Impact of ketogenic diet and ketone diester supplementation on body weight, blood glucose, and ketones in Sprague Dawley rats fed over two weeks

Elsevier, Food Chemistry: Molecular Sciences, Volume 3, 2021, 100029
LT Claire M. Modica, Krystal Flores-Felix, LT John D. Casachahua, Paul Asquith, Anna Tschiffely, Stephanie Ciarlone, Stephen T. Ahlers

Ketogenic diets consist of low carbohydrate/high fat, shifting energy reliance from glucose to ketone bodies. Ketone diester supplement to a standard diet (ketone ester) increases ketone bodies by adding a substance without altering other consumed foods. We evaluated weight, glucose, and ketone concentrations in rats fed ketogenic diet and ketone ester feeds. We hypothesized that these feeds would increase ketones and decrease glucose and weight. We tested 16 male and 16 female Sprague Dawley rats randomly assigned to standard diet, ketogenic diet, or ketone ester for two weeks. Weight and blood glucose and ketones were measured daily. Group means were compared by analysis of variance. Ketogenic diet and ketone ester both increased ketones and decreased weight compared to standard diet (p < 0.001). Glucose decreased only in ketogenic diet (p = 0.010), driven by a decrease from higher starting concentrations observed in standard diet males. Sex interacted with weight, with male gains impacted more by both ketogenic diet and ketone ester than female gains. Ketogenic diet had a larger effect size than ketone ester with regard to increased ketones and decreased weight. Ketogenic diet glucose significantly decreased over time because standard diet concentrations in males were high prior to initializing ketogenic diet. This suggests sex differences in energy substrate utilization. Ketogenic diet ketones peaked at 72 h then decreased to near basal levels at about 10 days, suggesting “fat adaption.” While this work is part of a larger project examining blast exposure, these results are relevant to any military forces considering ketone-increasing foods.