How Are Ketones Produced In The Body?

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Understanding Ketosis

To gain a better understanding of ketosis and the ketogenic diet, it is important to take a look at the physiology behind the diet. If you recall from the article What is a Ketogenic Diet? the goal of a ketogenic diet is to induce ketosis by increasing ketone body production. A key step in understanding the diet is to learn what ketosis is, what are ketones and what do they do. “Normal” Metabolism Learning the basics of the various metabolic processes of the body will better your ability to understand ketosis. Under the normal physiological conditions that are common today, glucose is our body’s primary source of energy. Following ingestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and released into the blood stream. This results in the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin not only inhibits fat oxidation but also acts as a key holder for cells by allowing glucose from the blood to be shuttled into cells via glucose transporters (GLUT). The amount of insulin required for this action varies between individuals depending on their insulin sensitivity. Once inside the cell, glucose undergoes glycolysis, a metabolic process that produces pyruvate and energy in the form o Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. AlexBest96

    Hi guys! Could someone answer how does acetoacetate change the pH? I mean, if it is released in ionized form (COO-) how can it change the pH of blood? I cant understand, where does it get protonized? Sorry for my English

  2. Dr. Stalker

    Ketone bodies can contribute to blood pH changes. Specifically, they acidify the blood by donating protons. In organic chemistry/biochemistry you'll learn that a substance doesn't necessarily need to have a -COOH to have acidic properties. It just so happens the hydrogen in the -COOH is very acidic and there's many reasons why. Without diving into all of those, the H in -OH can sometimes be acidic.
    To answer your question specifically about ketones, look at the carboxyl group. If we look at the carbons attached to the carbon that is double bonded to the oxygen, we have an opportunity for resonance. If we deprotonate the carbon adjacent to the carbon in the ketone functional group, those electrons can form a double bond to the carbon and push the one of the double bonds onto the oxygen leading to resonance stability.
    I unfortunately couldn't find a better image than this one (ignore the fact that this has two ketone functional groups)

  3. AlexBest96

    Dr. Stalker, so ketones are not protonized in mitochondria and get in blood in COOH form? they change the pH in ionized form by the mechanism, which you explain?

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