Published: Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2010
Background: The effectiveness of low-carb ketogenic diets for weight loss and the treatment of obesity is thought to derive, in part, from the satiating effect of ketone body molecules. This rodent study assessed if, or how, a diet including ketone ester altered brain metabolism, which controls hunger drive.
Results: Rats given a ketone ester decreased their voluntary food intake to as little as half that of control rats. This voluntary decrease in food intake was associated with particular changes in brain metabolism, such as increased levels of uncoupling proteins in the brain, which act like a pressure valve in brain cells, reducing the generation of harmful byproducts of metabolism.