Common ketone supplement may reduce blood sugar in diabetics, suggests study

Consumption of a ketone supplement lowers blood sugar levels and may therefore help diabetics to control spikes in blood sugar, according to a new study published in The Journal of Physiology.

Credit: Montri Thipsorn/

Obesity and type 2 diabetes have become a global concern in the past few decades. These conditions are linked to increased blood sugar levels, which can damage the blood vessels that transport blood to vital organs and can also elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Former studies have shown that introducing ketones into the bloodstream could lower the blood sugar levels, and the current study suggests that a ketone ester supplement can also do this.

Scientists at the University of British Columbia and University of Oxford have determined that consumption of a ketone ester may facilitate better control of blood sugar by reducing blood sugar spikes.

In the study, 20 healthy individuals were instructed to consume the ketone monoester supplement or a placebo, on two occasions, after a 10-hour fast.

Thirty minutes later, they were asked to consume a drink that contained 75 grams of sugar (i.e., a standard oral glucose tolerance test).

During the entire study period of 2.5 hours, individual blood samples were collected every 15–30 minutes and the samples were analyzed for the levels of glucose, hormones, and lipids.

The results showed a reduction in the blood sugar spike for individuals who had consumed the ketone drink, compared to the placebo.

Participants were all healthy, young individuals in order to lessen the confounding influence of insulin resistance, beta-cell dysfunction, and medications. Therefore, more research is required to know whether it can also be applied to people suffering from prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

The physiological mechanisms that reinforce the enhanced blood sugar control also need to be elucidated.

Our study was done in healthy young participants but if the same responses were seen in people with, or at risk for, type 2 diabetes then it is possible that a ketone monoester supplement could be used to lower glucose levels and improve metabolic health. We are working on these studies at the moment."

Dr. Jonathan Little, Co-Author and Professor at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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