Nutritional ketosis improves exercise metabolism in patients with very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.
Bleeker JC., Visser G., Clarke K., Ferdinandusse S., de Haan FH., Houtkooper RH., IJlst L., Kok IL., Langeveld M., van der Pol WL., de Sain-van der Velden MGM., Sibeijn-Kuiper A., Takken T., Wanders RJA., van Weeghel M., Wijburg FA., van der Woude LH., Wüst RCI., Cox PJ., Jeneson JAL.
A maladaptive shift from fat to carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation during exercise is thought to underlie myopathy and exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis in patients with fatty acid oxidation (FAO) disorders. We hypothesised that ingestion of a ketone ester (KE) drink prior to exercise could serve as an alternative oxidative substrate supply to boost muscular ATP homeostasis. To establish a rational basis for therapeutic use of KE supplementation in FAO, we tested this hypothesis in patients deficient in Very Long-Chain acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase (VLCAD). Five patients (range 17-45 y; 4 M/1F) patients were included in an investigator-initiated, randomised, blinded, placebo-controlled, 2-way cross-over study. Patients drank either a KE + CHO mix or an isocaloric CHO equivalent and performed 35 minutes upright cycling followed by 10 minutes supine cycling inside a Magnetic Resonance scanner at individual maximal FAO work rate (fatmax; approximately 40% VO2 max). The protocol was repeated after a 1-week interval with the alternate drink. Primary outcome measures were quadriceps phosphocreatine (PCr), Pi and pH dynamics during exercise and recovery assayed by in vivo 31 P-MR spectroscopy. Secondary outcomes included plasma and muscle metabolites and respiratory gas exchange recordings. Ingestion of KE rapidly induced mild ketosis and increased muscle BHB content. During exercise at FATMAX, VLCADD-specific plasma acylcarnitine levels, quadriceps glycolytic intermediate levels and in vivo Pi/PCr ratio were all lower in KE + CHO than CHO. These results provide a rational basis for future clinical trials of synthetic ketone ester supplementation therapy in patients with FAO disorders. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov. Protocol ID: NCT03531554; METC2014.492; ABR51222.042.14.