B. Daan Westenbrink, MD, Ph.D., Senior Author and Cardiologist at the University of Groningen, UMCG Cardiology speaks about Ketone Supplementation: A Novel Intervention for CVD?
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According to a recent study, regardless of the procedure used to increase ketone bodies' presence in the heart, they could have therapeutic benefits for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The authors examined the current body of experimental and clinical research on the potential function of ketone bodies in improving CVD and discovered that increasing circulating ketone levels can provide protective benefits in patients with the disease.
A ketogenic diet, which consists of a very low carbohydrate and high-fat intake, is a common way to induce ketosis; however, exogenous ketones could be a viable and superior alternative to the diet for increasing circulating ketone bodies, according to the researchers.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on February 23.
This realization prompted Westenbrink and colleagues to conduct a clinical trial to examine the impact of exogenous ketones on exercise efficiency in patients with heart failure.
The aim of this review was to "summarize the existing literature from animal and human studies, in the hopes of facilitating more research into the benefits of ketones as therapeutic agents in CVD."
Beyond Fuel Efficiency
The authors have looked at the processes of ketone metabolism, such as ketogenesis and ketolysis, as well as cardiac metabolism in both healthy and diseased hearts.
The reactions that lead to the formation of the ketone bodies acetoacetate (AcAc), -hydroxybutyrate (OHB), and acetone are known as ketogenesis.
Fasting causes a reduction in the insulin-to-glucagon ratio, which mobilizes fatty acids, which the liver then converts into ketone bodies. They are then moved to peripheral tissues, where they go through a process known as "terminal oxidation."
The heart appears to "reprogram metabolism to increased dependence on ketone bodies as a fuel source" as heart failure progresses, according to the authors, with increased circulating ketone concentrations and cardiac ketone consumption.