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Ketogenesis is a catabolic pathway of metabolism.

Ketogenesis is a catabolic pathway of metabolism. In this process, fatty acids and certain ketogenic amino acids are weakened to derive energy by alternative means. Ketone bodies are produced in the ketogenesis process. Our body continuously produces ketone bodies in low amounts but in certain cases like starving, when carbohydrates are present in less amount in diet, ketogenesis is preferred to compensate for the energy requirements. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which an excess amount of ketone bodies gets accumulated in the body. This condition may also be fatal.

Fatty acids undergo 𝛽-oxidation in the liver mitochondria to generate a high amount of energy and form three compounds, that are known as “ketone bodies”. These ketone bodies are water-soluble and do not require lipoproteins for transportation across the membrane. Ketone bodies are lipid molecules having a carbonyl group attached to two -R groups. The Three Ketone Bodies Formed are:

Our body normally derives energy from stored carbohydrate by the process of glycogenolysis (glycogen → glucose) or from non-carbohydrate sources such as lactate by the process of gluconeogenesis. Ketogenesis is a process that takes place in a healthy individual continuously, but under certain conditions and they are –  when there is increased concentration of fatty acid or carbohydrate reserves are minimized, ketogenesis takes place at a higher rate:

All the main body parts such as the brain, skeletal muscles, heart, etc. can utilise the energy formed by ketogenesis. When there is Insufficient gluconeogenesis in the body, hypoglycemia takes place and excessive production of ketone bodies results in a fatal condition that is called Ketoacidosis.

Liver cell is the main part where the Ketogenesis process occurs primarily. Following are the steps in the process of ketogenesis:

Acetoacetate thus produced forms other ketone bodies, acetone by decarboxylation and D-3-hydroxybutyrate by reduction [Image will be uploaded soon] Liver produces ketone bodies primarily in the mitochondria but the amazing fact is, it cannot utilise it due to lack of an enzyme 𝛽-keto-acyl-CoA transferase. Acetoacetate and D-3-hydroxybutyrate are used by the body to get energy. These ketone bodies are circulated out of the liver cell. In the Extrahepatic Tissues, the following reactions occur:

The Ketogenesis process is regulated by Insulin. Hormones such as glucagon, thyroid hormones, catecholamines, cortisol increase the ketogenesis rate by monitoring the breakdown of free fatty acids.

Q1. What is Ketogenesis? Ans. Ketogenesis is a catabolic pathway of metabolism. In this process, fatty acids and certain ketogenic amino acids are weakened to derive energy by alternative means. Ketone bodies are produced in the ketogenesis process. Our body continuously produces ketone bodies in low amounts but in certain cases like starving, when carbohydrates are present in less amount in diet, ketogenesis is preferred to compensate for the energy requirements. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which an excess amount of ketone bodies gets accumulated in the body. This condition may also be fatal. Q2. Mention the difference between Ketosis And Ketogenesis? Ans. Ketosis is the state wherein our body tends to supply ketones at detectable levels, ketogenesis on the opposite hand may be a chemical phenomena which generates those ketones that are produced. Therefore, ketosis is caused as a results of ketogenesis while ketogenesis is initiated from a scarcity of glucose. Q3. Where does Ketogenesis Occur? Ans. The process of ketogenesis mainly takes place within the mitochondria of cells of the liver. In this the fatty acids are supplied to mitochondria through carnitine palmitoyltransferase and disintegrated into acetyl CoA via beta-oxidation.

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