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Help us explore the health effects of ketone drinks in older adults

We need volunteers to help us explore if consuming a ketone drink for four weeks improves immune, metabolic and cognitive health in adults aged 60 to 80 years.

About this research

Research shows that ketones have beneficial effects on metabolism, inflammation and brain health in humans. They have also been shown to affect processes involved in ageing.

Ketones are natural molecules that are produced by the body when people fast (abstain from eating) for longer than 16-24 hours or eat a diet low in carbohydrates. It is now possible to consume ketones in the form of a drink.

The aim of this study is to investigate if consuming a ketone drink three times a day for four weeks improves physical and cognitive health in older adults. In particular, we want to measure the effects on blood sugar control, inflammation and cognitive function.

Ultimately, we hope this study will contribute to strategies to lower the risk of age-related diseases and help people stay healthier for longer.

What you’ll do

You will undergo two weeks of baseline monitoring, which will be followed by a four-week supplementation period. During this time, you will drink a ketone drink or placebo three times a day.

During these periods, you’ll record your diet and supplement intake. We will monitor your physical activity and blood glucose through a wearable device.

At the beginning and end of the supplementation period, you’ll come to the physiology laboratories at the University of Bath for testing. Here, we will measure your body weight, body composition, blood pressure, cognitive function and physical function; and take samples of expired air, fat tissue and blood for analysis.

We will also assess your sleep and quality of life via questionnaires.

A man drinking from a mug in a kitchen.

Take part in this study

We are recruiting 30 participants on a first come first served basis.


To take part in this study, you must be:

  • aged 60 to 80 years
  • able to provide informed consent
  • post-menopausal (more than one year since last menses)

Exclusion criteria

You can not take part in this study if:

  • you live in a residential care home
  • you have unstable 1 or clinically active pulmonary, cardiac, hepatic, renal, endocrine, hematologic, immunologic, neurologic, psychiatric or biliary disorders
  • you have diagnosed Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
  • you have a diagnosed gastrointestinal condition that would potentially impact your ability to consume study drink (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease, history of gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding)
  • you have had a major cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke)
  • you have past or current cancer diagnosis and treatment excluding non-melanoma skin cancers
  • you have a diagnosed autoimmune condition
  • you have severe hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥180 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥120 mmHg), as defined by blood pressure measured at Visit 1.
  • you currently smoke tobacco or take recreational drugs
  • you have had changes to use of thyroid, blood pressure-lowering, antidepressant or statin medications within 30 days of Visit 1
  • you are taking medications that will interfere with the study outcomes (we will check this for you, so please be prepared to share details of any medication use at the screening meeting)
  • you have a known negative reaction to lidocaine anaesthetic and/or taking warfarin.
  • you are currently following a ketogenic diet or taking ketone supplements
  • your weight is not stable in the prior 3 months (>5% weight change, which is ~3.5kg for a 70kg person)
  • you are unable to converse in English

1 ’Unstable’ refers to complications of a condition that are not controlled by medication or lifestyle and which require frequent monitoring and testing by a health professional.


Recruitment for this study is open until 12 June 2025.

Data and ethics

Find out more about how we'll handle your data, as well as the ethical approval for this study.

Your data

All data will be anonymised, which means that no one outside of the research team will be able to see your name or contact details. Your data will have a code number instead. We will keep all information about you safe and secure.

Once we have finished the study, we will keep some of the data so we can check the results. We will write our reports in a way that nobody can work out that you took part in the study.

Relevant ethics approval information

This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the South West – Cornwall & Plymouth Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 23/SW/0067).

Volunteer for this study

If you think that you might be interested in taking part, have any further questions, or want to find out more, please get in touch.