Can The Ketogenic Diet Help With Epilepsy?

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Almost every week, there's a new diet that proclaims to solve every health issue known to man and radically transform your appearance so you can finally get the body you always dreamed of.

The current hot topic is the ketogenic diet. While it isn't exactly new, having been designed in the 1920s it aligns with current eating trends. And some say it's a potential ?cure? for epilepsy. But is it safe ? and will it work?

What is the ketogenic diet?

The ketogenic diet is all high-fats and proteins, and low carbohydrates. The ratio is strict ? 4:1 of fats to proteins and carbohydrates.

Supporters of the eating plan say it prompts the body to burn fat, rather than carbs, resulting in dramatic weight loss.

And for many years, the ketogenic diet has been used to treat epilepsy in children. In fact, it was used as a successful epilepsy treatment from the 1920s (when Dr Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic released it) until the 1940s, when anti-seizure medication hit the market.

How does the ketogenic diet treat epilepsy?

According to The Charlie Foundation, the fat-protein-carb combo, changes the way energy is used in the body. Fat is converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies.? The more ketone bodies are in the blood, the fewer epileptic seizures a person experiences.

On top of that, the eating regime reduces glucose and boosts insulin resistance. In this way, the ketones actually replace glucose as an alternative fuel source?. This reduces inflammation that sparks seizures.

Is the ketogenic diet risky?

It can be. Which is why medical professionals stress only following the diet under strict medical supervision. Why? Because the diet affects blood lipids ? dangerous when done wrongly, but safe and successful when done properly.

For this reason, you should never attempt the ketogenic diet on your own. It should form part of a treatment plan with your health professional.

The ketogenic crystal ball

Scientists are now looking to develop a drug that mimics the ketogenic diet, so people with epilepsy can eat whatever they like while still getting the benefits of increased ketones. This may make the diet and its benefits accessible to more people as the requirement for professional monitoring makes it a costly and intensive endeavor.


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