Ketone Ester, Ketosis, and Anxiety

Authored by Nate MartinsDr. Brianna Stubbs and Geoffrey Woo • 
May 3, 2019
 • 2 min read

There hasn’t been formal research conducted on humans analyzing ketosis for anxiety. However, there have been countless subjective, anecdotal experiences of ketones reducing symptoms of anxiety, notably Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, discussing her use of HVMN Ketone to get in the right frame of mind before giving presentations.

Some early customers of the ketone ester have reported improved mood. These reports are supported by limited animal experiments; the area is still being researched.

Still, the idea of ketones reducing anxiety makes sense when you think about how ketones work in the brain:

  • Ketones reduce neuroinflammation, specifically the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is a protein responsible for the activation of inflammatory responses in the body
  • Ketones impact glutamate and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) balance, regulating neurotransmitters responsible for signaling excitability responses through the nervous system
  • Ketones also impact adenosine and serotonin and other neurotransmitters correlating to stress
  • There’s also the possibility that ketones modulate the autonomic nervous system, specifically GPCR41, a receptor in the nervous system (but this evidence is only anecdotal)

Despite the lack of human evidence, animal studies with exogenous ketones have shown the ability of ketones to reduce anxiety-related behaviors.

One study demonstrated the anxiolytic (reduction of anxiety) of ketone ester supplementation in rats. Anxiolytic effect was assessed by where the rats spent time in a maze.

Those with ketone ester spent less time in closed arms of the maze, making more entries and spending more time in the open arms of the maze; they also traveled more distance in the open arms and delayed entrance into the closed arms.1 This is all to say they spent less time hiding and more time exploring.

Another study demonstrated that indicated beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB, the main ketone body in HVMN Ketone) attenuated stress-induced, depressive-like behaviors in rodent brains.2

Despite limited human data, rodent models are promising. Because of how we know ketones interact with the brain, it’s not a far jump to see how ketones can help reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. More research is needed on this topic.

Disclaimer: Employees of HVMN are not medical doctors and are not offering medical advice. Consult with your physician before making diet or lifestyle changes.

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