Ketone bodies as a fuel for the brain during starvation

  title={Ketone bodies as a fuel for the brain during starvation},
  author={Oliver E. Owen},
  journal={Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education},
  • O. Owen
  • Published 1 July 2005
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
This story begins in the early 1960s when the general level of knowledge about whole-body metabolism during human starvation was grossly deficient. This was partly caused by a lack of accurate and specific methods for measuring hormones and fuels in biological fluids, which became available about 1965. Rigidly designed protocols for studying human volunteers or obese patients, who underwent semior total starvation for prolonged periods of time, were not widely employed, and much of the… 

Fuel metabolism in starvation.

  • G. Cahill
  • Biology
    Annual review of nutrition
  • 2006
Due to its use by brain, D-beta-hydroxybutyric acid not only has permitted man to survive prolonged starvation, but also may have therapeutic potential owing to its greater efficiency in providing cellular energy in ischemic states such as stroke, myocardial insufficiency, neonatal stress, genetic mitochondrial problems, and physical fatigue.

Ketone body modulation of ligand-gated ion channels

Evidence on chronic ketosis in traditional Arctic populations

It is concluded that there is insufficient evidence to rule out chronic ketosis in Arctic populations, and alternative explanations for the findings consistent with the second hypothesis are provided.

Ketogenic diet for human diseases: the underlying mechanisms and potential for clinical implementations

It is suggested that, with encouraging evidence of therapeutic effects and increasing insights into the mechanisms of action, randomized controlled trials should be conducted to elucidate a foundation for the clinical use of the ketogenic diet.

Metabolic Responses to Energy-Depleted Conditions

Intensive research has unveiled several regulatory mechanisms of longevity including metabolic regulators such as mTOR and sirtuins and the epigenome has been attracting attention as a mechanism underlying metabolic diseases and longevity.

Intake of a Ketone Ester Drink during Recovery from Exercise Promotes mTORC1 Signaling but Not Glycogen Resynthesis in Human Muscle

The results indicate that adding KE to a standard post-exercise recovery beverage enhances the post-Exercise activation of mTORC1 but does not affect muscle glycogen resynthesis in young healthy volunteers.

Control of seizures by ketogenic diet-induced modulation of metabolic pathways

The ketogenic diet (KD) is proposed as an effective and efficient preliminary/long-term treatment for epilepsy and the need to understand the underlying cellular mechanisms governing the KD’s modulation of various forms of epilepsy is underscored.

What Is the Evidence That Dietary Macronutrient Composition Influences Exercise Performance? A Narrative Review

The historical and modern evidence is provided showing that the blood glucose concentration—reflecting the liver glycogen rather than the muscle glycogen content—is the homeostatically-regulated (protected) variable that drives the metabolic response to prolonged exercise.

Dynamics of starvation in humans

A differential equation model describing the dynamics of stored energy in the form of fat mass, lean body mass and ketone body mass during prolonged starvation is developed and the length of time the obese subject can survive during prolonged starve is estimated.

Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship

The aim of this review is to provide a summary of current knowledge of the effects of ketogenic diet (KD) on food control in an effort to unify the apparently contradictory data into a coherent picture.



Hormone-fuel interrelationships during fasting.

Over 50 years ago, Benedict (2) published his extensive monograph on the metabolism of fasting in man, in which he demonstrated that carbohydrate stores provide a small but significant component of

The effect of carbohydrates on ammonium and ketoacid excretion during starvation.

The excretion of ketoacids and ammonium in starving man is exquisitely sensitive to minute amounts of ingested carbohydrate; the change in ketonuria appears to be due to increased renal ketoacid reabsorption after carbohydrate ingestion; and the nitrogen-sparing effect of reducing renal ammonium output in starvation can be dissociated from nitrogen sparing occurring because of changes in urine urea excretion.

Starvation and survival.

  • G. CahillO. Owen
  • Biology
    Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association
  • 1968
This brief report will described how man solved two metabolic problems - the capacity to withstand prolonged periods of deprivation and yet the sparing of as much body protein as possible in order to be able to hunt successfully at the first available opportunity.

Liver and kidney metabolism during prolonged starvation.

This study quantifies the concentrations of circulating insulin, growth hormone, glucose, free fatty acids, glycerol, beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and alpha amino nitrogen in 11 obese subjects

Acid-base alterations and renal gluconeogenesis: effect of pH, bicarbonate concentration, and PCO2.

P pH, rather than CO(2) tension or [HCO(3) (-)], is the most important acid-base variable affecting renal gluconeogenesis, and the findings suggest that a decrease in extracellular fluid pH enhances renal gluc oneogenesis through direct stimulation of one of the rate-limiting reactions involved in the conversion of oxalacetate to glucose.

Brain metabolism during fasting.

Catheterization of cerebral vessels in three obese patients undergoing 5-6 wk of starvation demonstrated that beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate replaced glucose as the predominant fuel for brain

The Science of Nutrition

THIS is a book about nutrition for the layman. Prof. Sherman describes the three main functions of food as first, provision of energy; secondly, supply of structural material for the growth and

The Science of Nutrition

The role of Nutrition in The authors' Health, Nutrition Through the Lifecycle: Childhood and Adolescence, and Global Nutrition Appendices: Nutrient Values of Foods are explained.

Starvation and survival.


  • 1967