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The Theme of Functional Groups in Organic Chemistry

Functional Groups in Real Life: Ketones9

Epilepsy is a neurological disease characterized by seizures. The severity and duration of seizures vary from patient to patient, and while there is no cure it is possible to control epilepsy with medication.

Another way to control epilepsy is through a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. No, not this diet. The diet plan to help ease epilepsy is known as the ketogenic diet. The name ketogenic means that ketones are the end product of metabolism from these foods.

Ketones consist of an internal carbonyl group (C=O) bonded to two other carbon atoms. 

Ketones are formed when fat is metabolized. In most diets, carbohydrates are the usual source of energy and are metabolized into glucose. Because the ketogenic diet is designed to be very low in carbohydrates, fats become the main energy source and are metabolized into fatty acids and ketones. These ketones step in and take the place of glucose, leading to ketosis, which is an elevated amount of ketones in the bloodstream. Epileptic patients who are in a state of ketosis have a reduction in the frequency of their seizures.

The ketogenic diet is a serious medical therapy and should only be administered under professional care. Recently, the popular Dr. Oz show endorsed the raspberry ketone (also endorsed by Prince?) supplement as a miracle weight loss drug. 

Raspberry ketone

Raspberry ketone is used in foods and cosmetics, as a flavoring and fragrance agent. While there is no scientific evidence that this ketone directly results in weight loss, the popularity it received from being a guest on the Dr. Oz show has led it to become a top selling diet supplement.

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