Ketones: The Fourth Macronutrient

In addition to the three primary macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats, and protein – a fourth has been identified: ketone bodies. Thought to have evolved in response to carbohydrate scarcity, our bodies produce different classes of ketones during periods of fasting, providing an alternative source of energy to fuel our organs and tissues. The reemerging promise of ketones as a therapeutic have increased the popularity of the ketogenic diet, though maintaining its regimen may prove challenging for social, economic, or health reasons. As such, ongoing research is focusing on the consumption of additional ketones to increase their levels in the body without the need for a potentially challenging diet. With accumulating evidence for their roles in improving brain and muscle health and combating metabolic syndrome, supplementation of ketone bodies shows great preliminary promise as a means of delivering health benefits with minimal change to individual dietary habits.

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