Most of the talk surrounding ketosis and ketogenic diets relates to how ketones are used as an energy source. However, research is now uncovering new roles for ketone bodies. BHB, it turns out, might be much more than just an energetic fuel source for the body.
Whether you're taking MCTs or not, BHB supplementation can be a good idea. It rapidly raises blood ketone levels without digestive issues because it bypasses digestion.
“The classic view of BHB was that it was an alternate nutrient that happens during fasting… It is also a signaling molecule. It triggers all kinds of things in cells that are protective,” he said. “That brought a whole new dimension to the whole problem and forced people to start thinking that maybe there is something more to BHB being just a nutrient.”
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet that will induce a state of ketosis, but because of its restrictive nature, it may be difficult to adhere to, especially in adolescents. Supplementing with exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate salts may induce a state of temporary ketosis without any undesirable side effects, thereby promoting the benefits of ketosis and minimizing adherence requirements to a
Arguably, the most efficient energy source that our body can use is ketones. While BHB isn’t technically a ketone, it affects the body in the same way ketones do so we will be classifying it as one from here on out. Of the two ketone bodies we use for fuel (acetoacetate and BHB), BHB provides us with the most energy while also benefitting our bodies in a plethora of different ways.