Ketone bodies: A double-edged sword for mammalian life span

Accumulating evidence suggests health benefits of ketone bodies, and especially for longevity. However, the precise role of endogenous ketogenesis in mammalian life span, and the safety and efficacy of the long-term exogenous supplementation of ketone bodies remain unclear. In the present study, we show that a deficiency in endogenous ketogenesis, induced by whole-body Hmgcs2 deletion, shortens life span in mice, and that this is prevented by daily ketone body supplementation using a diet containing 1,3-butanediol, a precursor of β-hydroxybutyrate. Furthermore, feeding the 1,3-butanediol-containing diet from early in life increases midlife mortality in normal mice, but in aged mice it extends life span and prevents the high mortality associated with atherosclerosis in ApoE -deficient mice. By contrast, an ad libitum low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet markedly increases mortality. In conclusion, endogenous ketogenesis affects mammalian survival, and ketone body supplementation may represent a double-edged sword with respect to survival, depending on the method of administration and health status.

Open access paper:


Very interesting study with significant ramifications considering how many people are on ketogenic diets. Hope more studies will follow.

I rhink there probably is an advantage to have some level of carbs, but not too much

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I notice I do better long term with a little bit of carbs. I’ve experimented quite a bit and every time I go as close to zero carb as possible I end up with excessive bruising. I’ve yet to figure out exactly why but it seems to happen to some of the children with epilepsy who are being managed with a ketogenic diet. Just a mere 10% of my calories from carbs stops the bruising fairly quickly. I’ve read it can change the fatty acid profile of the cell membranes but I don’t know if that’s true.

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More interesting news on Ketones:

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