Anticatabolic effects of ketone bodies in skeletal muscle

or, the protein-sparing effects of fat-derived fuels (Koutnik et al., 2018)

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It was originally coined “the glucose-sparing effect,” but the whole point of sparing glucose in this context is sparing amino acids & protein. Because during starvation, if you kept up the rate of protein degradation to meet glucose needs via amino acid-gluconeogenesis you wouldn’t last very long. Not just skeletal muscle protein, but heart muscle, diaphragm, organs, etc.

This nice review highlights some of the new findings about the signalling effects of ketones but the title has led some to think the muscle-sparing properties of ketones during starvation carry over to making muscle hypertrophy gainz in the #context of nutritional ketosis. Here’s what’s up.


Truth is, most studies on nutritional ketosis show it’s great for fat loss, but not so great for the retention of fat-free mass. On the other hand, resistance exercise and increased dietary protein help with the latter. Those two things don’t need to be mutually exclusive…

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