Home > Diabetes > What role do ketones play in type 1 diabetes? Get the Flash Player to see this player. Rate: (Click the stars to rate) Published on Aug 22, 2008 by SSreenan, Views: 4320 What role do ketones play in type 1 diabetes? Ketones are the breakdown product of fat. It occurs when your body is unable to use sugar for energy and you breakdown fat, and produce ketones, which accumulate in the liver. If ketones are elevated, treatment of diabetes must improve.