How are ketones used in the body?

Updated 1 year ago by Taylor

Ketones are used to fuel the processes that keep cells alive and functioning.

Ketones get into cells through a special transporter protein (monocarboxylate transporter). Ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and are used as a fuel in all tissues apart from the liver.

The breakdown of ketones to release energy follows the same metabolic pathway throughout the body. Ketones are converted into Acetoacetate, which is processed to form a key metabolic intermediate called Acetyl CoA.

Acetyl-CoA is used in a process called the Krebs Cycle (or Citric Acid Cycle), which happens inside of the mitochondria. The Krebs Cycle is a key set of reactions that converts the chemical energy in food into a form that our cells can use.

As well as being a fuel, ketones can have helpful signaling effects to support the metabolism.

Source: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064916

Learn more here: Ketone Supplement Fundamentals


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