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BHB VS GLUCOSE AS FUEL
- Apr 16, 2021 -

If you’re curious to know exactly how BHBSALTS compares to glucose in terms of energy, here’s a breakdown of their:

Energy Efficiency

Energy Yield

 FoodAsFuel

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The fuel your body uses and the resources they consume to create ATP influences how many free radicals are created and suppressed.

The fewer free radicals a fuel creates, the more efficient it is.

Glucose Efficiency

Glucose goes through a slightly longer process than BHB before entering the Krebs cycle.

Through glycolysis, glucose turns into pyruvate, and then pyruvate is turned into acetyl-CoA, which can enter the Krebs cycle.

This path from glucose > pyruvate > acetyl-CoA eats up significant resources.

One glucose molecule consumes 4 NAD+ molecules, which turn into 4 NADH.

BHB skips glycolysis. It only has to convert back to AcAc and then to acetyl-CoA before entering the Krebs cycle, a process that uses up half the resources as glucose.

One BHB molecule consumes only 2 NAD+ molecules, which turn into 2 NADH.

This means BHB is more efficient than glucose and protects the NAD+/NADH ratio.

In fact, research shows BHB not only preserves but increases the NAD+/NADH ratio, which can:

Protect against oxidative stress and oxidants created during energy production

Support mitochondrial function and biogenesis

Provide anti-aging and longevity effects

Increase the amount of free NAD+ than can be used for optimal gene expression

BHB also reduces free radicals through protective proteins that only activate when your body runs on ketones:

UCP: Fats accelerate the activity of the UCP protein. UCP kills the free radicals that leak during the creation of energy, preventing oxidative damage in the mitochondria.

SIRT3: When your body switches from glucose to fats, a protein called Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) increases. It activates a powerful antioxidant called of MnSOD and other mitochondrial antioxidant systems to keep oxidants low during energy creation. It also stabilizes the FOXO genes, which protect against oxidation.

VERDICT

Using BHB for fuel is more efficient than using glucose because it consumes less NAD+ molecules, increasing the NAD+/NADH ratio, which prevents oxidative damage and promotes longevity. It also fights the damage of inevitable free radicals by activating powerful antioxidants, which glucose doesn’t do.

ENERGY YIELD

The energy yield is measured by two things:

Number of ATP molecules created per molecule of BHB or glucose.

Usable energy from each ATP molecule.

Each molecule of glucose and BHB creates different amounts of ATP, which carries usable energy to your cells.

When ATP releases this energy inside your cells, it’s called ATP hydrolysis. The amount of energy released can be measured in kilocalories, through an equation called the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG).

In this context, ΔG represents the kilocalories released by each individual molecule of ATP.

VERDICT

Glucose yields more ATP molecules, but the total energy released by each ATP is lower than BHB.

BHB creates fewer ATP molecules, but it’s cleaner and releases more total energy per ATP molecule.

In the end, BHB can make just as much, or even more energy than glucose in a cleaner way.

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