The Ketogenic Diet produces three types of Ketone, Acetoacetic acid (AcAc), Acetone, and Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB).
- Acetoacetic acid (AcAc). AcAc is the ketone that is produced by the liver from fats and can be metabolized to provide energy. It could be considered the most directly useful of these ketones to the human body. However, AcAc lowers the blood pH, causing potential acidosis. AcAc spontaneously decomposes into Acetone (the half-life is 11.7 hours at 27c).
- Acetone. Generally is often believed to be a waste product, but it has now shown to be metabolically active. It is excreted through the breath and urine, which can sometimes be detected as a fruity smell. Radio-tagged Acetone has been shown to be converted to glucose, fats and protein, but not other Ketones. Acetone levels are one possible mechanism of action behind the success of the Ketogenic Diets for Epilepsy.
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB). Unlike AcAc, BOHB is stable and does not change blood pH, but it cannot be directly metabolized. AcAc is converted to and from BOHB in the liver and muscles, so BOHB forms a reservoir of ketones that can be converted back to AcAc for providing energy. (Technically BOHB is not a Ketone, but it's normally considered one.)
1 Ketone Metabolism
Ketones are used by most tissues in the body with the exception of those cells that have few or no mitochondria and so are dependent on glucose.
- Cells with no mitochondria include erythrocytes, cornea, lens, and retina.
- Cells with few mitochondria include renal medulla, testis, and leukocytes.
2 See Also
- The classifications and types of Low Carbohydrate Diet.
- An introduction to the Ketogenic Diet.
- My experiences with ultrarunning on the Ketogenic Diet
- How the Ketogenic Diet can be used for the treatment and management of disease.
- Health Risks of the Ketogenic Diet
- The time frame and changes that occur with Ketoadaptation
- What are Ketones
- The pros and cons of the Ketogenic Diet for athletes
- The Types of Ketogenic Diet
- My Ketogenic Recipes
- Non-Ketogenic Low Carbohydrate Diets
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- MP. Kalapos, Possible mechanism for the effect of ketogenic diet in cases of uncontrolled seizures. The reconsideration of acetone theory., Med Hypotheses, volume 68, issue 6, pages 1382-8, 2007, doi 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.10.041, PMID 17166670
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- Westman, Eric C., John Mavropoulos, and William S. Yancy Jr. "A review of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets." Current atherosclerosis reports 5.6 (2003): 476-483.