n Journal of Insulin Resistance - β-Hydroxybutyrate improves β-cell mitochondrial function and survival - original research

Volume 2 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2412-2785
  • E-ISSN: 2519-7533



Pharmacological interventions aimed at improving outcomes in type 2 diabetes and achieving normoglycaemia, including insulin therapy, are increasingly common, despite the potential for substantial side effects. Carbohydrate-restricted diets that result in increased ketogenesis have effectively been used to improve insulin resistance, a fundamental feature of type 2 diabetes. In addition, limited evidence suggests that states of ketogenesis may also improve β-cell function in type 2 diabetics. Considering how little is known regarding the effects of ketones on β-cell function, we sought to determine the specific effects of β-Hydroxybutyrate (βHB) on pancreatic β-cell physiology and mitochondrial function. βHB treatment increased β-cell survival and proliferation, while also increasing mitochondrial mass, respiration and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. Despite these improvements, were unable to detect an increase in β-cell or islet insulin production and secretion. Collectively, these findings have two implications. Firstly, they indicate that β-cells have improved survival and proliferation in the midst of βHB, the circulating form of ketones. Secondly, insulin secretion does not appear to be directly related to apparent improvements in mitochondrial function and cellular proliferation.

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