There is a need to identify methods to complement and enhance compliance for the ketogenic diet in order to induce and sustain ketosis. Exogenous ketone supplementation, particularly with beta-hydroxybutyrate (βHB) salts, is one such method that has grown in commercial popularity, but clinical studies that test the efficacy and safety of exogenous ketones are lacking.
A pilot study1 published in the Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering assessed the circulating βHB blood (capillary) concentration in response to acute, oral βHB supplementation in 10 healthy adults (8 women, 2 men; 21-65 years). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study design was implemented with 2 different βHB salt doses (full and half-dose) and a flavor-matched placebo; βHB and placebo were all mixed with 12oz of water.
Safety and efficacy were demonstrated for the acute intake of exogenous ketone (βHB salts), which were shown to increase blood levels of the ketone body (BHB) significantly more than placebo and in line with levels seen during a physiological ketogenic state, such as that achieved by following a ketogenic diet or via fasting.1
- O’Connor A, Chang JL, Brownlow M, Contractor N. Acute oral intake of beta-hydroxybutyrate in a pilot study transiently increased its capillary levels in healthy volunteers. J Nutr Health Food Eng. 2018;8(4):324-328.