Salva R. Yurista, MD, PHD, Cher-Rin Chong, PHD, Juan J. Badimon, PHD, Daniel P. Kelly, MD, Rudolf A. de Boer, MD, PHD, B. Daan Westenbrink, MD, PHD
Metabolic perturbations underlie a variety of cardiovascular disease states; yet, metabolic interventions to prevent or treat these disorders are sparse. Ketones carry a negative clinical stigma as they are involved in diabetic ketoacidosis. However, evidence from both experimental and clinical research has uncovered a protective role for ketones in cardiovascular disease. Although ketones may provide supplemental fuel for the energy-starved heart, their cardiovascular effects appear to extend far beyond cardiac energetics. Indeed, ketone bodies have been shown to influence a variety of cellular processes including gene transcription, inflammation and oxidative stress, endothelial function, cardiac remodeling, and cardiovascular risk factors. This paper reviews the bioenergetic and pleiotropic effects of ketone bodies that could potentially contribute to its cardiovascular benefits based on evidence from animal and human studies.