Camille Vandenberghe, Valérie St-Pierre, Alexandre Courchesne-Loyer, Marie Hennebelle, Christian-Alexandre Castellano, and Stephen C. Cunnane
Brain glucose uptake declines during aging and is significantly impaired in Alzheimer’s disease. Ketones are the main alternative brain fuel to glucose so they represent a potential approach to compensate for the brain glucose reduction. Caffeine is of interest as a potential ketogenic agent owing to its actions on lipolysis and lipid oxidation but whether it is ketogenic in humans is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the acute ketogenic effect of 2 doses of caffeine (2.5; 5.0 mg/kg) in 10 healthy adults. Caffeine given at breakfast significantly stimulated ketone production in a dose-dependent manner (+88%; +116%) and also raised plasma free fatty acids. Whether caffeine has long-term ketogenic effects or could enhance the ketogenic effect of medium chain triglycerides remains to be determined.