketone measurements onto your smartphone.
“Imagine a world where people are recording their macros through a Chronometer or a MyFitnessPal. They’ve got their weight put in there. They’ve got their glucose in there. They’ve got their ketones. They’re calculating their glucose ketone index.
They’ve got their heartrate variability. They’ve got their Oura ring that has their sleep cycle on it. They pulled in all of their lab measurements. Suddenly, you have a dataset that is incredible for real proper epidemiological studies,” he says.
Nutritional Ketosis Protects Against Neurological Degeneration
Greenow’s grandfather and mother-in-law both had Alzheimer’s disease, so he and his wife, Gemma, have personally witnessed the ravages of this neurological disease.
The good news is there’s strong evidence that nutritional ketosis helps prevent the kind of neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as many other chronic diseases, including many cancers, Type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and heart disease. Nutritional ketosis is also a powerful adjunct to cancer therapy.
“I was at the 6th Global Symposium on Ketogenic Therapies for Neurological Disorders on the island of Jeju in South Korea. We were listening to the science presented for not only epilepsy … but also for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and also seeing the ketogenic therapy used for schizophrenia, bipolar, attention deficit and hyperactive disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The stride that it’s making is absolutely fantastic. When you are there for three to four days and listening to some incredible bright minds, you really do see the depth that food can make such a massive change in people’s lives,” he says.
I strongly recommend cyclical ketogenesis, where you intentionally increase your net carbs a couple of days a week, essentially cycling in and out of ketosis rather than staying in ketosis continuously. My latest version is something I call “ketofast,” where higher-carb, higher-protein days are directly followed by an 18-hour fast. The meal that day is limited to 600 calories, and then you fast again for a full 24 hours.
Essentially, it’s a 42-hour fast, and you can do that once or twice a week. You’re going to lose about 4 or 5 pounds in water weight, which suggests you’ve got glycogen depletion, and your ketones rise dramatically, usually over 2 (or even higher if you take medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) or C8 oil).
Just over a year into business, Keto-Mojo is doing well and recently finished their escalation of inventory. Greenow has been very careful about making sure his supply chain is derisked, to make sure he’ll always have product on hand.
“Our challenge this year was making sure that we had sufficient inventory in Amazon and in our own warehouse to supply the entire United States,” he says.
“We now have 90 days of the product available in the United States. Should anything happen, like a container or something falls off the ship, it’s OK. We can get another container in. We can continue the mission …
As we get greater scale, we get more margin, and rather than take that margin as pure profit, we want to try and bring the price down on the strips. That will be our next challenge. We just finished another meeting with our manufacturer to see if we can find some efficiencies with them to bring [the price] down …”
On Amazon, Keto-Mojo is now the No. 1 selling glucose and ketone meter in the United States by a factor of five. Keto-Mojo also ensures the quality and accuracy of their strips by storing them in climate-controlled warehouses and shipping them in temperature-controlled packages, as they may be affected by heat. The Keto-Mojo strips are good for 18 months from the date of manufacture, or six months after opening.
The company is also starting to make inroads with researchers, and the Keto-Mojo meter and strips are currently being used in three different ketogenic trials, one for brain cancer, one for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and a third for Type 2 diabetes.
“We are beginning to build a program now for different researchers who are approaching us,” Greenow says. “This is the piece that bothers me the most actually, because when I’m talking to these researchers, they are telling me about how underfunded they are.
They have to look everywhere to get forms of cash. That’s why we’re setting up the foundation so that we can support the funding of these clinical trials. We’re able to support in the form of meters and strips, so that we can have better science and clear science.”
Next year, Keto-Mojo plans to release a next generation meter, which will be about the size of a stick of chewing gum and connects to your cellphone. They’re also working on a two-in-one strip that will measure ketones and glucose simultaneously.
Testing Is the Best Way to Determine Whether You’re Actually in Ketosis
How will you know if you’re in nutritional ketosis? Over time, you’ll learn your body and have a fairly good sense of where you are, but in the beginning, it’s really helpful to test your ketones. For that, Keto-Mojo is really incomparable, as it provides the greatest accuracy at the lowest cost.
Both the Keto-Mojo ketone and glucose testing meter, and the blood ketone test strips, are available on Amazon and their website keto-mojo.com. Shipping is free on both sites. Next year, they’re also releasing a second-generation meter.
“We’re essentially taking our profit and putting it into research and development,” Greenow says. “We’re putting it into supporting clinical trials and science to better help the ketogenic community. I didn’t see any of my competition doing that, because I just don’t think they care.”
That Greenow and his wife care about people’s health and the ketogenic community is obvious. As for how they came up with the name, Keto-Mojo, Greenow says:
“I have to thank my wife for that one. The initial name of the company was Keto Check… Then we suddenly found out that name was already trademarked. We’re driving back from yoga, going through lists of names. Gemma says, ‘Keto Emoji,’ then ‘Keto Mojo.’
I was like, ‘Oh, total Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery. Keto-mojo, baby!’ and it just had more of an approachability to it. We essentially have a medical device, but we needed to make it approachable to everybody, not to be stodgy and staid, and to encompass a little bit of lifestyle. That’s what we ended up with. So, a big nod to Mrs. Mojo, Gemma, for that one.”