T Nation

High-Fat Diet Works to Treat Epilepsy

[quote]Though its exact mechanism is uncertain, the diet appears to work by throwing the body into ketosis, forcing it to burn fat rather than sugar for energy. Breakfast on the diet might consist of bacon, eggs with cheese, and a cup of heavy cream diluted with water; some children drink oil to obtain the fats that they need. Every gram of food is weighed, and carbohydrates are almost entirely restricted. Breaking the diet with so much as a few cookies can cause seizures to flare up.

For the British trial, the researchers enrolled 145 children ages 2 to 16 who had never tried the diet, who were having at least seven seizures a week and who had failed to respond to at least two anticonvulsant drugs.

One group began the ketogenic diet immediately. The control group waited three months before starting it. In the first group, 38 percent of the children had seizure rates reduced by half, compared with 6 percent in the control group. Five children in the diet group had reductions exceeding 90 percent. [/quote]

Interesting stuff.

I think I read somewhere that diets similiar to this may be helpful for people with alzeimers as well. Cant remember what the theory was behind that though…

That is iteresting stuff. It would appear that the nervous system’s use of glucose is closely related to triggering seizures. And when the body is forced to utilize ketone bodies for energy the siezures diminish. Obviously, then can’t diminish completely if glucose is the cause since the body makes glucose from amino acids through gluconeogenisis, but it appears that is can be markedly dimiished. If there is truly that much of a relationship between the nervous system’s use of glucose for energy and seizures it may open up a new avenue of treatment options.

That is very interesting stuff.