Solutions of acetate, propionate and butyrate, alone and in combinations, were
dosed into the rumen of sheep and the effects on blood sugar and ketones determined.
Acetate was found to cause a slight and delayed rise in ketone bodies without
affecting the blood sugar.
Propionate caused a marked rise in blood sugar and bad a strong antiketogenic
effect when given with butyrate.
Butyrate produced a sharp rise in ketones, mainly beta-hydroxybutyric acid,
together with a fall in blood sugar. The latter effect, however, was not constant.
The intravenous injection of beta-hydroxybutyric acid appeared to reduce
the blood sugar level.
Aceto-acetic acid injected intravenously was partially converted to betahydroxybutyric
These results are discussed in relation to the more recent literature.