Why is H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester so expensive?

Updated 1 year ago by Taylor

One serving of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester originally cost over $25,000. It’s now ~$30. 

Before diving into the specifics of how we got here, let’s start with this: H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is so expensive because it costs a lot to make. It’s patented technology, licensed only to H.V.M.N., that’s completely unique. 

Its main ingredient is D-beta-hydroxybutyrate (D-BHB) Ester (also called ΔG™), which was developed through a DARPA program to enhance warfighter performance. After $60m in funding and 10+ years of research by Oxford and the NIH, H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester was finally commercialized by H.V.M.N. A significant amount of the profits go to those inventors of the intellectual property.

H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is the result of decades of cutting-edge science, research, and testing. Nothing about the product or its development is “cheap;” thus, the product is expensive. 

Of course, our goal is to make it more cost effective. Through scale and manufacturing advancements, we hope to lower the cost and make this technology more widely available to everyone. We foresee a future where H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester costs the same as any other beverage, energy shot, or health tonic. 

What Really Makes H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester Different?

Three things separate H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester from any other exogenous ketone supplement available on the market; these are also why the costs to manufacture it are so high.

First, the body naturally produces three types of ketones during a state of ketosisBHB, acetone, and acetoacetate (AcAc). BHB is the most predominant and the most readily used as fuel by our cells.

But BHB comes in two mirrored forms: D-BHB and L-BHB. H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is the pure “D” form of beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is produced and utilized by our bodies (you can read more here). It’s unclear how the body uses the “L” form of BHB. Studies in rats suggest it’s not readily used as fuel, and is mainly used to synthesize fats (1,2). 

Unless a ketone supplement specifically states that it is pure “D-BHB,” it will be a 50/50 mixture of D- and L. 

Most ketone salts on the market are inexpensively produced. They don’t filter out the inactive “L” form of BHB, a challenging and expensive manufacturing process. This means that for every gram you eat, you’re only getting half a gram of the benefit. H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is pure D, meaning it is 100% utilized by our bodies.

Second, H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is an “ester” form of D-BHB, as opposed to a “salt” form. Ketone salts are ketones that are most commonly attached to a mineral salt (sodium, potassium, magnesium, or calcium). This means that every gram of a ketone salt is only about 80% ketones.

In other words if you eat 10 grams of ketone salts, you’re only getting 8 grams of ketones (of which only 4 grams are the bioavailable D form). That also means you’re eating a whopping 2 grams of salt!  

H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester, on the other hand, is simply two ketones bonded together by an ester bond. During digestion, it’s broken down and metabolized as two D-BHBs, readily available to give you a powerful punch of keto energy when you need it most.

Lastly, all ingredients in our formula (and each batch of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester) endure rigorous quality assurance testing by third party labs. This includes a full banned substances certification to ensure compliance with WADA standards. That, too, is an expensive process but something on which we’re uncompromising. By the time H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is in your hands, it has gone through several cutting-edge scientific procedures and time-intensive QA. We are fully transparent and happy to share CofAs and testing reports—just reach out via care@hvmn.com.

After all that, you get none of the wasted L-form, no mineral salt overload, and a quality product you can trust. H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is truly the best way to consume exogenous ketones.

The Cost of Unique Intellectual Property 

H.V.M.N. exclusively licenses the patents behind D-BHB Ester (common name, ΔG™, and full chemical name D-betahydroxybutyrate D-1,3-Butanediol Monoester) and continues to work in close partnership with the original researchers and inventors behind the product. All other “ketone esters” on the market are falsely advertising, selling adulterated product, and/or stealing intellectual property from the inventors. 

The majority of the cost of H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester goes toward ingredients and manufacturing and licensing royalties to the inventors of ΔG™ at Oxford and the NIH. 

H.V.M.N. is a business. In order to operate, the company must create some type of margin (profit per unit) on the goods it sells. H.V.M.N. has added only the bare minimum markup in order to cover our operating expenses. The margin for H.V.M.N. Ketone Ester is so slim that most companies wouldn’t even consider producing it, but we are dedicated to providing a quality product to you at the lowest price possible. 


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/885847
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1132838/

Articles linked in this FAQ:

  1. https://hvmn.com/blog/exogenous-ketones/ketone-salts-ketosis-with-a-cost
  2. https://hvmn.com/blog/exogenous-ketones/what-are-exogenous-ketones
  3. https://hvmn.com/blog/exogenous-ketones/beta-hydroxybutyrate-or-bhb-all-you-need-to-know
  4. https://hvmn.com/library/exogenous-ketones/ketone-supplement-fundamentals

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