28 March 2014
SCI's Biotechnology Group in conjunction with the University of Westminster
University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW
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Biochemists have traditionally divided foods into three major groups, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, which together provide the body with the fuel it needs. In normal metabolism, fat and carbohydrates are burnt to produce energy, although fat is laid down when calorie intake is higher than required. In addition to these major food categories, there's a totally separate food group whos role in nutrition is equally critical. Acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are ketone bodies (or 'ketones') with a vital role in human metabolism. Derived from stored fats, ketones are readily converted into energy during periods of prolonged fasting and starvation. Readily metabolised, ketones yield as many calories per gram as glucose. While ketones occur naturally in the human body, they cannot be ingested in their acid or salt form. We have developed a way to make a ketone ester, called ΔGTM, that is suitable as a food in its own right. After ingestion, ΔGTM is broken down slowly in the gut to provide beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is readily transported through the gut wall for delivery via the bloodstream to the brain, skeletal muscle and other organs in the body.
Consequently, one of the areas where ΔGTM may be used for physical performance - studies in elite athletes have suggested that ΔGTM may improve physical endurance. Outside the domain of sports and physical performance, studies have also explored the potential of ΔGTM in a range of clinical conditions.
University of Westminster
University of Westminster, School of Life Sciences, 115 New Cavendish Street London W1W 6UW
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