'During the first few weeks of the Atkins Diet, the so-called "induction" phase, a person is forced to live off so much grease that, lacking the preferred fuel--carbohydrates--their body goes into starvation mode. In biochemistry class, doctors learn that fat "burns in the flame of carbohydrate." When one is eating enough carbohydrates, fat can be completely broken down as well. But when one's body runs out of carb fuel to burn, its only choice is to burn fat inefficiently using a pathway that produces toxic byproducts like acetone and other so-called "ketones." The acetone escapes through the lungs--giving Atkins followers what one weight-loss expert calls "rotten-apple breath" and the other ketones have to be excreted by the kidneys. We burn fat all the time; it's only when we are carbohydrate deficient and have to burn fat ineffectively that we go into what's called a state of ketosis, defined as having so much acetone in our blood it noticeably spills out into our lungs or so many other ketones they spill out into our urine.'
Spontaneous human combustion, for which acetone produced by ketosis has been suggested as a cause.<--Wikipedia (that was a fast update)
- Almost all cases of SHC involve persons with low mobility, due to advanced age or obesity, along with poor health. Victims show a high likelihood of dying in their sleep, or of being unable to move once they had caught fire.
- Cigarettes are often seen as the source of fire, as dropped cigarettes are the leading cause of house fires in the USA. Natural causes such as heart attacks may lead to the victim dying, subsequently dropping the cigarette, which after a period of smouldering can ignite the victim's clothes. NOTE TO SELF: Stop smoking while in ketosis. Further more I should probably restrict myself to a raw food diet so I'm not close to my gas stove.
- The "wick effect" hypothesis suggests that a small external flame source, such as a burning cigarette, chars the clothing of the victim at a location, splitting the skin and releasing subcutaneous fat, which is in turn absorbed into the burned clothing, acting as a wick. This combustion can continue for as long as the fuel is available. This hypothesis has been successfully tested with animal tissue (pig) and is consistent with evidence recovered from cases of human combustion. The human body typically has enough stored energy in fat and other chemical stores to fully combust the body; even lean people have several pounds of fat in their tissues. This fat, once heated by the burning clothing, wicks into the clothing much as candle wax (which typically was originally made of animal fat) wicks into a lit candle wick to provide the fuel needed to keep the wick burning. /Hides sharp instruments, cigarettes and sells gas stove.
- Scalding can cause burn-like injuries, including death, without setting fire to clothing. Although not applicable in cases where the body is charred and burnt, this has been suggested as a cause in at least one claimed SHC-like event.
- Ketosis, possibly caused by alcoholism or fat-free dieting, produces acetone, which is highly flammable and could therefore lead to apparently spontaneous combustion. Dammit. /pours wine out. My life sucks.