Are Lions In Ketosis

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Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context

Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence? During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all. Starvation ketosis Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline. Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..? Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain. The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1 Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. edmon171

    Does anyone know about the metabolic state of of other hunting carnivores such as wolves, lions, etc.? Do they stay in ketosis all the time? I know their pattern is to hunt, eat a ton of fat and protein, then rest and fast for several days before hunting again. I imagine they get away with the fasting and maintain their weight by gorging on so much protein that it converts to blood sugar and they can restore the fat they lost. Does this take them out of ketosis and they need to then re-adapt every week? Do they also consume the fermented stomach contents of the kill? Is it the lucky alpha who gets the liver first who is best able to maintain their weight?

  2. kayaman

    No. They do not state on ketosis all the time. it depends on what kind of animal. From the land strict carnivores as cats cats they eat large amounts of protein (50-60% of calories in the diet) and their liver efficiently, quickly and without problem (as opposed to human) is cleaved protein to glucose. They do not eat fatty. Often, big cats leave part of organs, bone marrow and fat for scavengers such as hyenas. Dogs are already really omnivores and effectively operate on 40% protein and 60% fat in calories.
    I do not know the proportion of other predators such as sperm whales and seals.
    It seems to me that the cow is on ketosis much more than cats. In her share of the energy of carbohydrates is very small as long feed on naturally of course.

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