top of page

​Ketone bodies as energy substrates

ケトン体化学式 の図.png

chemical formula of ketone bodies
Carboxylic acid at the α (alpha) position
A hydroxyl group at the β (beta) position
The carbon at the β (beta) position is an asymmetric carbon and produces stereoisomers, and organisms produce only the D form.
A derivative of butyric acid and a kind of organic acid.
Energy substrate for mitochondria.

Ketone bodies (formal name / β-hydroxybutyric acid) are also included in food ingredients,

It is also produced by the liver using neutral fat as a raw material.


Normally, the human body breaks down the sugars ingested in the diet and uses them as an energy source.

When it runs out, it breaks down fat in the body and produces ketone bodies.


Ketone bodies belong to the group of organic acids and are characterized by having a hydroxyl group at the β position.

The presence of this hydroxyl group increases the water solubility. In other words, it can circulate in the body while being dissolved in the blood at a high concentration.

Its physiological role is called "energy substrate", which is synthesized from fat in the liver, enters the blood circulation, is completely oxidized in skeletal muscle, etc., and becomes the intracellular energy currency adenosine 3-phosphate (ATP). It is transformed and consumed in various physiological processes.

bottom of page