Tolerability and Safety of a Novel Ketogenic Ester, Bis-Hexanoyl (R)-1,3-Butanediol: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults

Nutrients. 2021 Jun 16;13(6):2066. doi: 10.3390/nu13062066.


Nutritional ketosis is a state of mildly elevated blood ketone concentrations resulting from dietary changes (e.g., fasting or reduced carbohydrate intake) or exogenous ketone consumption. In this study, we determined the tolerability and safety of a novel exogenous ketone diester, bis-hexanoyl-(R)-1,3-butanediol (BH-BD), in a 28-day, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial (NCT04707989). Healthy adults (n = 59, mean (SD), age: 42.8 (13.4) y, body mass index: 27.8 (3.9) kg/m2) were randomized to consume a beverage containing 12.5 g (Days 0-7) and 25 g (Days 7-28) of BH-BD or a taste-matched placebo daily with breakfast. Tolerability, stimulation, and sedation were assessed daily by standardized questionnaires, and blood and urine samples were collected at Days 0, 7, 14, and 28 for safety assessment. There were no differences in at-home composite systemic and gastrointestinal tolerability scores between BH-BD and placebo at any time in the study, or in acute tolerability measured 1-h post-consumption in-clinic. Weekly at-home composite tolerability scores did not change when BH-BD servings were doubled. At-home scores for stimulation and sedation did not differ between groups. BH-BD significantly increased blood ketone concentrations 1-h post-consumption. No clinically meaningful changes in safety measures including vital signs and clinical laboratory measurements were detected within or between groups. These results support the overall tolerability and safety of consumption of up to 25 g/day BH-BD.

Keywords: beta-hydroxybutyrate; exogenous ketone; gastrointestinal symptom; ketone diester; ketone ester; ketones.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Butylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Butylene Glycols / adverse effects
  • Butylene Glycols / blood
  • Butylene Glycols / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ketone Bodies / blood
  • Ketosis / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Blood Glucose
  • Butylene Glycols
  • Ketone Bodies
  • bis hexanoyl (R)-1,3-butanediol