Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Health & Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor

Stephen Kolwicz


Presented during the 24th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2022 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Ketone bodies have been identified as an important fuel source during physiological and pathological stress. During exercise, augmenting ketone body metabolism in the skeletal muscle may enhance exercise performance while targeting ketone body metabolism in heart failure may improve cardiac function. Although the research is controversial, the consumption of the ketogenic diet (keto) may be used as a method to increase ketone body availability. Since the keto diet is a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, this dietary strategy may have harmful effects on the heart particularly during ischemic injury. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of short-term consumption of the ketogenic diet on cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury. Male (n=11) and female (n=10) were randomly assigned to a ketogenic diet (keto) or a normal chow diet for 6 weeks. Food intake was monitored every 2 days and body weight was measured weekly. At the end of the dietary period, the hearts were removed from the mice and placed on the Langendorff Isolated Heart Perfusion System. After stabilization, baseline function was assessed for 15 minutes on a mixed substrate buffer consisting of 0.4mM fatty acids, 5.5mM glucose, 50uU/ml insulin, 1.2mM lactate, and 1mM D, L-B-OHB. After baseline, hearts were exposed to 18 minutes of global ischemia. Ischemia was followed by 36 minutes of reperfusion. The baseline function was compared to the function at the end of the reperfusion experiment to determine the percent functional recovery from ischemia.


Available to Ursinus community only.