What Is Acetone And Why Is It Vital For Keto Diet?

acetone and keto diet

What is acetone? This question can be a bit tricky to answer. It can be produced naturally in the human body or chemically in a factory. Acetone is the smallest ketone body and is found naturally (and safely) in the human body. It is produced during ketosis and has many health benefits. However, because this compound can be produced synthetically in a laboratory, you will see it listed as an active ingredient in household products, nail polish removers, and even glassware cleaners. As a result, there is widespread confusion about this substance and its safety. Read on to find what is acetone and what it means for keto diet.

What is Acetone?

Acetone, systematically named propanone, is the simplest and smallest ketone. (Don’t know what a ketone is? Read this article if you want to know).

Although it occurs naturally in plants, animals, the environment and our bodies, acetone is known almost exclusively as the active ingredient in nail polish, paint thinner and other industrial products.

Acetone is widely used because it acts as a solvent and is highly effective in dissolving other liquids. This is why nail polish remover can be swabbed directly from your nails to remove nail art. While this colorless liquid may look harmless in the store, acetone is not something you can take lightly. It is highly flammable and can be very toxic when inhaled and consumed.

What Acetone Means for the Keto Diet

When your body begins to produce more acetone than usual, this provides evidence that you are in (or about to be in) a state of ketosis.

In fact, studies have shown that acetone levels in your breath correlate with levels of all three ketone bodies in your plasma levels. In other words, keto breath is one of the most reliable signs that you are in a state of ketosis.

While acetone is relatively useless to your body, it does let you know that you are producing more ketones – and if your body is increasing ketone production, that means you will soon experience all the benefits of a ketogenic diet.

Acetone Benefits on the Keto Diet

One way that keto dieters can ensure that they maintain ketosis and reap the benefits of ketosis is to measure the amount of acetone in the breath. Typically, the higher the level of acetone, the longer you’ve been in ketosis.

Weight Loss Benefits

There are many reasons why someone may choose to follow a keto diet and put their body in a state of ketosis. The benefits of being in ketosis include (but are not limited to):

  • Significant and hunger-free weight loss
  • More fat burn, since the body turns to fat stores instead of carbs for energy
  • Stabilized blood sugar from little to no carb intake and slow fat burn
  • Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Less chance of inflammation in the body, which has been linked to acne and other conditions
  • Regulation of hormones

Research has also shown a strong correlation between the rate of fat loss and the concentration of acetone in the breath (the amount of acetone in the breath).

Neurological Benefits

In the medical community, a well-known link between the ketogenic diet and health benefits is the ability to quell neurological disorders like epilepsy.

  • In a 2003 study of rats, researchers found that acetone suppressed seizures in four types of experimental animal models
  • In addition to the benefits of the keto diet itself, current data suggest that ketone bodies, including acetone, may represent their unique therapeutic properties in patients with epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Considering these benefits, it makes sense to monitor ketone levels when following a keto diet.


So, what exactly is acetone? It’s a confusing compound, that’s for sure. On the one hand, it occurs naturally in the human body. On the other hand, it is produced in factories and used in industrial products such as paint thinners, glass cleaners and nail polish removers.

Acetone is one of the three types of ketones found in your body. It is not harmful to your health – in fact, some acetone is present in everyone’s body. It indicates that you might reach a state of ketosis and begin the process of burning fat rather than carbohydrates for fuel.

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