Dr. Richard (Bud) Veech, a scientist who specialized in biochemistry and molecular biology, passed away this past Sunday at the age of 84. Richard spent most of his career focusing nucleotide coenzymes after securing a spot at the Oxford lab of Hans Kreb (1953 Nobel Prize winner who discovered/mapped out the Krebs cycle) but, his work on the ketogenic diet is what brought his research into the spotlight. Richard discovered the molecule beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the main ketone produced in the body during a state of ketosis. He found that BHB was not only unique in the fact it could increase ATP levels but, it also acted as a signaling molecule that could alter gene expression and potentially promote longevity.
What Fascinated Richard About Keto?
Richard was fascinated with ketone metabolism and believed that a state of ketosis was vital to human physiology. He believed that ketosis was a natural metabolic state that had been lost over the years due to the over-consumption of cheap, processed carbohydrates. In a 2002 New York Times article, Richard said “…ketosis is a normal physiologic state. I would argue it is the normal state of man. It’s not normal to have McDonald’s and a delicatessen around every corner. It’s normal to starve.”
What Does Future Of Ketone Therapy Look Like?
Dr. Richard Veech believed that ketones were a type of superfuel that could help improve and prevent metabolic disorders. With this idea in mind, he went on to develop a ketone monoester with his colleague, Kieran Clarke, at the University of Oxford. When consumed, the monoester is readily converted into ketone bodies that the body can use for energy. Building upon his belief that ketone bodies could treat disease, he believed that the ketone ester he created would revolutionize the medical community. He sought to use this product as a way to safely and affordably treat conditions like Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson’s disease.
What Would Keto Be Today If Not For Dr. Veech?
It is sad to say goodbye to such a brilliant mind but, his legacy lives on through all of the research that he not only conducted, but also inspired in others. If it weren’t for Dr. Richard Veech the ketogenic diet may not be what it is today and for that we thank him.
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