Do exogenous ketones reduce blood sugar? “If you’re interested in ketone supplementation for the purpose of reducing blood sugar, they will work pretty well (on average, a 10mg/dL reduction), but you need to take the right one. The right one is the ketone monoester over the ketone salt, because its been shown to be far more effective (slightly above average effect).”
I read a recent meta-analysis (analysis of many studies) that attempted to make sense of the question of consuming ketones and their effect on blood sugar [Figure 1]. The analysis included 40 studies investigating the question. Before I explain the results, I should note that the analysis had significant heterogeneity, meaning the results weren’t uniform, which introduces some doubt and could require more research. That said, here’s what they found.
1. Do exogenous ketones reduce blood sugar? And, how much?
Yes, exogenous, or supplemented, ketones do reduce blood sugar. If you look at Figure 2, you’ll see that of all the pertinent studies, the boxes (indicating study average effects) were almost universally on the left side of the ‘no effect’ line (indicated by a ‘zero’) – which shows a reducing effect [Figure 2]. The exact amount of the effect is difficult to pinpoint, because it will scale with the severity of the blood sugar dysregulation; meaning, the higher the blood sugar, the stronger the effect, likely. But, the analysis determined an effect somewhere in the realm of ~0.55 mmol (~10 mg/dL) reduction. Now, could the effect be larger in people with higher blood sugar? I’d venture yes, but this was a pooled analysis and didn’t distinguish between these variables, so I’m only educated-ly guessing.
2. Which exogenous ketones are most effective?
The analysis then compared between two exogenous ketone types – ketone monoesters and ketone salts. So, was one better than the other? Definitely.
Ketone salts, although it had fewer studies behind it, reduced blood sugar levels by about 0.23 mmol (4 mg/dL). Meanwhile, ketone monoesters led to a 0.76 mmol (~13 mg/dL) drop in blood sugar. So, if you’re looking for the best bang for you buck, ketone esters are the way to go.
So, the take away:
If you’re interested in ketone supplementation for the purpose of reducing blood sugar, they will work pretty well (on average, a 10mg/dL reduction), but you need to take the right one. The right one is the ketone monoester over the ketone salt, because its been shown to be far more effective (slightly above average effect). If you would like to have full access to my investigations, exclusive content not available to the public, as well as be part of a community of science minded individuals, I recommend you join my Physionic Insiders Community. Answered for the Physionic Insiders: 3. How much do you need to consume of these ketone esters to have these blood sugar lowering effects?