News article

High-fat, low-carb diet may help reduce hard-to-treat seizures

Posted:  Friday, November 07, 2014

If you thought that the ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet were good only for weight loss then think again! American researchers, in their recent review, stated that high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets such as ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet could reduce seizures in adults suffering from aggressive variant of epilepsy.

Although the beneficial effect of the ketogenic diet has been studied in children, further research on its effectiveness in adults was warranted. The review was published in the journal Neurology.

The researchers reviewed five studies on ketogenic diet with a total of 47 people and five studies on the modified Atkins diet with 85 people included in it. Ketogenic diet and modified Atkins diet include items such as bacon, eggs, heavy cream, butter, leafy green vegetables and fish. The fat:protein:carbohydrate ratio was 3:4:1 by weight for ketogenic diet and it was 1:1:1 by weight for modified Atkins diet.

They found that 32% of people treated with ketogenic diet and 29% of those treated with modified Atkins diet experienced a reduction of 50% or better in their seizures. About 9% of people in ketogenic diet group and 5% in modified Atkins diet group reported more than 90% reduction in seizures.

“Unfortunately, long-term use of these diets is low because they are so limited and complicated. Most people eventually stop the diet because of the culinary and social restrictions. However, these studies show the diets are moderately to very effective as another option for people with epilepsy" said Pavel Klein, the study author.

Interestingly, the results associated with the high-fat low-carbohydrate diets were seen quickly, within few days to weeks. The effects were also long-term however, unlike in children, the effect did not continue after they left following this diet regime. The participants did not report any side- effects except weight loss.

According to the researchers, 35% of people with epilepsy experience seizures, which do not respond to medications. As shown by the review, it is encouraging to know that diet has a role to play in the management of epilepsy.

The study link - Click Here!