Acetone Bodies


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Acetone Bodies

 

ketone bodies, a group of organic compounds—beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid, and acetone—which are formed in the liver when there is incomplete oxidation of fatty acids. Acetone bodies are readily oxidized in the skeletal muscles and kidneys. The intensity of acetone-body formation is a function of the state of carbohydrate metabolism. In diabetes mellitus or carbohydrate deficiency in the body and in some other pathological states (starvation, vomiting, and certain disruptions of the nervous and endocrine systems), the acetone-body content of the blood, which normally does not exceed 1 mg percent (0.001 percent), reaches 500 mg percent or more, and excretion in the urine reaches 150 g per 24 hours. Along with this, acidity of the blood increases (acidosis), and poisoning of the organism occurs. In severe cases, acetone may be emitted through the lungs, imparting a characteristic odor to the exhaled breath of the patient. Injection of insulin and carbohydrates decreases the formation of acetone bodies.

E. A. MISHUKOVA