Summary: There are a few mechanisms by which having elevated blood ketones could be therapeutic for IBD, and one case report demonstrated benefit of ketone salts in the context of a low-carb (but not ketogenic) diet for Crohn’s disease. Exogenous ketones can reliably elevate blood ketones as well as or better than a ketogenic diet, without the potential attendant downsides of such a diet. Ketone esters elevate blood ketone levels more than ketone salts, and may be better tolerated, but are also more expensive. MCT oil (particularly pure caprylic acid) can promote ketogenesis in the liver, but has a limited ability to do so compared to exogenous ketones. All of these supplements have various strengths and weaknesses and may be worth experimenting with for someone with IBD who is attempting to achieve therapeutic ketosis, whether in the context of a ketogenic diet or not.
This article is part of the IBD Index. Last updated on May 2, 2022.
In my (rather lengthy) article about the ketogenic diet, I discussed the background, risks, and potential benefits of a ketogenic diet in the context of IBD. Ketone supplements have become popular as both an adjunct to a ketogenic diet and as a way to get some of the benefits of ketone metabolism without the stringent dietary restrictions. But do they actually work? Are they safe? And are they worth trying if you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease?[Read more…] about Ketone Supplements for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease