An increase in circulating ketone levels can be achieved by fasting or a ketogenic diet, which consists of a very low-carbohydrate and high-fat intake.  This popular weight loss method is often viewed with skepticism, although ketogenic diets have been shown to be successful in treating several metabolic disorders.  Because a state of ketosis requires strict dietary compliance, it is often difficult to achieve. A new study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that ketone supplementation, which rapidly mimics a state of nutritional ketosis, may have therapeutic benefits in individuals with prediabetes.

To better understand the impact of a ketone supplemented drink on blood glucose, Professor Max Petrov (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and his COSMOS group conducted a randomized controlled trial that included 18 adults with prediabetes.  Participants were randomly assigned to receive a ketone supplemented or placebo drink in a crossover sequence. Blood samples were collected at 30-minute intervals from 0 to 150 minutes. Changes in blood glucose regulatory hormones and hormone-like peptides were also measured.

Blood ketone levels increased within 30 minutes after consuming the ketone supplemented beverage and remained above baseline values for the duration of the study. Noteworthy, a state of ketosis had a significant effect in lowering levels of glucose in the blood. 

Furthermore, circulating glucose regulatory factors were greater after supplementation than after the placebo. Study findings show that, in individuals with prediabetes, administration of exogenous ketones may have therapeutic benefits and may help prevent new-onset diabetes. The authors emphasize the need for additional research on the effect of repeated ketone supplement ingestion, including optimal dose, time, and duration to achieve maximal benefit.


Bharmal SH, Cho J, Alarcon Ramos GC, Ko J, Cameron-Smith D, Maxim SP. Acute Nutritional Ketosis and Its Implications for Plasma Glucose and Glucoregulatory Peptides in Adults with Prediabetes: A Crossover Placebo-Controlled Randomized Trial. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 151, Issue 4, April 2021, Pages 921–929,

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