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The Effect of Exogenous Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Salt Supplementation on Metrics of Safety and Health in Adolescents

Matthew Stefan, Matthew Sharp, Raad Gheith, Ryan Lowery, Jacob Wilson
Nutrients 2021 v.13 no.3 pp. -
3-hydroxybutyric acid, adolescents, blood, blood pressure, bone density, densitometry, females, ketogenic diet, ketosis, males, maltodextrins, placebos, safety assessment
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet that will induce a state of ketosis, but because of its restrictive nature, it may be difficult to adhere to, especially in adolescents. Supplementing with exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate salts may induce a state of temporary ketosis without any undesirable side effects, thereby promoting the benefits of ketosis and minimizing adherence requirements to a ketogenic diet. To date, beta-hydroxybutyrate supplementation in healthy adolescents has not been explored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the safety of exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate salt supplementation in a healthy adolescent population. In the present study, 22 healthy male and female adolescents consumed 3.75 g of beta-hydroxybutyrate salts or maltodextrin placebo twice daily for 90 days. Comprehensive blood safety analysis, bone densitometry, happiness and emotional intelligence surveys, and blood pressure were assessed at Pre, Day 45, and Day 90. There were no significant differences detected in subjects supplementing with beta-hydroxybutyrate salts, indicating that exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate salts had no detrimental impact on fasting blood safety metrics, bone density, happiness, emotional intelligence, or blood pressure. We conclude that supplementing with exogenous beta-hydroxybutyrate salts is safe and well-tolerated by healthy adolescents.