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Ketones are compounds produced by the breakdown of fats and proteins in your body in the absence of adequate blood sugar levels. Normally the body has enough glucose to last as energy when you are fasting, i.e. between meals or overnight. In some situations such as exercise, dieting or starvation the body does not have enough glucose to be able to fulfil it own energy demands so it finds another fuel. It does this by turning to the fat and proteins in our body, allowing them to be broken down and transported to the liver where they can be used to produce energy. This process is vital as it allows our muscles and brain to keep working even when we have no glucose.

The downside to this process is that it produces nowhere near as much energy as glucose does and also produces these by products called ketones. At normal levels these cause no problems within the body and are easily recycled into other compounds. However in some conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis there can be a very dangerous rise in the number of ketones within the blood, which can cause very serious complications such as unconciousness and even coma. It is important that if you suffer from diabetes you know what the symptoms of this condition are and what to do.