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Ketosis and Ketones

How does ketosis work?


  1. During ketogenic diet programglucose is by design in short supply.
  2. During metabolic state of ketosis, the liver switches from sugar metabolism (processing/digesting sugar/carbs) into fat metabolism (breaking down the ingested and stored fats). The process of fat digestion is called “beta-oxidization.”
  3. Our fat stores accumulate fat as “long” fatty acids called triglycerides.
  4. During beta-oxidization the stored or ingested fatty acids are broken down in our liver into our alternative energy source.
  5. While sugar (glucose) is in short supply, the triglycerides are broken down into “short” ketoacids. These short molecules are able to penetrate our cells as fuel.
  6. These ketoacids are utilized (burned) by many of our tissues, including the brain.
  7. The brain operates just as well on a diet of ketoacids as it does on glucose.
  8. What’s left (the incompletely burned fragments) are called ketones (most notably; beta-hydroxybutyrate). They are what spill into the urine to be removed from the body.



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