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KETONE METABOLISM REDUCES CANCER RISK

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In addition to avoiding established cancer risk factors, the metabolism of ketone bodies protects the mitochondria from inflammation and damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS production increases naturally with age and damages cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Accumulation of ROS decreases the efficiency of mitochondrial energy production, thus requiring compensatory fermentation. Cancer risk increases with age and accumulation of ROS. Ketone metabolism enhances mitochondrial function, thus preventing fermentation. Ketone body metabolism, especially when glucose levels are reduced, will go far in preventing genomic instability and reducing cancer risk (26). The origin of mitochondrial ROS comes largely from the spontaneous reaction of molecular oxygen (O2) with the semiquinone radical of coenzyme Q, that is, •QH (see Fig. 4.4). This interaction will generate the superoxide radical O−• 2 (27–29). Coenzyme Q is a hydrophobic molecule that resides in the inner mitochondrial membrane and is essential for electron transfer. Ketone body metabolism increases the ratio of the oxidized form to the fully reduced form of coenzyme Q (CoQ/CoQH2) (28). Oxidation of the coenzyme Q couple reduces the amount of the semiquinone radical, thus decreasing the probability of superoxide production (27). Ketone body metabolism reduces ROS and enhances mitochondrial energy efficiency, thus reducing cancer risk. In addition to reducing ROS, ketone body metabolism also increases the reduced form of glutathione since the cytosolic-free NADP+/NADPH concentration couple is in near equilibrium with the glutathione couple (27, 30, 31). More specifically, ketone body metabolism facilitates destruction of hydrogen peroxide. The reduction of free radicals through ketone body metabolism helps maintain the inner mitochondrial membrane integrity. This enhances the energy efficiency of mitochondria. As ROS also induce tissue inflammation, reduced ROS will reduce tissue inflammation.Ketone bodies don’t seem to besolely a additionaleconomical metabolic fuel than glucose but also possess anti-inflammatory potential (Chapters 17 and 18). Metabolism of organic compound bodies for energy can maintain mitochondrial health and efficiency, thus reducing the incidence of cancer. How simple is this?

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