Monday, November 10, 2014
High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Help Treat Epilepsy
“We need new treatments for the 35% of people with epilepsy whose seizures are not stopped by medications,” study co-author Dr. Pavel Klein explained in an American Academy of Neurology news release. “The ketogenic diet is often used in children, but little research has been done on how effective it is in adults.”
In conducting the review, the researchers analyzed five studies on the ketogenic diet with a ratio of fat to protein/carbohydrate of 3 or 4 to 1. They also reviewed five more studies on the modified Atkins diet, which has a 1 to 1 fat to protein/carbohydrate ratio by weight.
The researchers found that 32% of the patients on the ketogenic diet and 29% of those following the modified Atkins diet had reduction in their seizures of 50% or more. Meanwhile, 9% of those in the ketogenic diet group and 5% of the modified Atkins group had drops in their seizures by 90% or more, according to the study published October 29 in Neurology.
The benefits of these high-fat diets happened quickly – just days or weeks after the patients began following them. The results persisted, but only if the adults continued to follow the diets. Once the patients stopped following the diets, the benefits also stopped, the researchers noted. None of the side effects of the diets were serious, and most often the patients experienced weight loss, not weight gain, the researchers said.
However, of those on the ketogenic diet, 51% stopped before the study ended and 42% on the modified Atkins diet also stopped early.
“Unfortunately, long-term use of these diets is low because they are so limited and complicated” said Klein, from the Mid-Atlantic Epilepsy and Sleep Center in Bethesda, Md. “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.”
This is the mind set of America. Why should I follow a diet that controls or eliminates my epileptic seizures, when I can just take barbiturates? I prefer addictive drugs over dietary change. Even when the MEDS don’t work, I’d rather suffer the seizures than improve my diet.
Ketogenic diets have successfully resolved epilepsy in children for 80 years now and is the standard of care at Johns Hopkins Hospital. This is not a new therapy, but one proven to work over three generations of young patients. Some children can return to a more standard diet after a few months without recurrent seizures. Apparently, a lifetime of poor eating habits disallows the same result in adults.
The increase in healthy fats to feed the brain is the key. Fully one-third of the dry weight of the brain is DHA, one of the omega 3 fatty acids. These fats must be in the diet as the body cannot manufacture omega 3 or omega 6 fatty acids. Virtually all ailments of the brain respond favorably to healthy fats – ADD, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and even schizophrenia.
The current generation of adults in this country have been brainwashed into believing that fat is bad. The food industry has convinced us that everything must be “low fat”. In fact, low fat often means trans-fats which are bad for the body. Fat is the basis of all the sex hormones, vitamins A, D, E, and K, cell membranes, and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Healthy fats are essential to a balanced diet and can be an effective treatment protocol for epilepsy and many other ailments. If you know someone who suffers from epilepsy, please pass this information to them.
Source: NIH National Institutes of Health -October 29, 2014