Mechanism of Ketosis

Jo Wong, KPT Researcher

We talk about ketones and ketosis a lot in our company, and it is the integral biochemical process that burns fat that we monitor. How we interact with this process is what makes our company unique. But what is it?

Simply explained, ketosis is commonly defined as the process by which our body breaks down fats, usually for use as energy. Ketosis occurs when the body runs low on carbohydrate and blood sugar levels. This results in the body saving the remaining sugar for the brain, which can’t use fatty acids, and increases ketosis to burn fats for energy instead.

This process occurs mainly in the liver, through a process known as ketogenesis, where larger fatty acids are broken down into smaller intermediate molecules that can be integrated into the body’s existing energy processing systems. The most important of these molecules is known as Acetyl-CoA, and this is further broken down into ketone bodies like acetoacetate and acetone, which can be directly used in the mitochondria, where they can integrate into the citric acid cycle, producing energy.

This process increases the amount of ketone bodies found in the blood as these ketone molecules are produced in the liver and spread around the body for further energy production, and as a result, when the blood goes to the lungs to be oxygenated, some of those ketone bodies get shunted out into the breath as a by-product, where we can detect and measure them, thus giving us a good idea of the rate of fat burning.