“BHB has direct activities relevant to aging,” the researchers wrote.
Dr. Eric Verdin, who serves as the president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, helped author that research.
“BHB has the potential to induce a protective state in the cells and make them more resistant to oxidative stress, and that’s on the heel of this, that we said: Let’s try to increase BHB levels so that we can see if it has a lifespan effect,” he told Healthline.
What is BHB?
BHB is one of three ketones the body produces during states of fasting or through low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets.
In both contexts, the body naturally changes its primary source of energy from glucose (provided by carbohydrates) to stored fat.
Fat is broken down and BHB is formed. It provides an alternate energy source for every part of the body, including the brain.
Of the three ketone bodies produced during ketosis (BHB, acetone, and acetoacetate), BHB is present in significantly higher quantities in the blood.