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    Other Names:

    Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid, BHB, Calcium-D,L-3-Hydroxybutyrate, D-3-Hydroxybutyrate, D-Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, D-Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid, Glyceryl-Tris-3-Hydroxybutyrate, L-Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, L-Beta-Hydroxybutyric Acid, Sodium-D, L-3-Hydroxybuty...
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    BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE BHB Overview Information

    Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is a chemical that is made by the body to provide energy in times when not enough carbohydrates or sugars have been eaten. BHB can also be made in the lab and taken as a supplement.

    BHB is used for dry eye, athletic performance, migraine, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

    How does it work?

    BHB is a chemical that is used as energy by some cells of the body when sugar levels are low. BHB seems to help nerves and the brain to work better. BHB might be used as energy by muscles in the body to improve exercise ability.

    BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE BHB Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Athletic performance. Early research on the use of BHB for athletic performance is mixed. Small studies show that taking BHB before cycling doesn't decrease fatigue or improve power while cycling. But another small study shows that taking a chemical called 3-hydroxybutyl-3-hydroxybutyrate, which turns into BHB in the body, might help athletes to run faster.
    • Dry eye. Applying eye drops containing BHB doesn't seem to improve eye symptoms in patients with dry eyes.
    • Obesity. Early research suggests that BHB might help to preserve muscle mass and reduce feelings of hunger in overweight people who are on a very low-calorie diet or a starvation diet.
    • Alzheimer disease.
    • Migraine.
    • Parkinson disease.
    • Epilepsy.
    • Other uses.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of BHB for these uses.

    BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE BHB Side Effects & Safety

    When taken by mouth: BHB is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a single dose once. Some people might have stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. These side effects are more likely to happen when very high doses are used.

    When applied into the eye: BHB is POSSIBLY SAFE. An eye drop containing 1% BHB has been used without side effects for up to 4 weeks.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if BHB is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE BHB Interactions What is this?

    We currently have no information for BETA-HYDROXYBUTYRATE BHB Interactions


    The appropriate dose of BHB depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for BHB. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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