Fun Fact of Ketogenic Diet No. 3


I know these science posts are the most read nor the most engaging, so I will keep this one short and sweet. Excuse the run-ons.

Enter NLRP3 inflammasome….

What is this inflammasome? Well, to be concise, it is a receptor like structure on the outside of some of your cells that recognize pathogen associated molecular patterns on things like bacteria and other danger signals from other cells. Specifically, this NLRP3 inflammasome is the “most versatile, and importantly also the most clinically implicated inflammasome.”[1] Its improper activation is linked to many diseases, including “gout and pseudogout, obesity, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or type 2 diabetes mellitus.” [1]. Basically, this receptor is bad news when it is over activated.

Here is the good news: the ketogenic diet almost completely shuts this receptor down. “Really? Verily?” you may ask…well, not exactly, only betahydroxybutrate (BHB), one of the ketone bodies (KB) produced during a ketogenic diet (KD), performs this inhibition, but it is one of the most prominent KB’s that your body makes. A study in 2015 states “We report that BHB…suppresses activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in response to urate crystals, ATP and lipotoxic fatty acids.” [2]. “How much does it reduce NLRP3?” you may ask. Well in one figure, it shows that the presence of 10mmol BHB reduces IL-1beta (an highly potent inflammatory molecule) from 40 pg/ml to less than 5 pg/ml. Even at 5mmol, a more physiologically significant level of BHB, IL-1beta is reduced to around 10 pg/ml, about a 75% reduction in IL-1beta. [2]. And this is just one of the many inflammatory molecules that BHB reduces!

Bottom line: try the ketogenic diet. I wrote blog post with some basic guidelines here. You can always Google how to start a ketogenic diet. Google has hundreds of great resources.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and keep being honest with yourself, and kicking some booty!



  1. Abderrazak, A et al. April, 2015. NLRP3 inflammasome: From a danger signal sensor to a regulatory node of oxidative stress and inflammatory diseases. Journal of Redox Biology. 4:296-307.
  2. Youm, YH. et al. 2015. The Ketone metabolite BHB blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine. 21(3):263-269.