Ketone supplements are small dietary doses of a chemical naturally produced by the liver from body fat during periods of low food intake, and a new study says these may lower blood sugar levels in diabetics. The study, published in the Journal of Physiology, showed that a ketone ester supplement can lower blood sugar levels.
According to the researchers, including those from the University of British Columbia in Canada, the study presents a potential future method to control spikes in blood sugar experienced by diabetics. The scientists demonstrated that a single drink of ketone ester enables better control of blood sugar by reducing spikes in sugar levels. As part of the study, 20 healthy individuals consumed the ketone monoester supplement, or a placebo after a 10-hour fast. The participants then consumed a drink containing 75 grams of sugar 30 minutes later.
Blood samples were collected from the participants every 15-30 minutes throughout the entire 2.5 hours protocol, the researchers said. They analysed the samples for glucose, lipids, and hormones. According to the study, the blood sugar spike was reduced on the day that the individuals had consumed the ketone drink. However, the scientists cautioned that more research is required to know whether the findings apply to people with diabetes and obesity since the current study was conducted with healthy young individuals.
"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," said study co-author Jonathan Little from the University of British Columbia.