The keto diet is low in carbohydrates and protein and very high in fat. Evidence suggests that it can reduce the frequency of seizures, and some people with epilepsy who follow the diet stop experiencing seizures altogether. However, the keto diet may be especially effective for children with refractory epilepsy, which does not respond to medical treatment. Modified versions of the diet may be more suitable for adolescents and adults. It is crucial to note that a medical professional should monitor anyone using a keto diet to help control epilepsy. This is to ensure that the person is dieting safely and getting the most benefits. Medical supervision is especially important for infants and other children.
The Ketogenic Diet KD is a modality of treatment used since the s as a treatment for intractable epilepsy. It has been proposed as a dietary treatment that would produce similar benefits to fasting, which is already recorded in the Hippocratic collection. Evidence shows that KD and its variants are a good alternative for non-surgical pharmacoresistant patients with epilepsy of any age, taking into account that the type of diet should be designed individually and that less-restrictive and more-palatable diets are usually better options for adults and adolescents. The classic ketogenic diet CKD consists of a high-fat and low-protein and carbohydrate diet, with restricted calories and fluids. The diet mimics the fasting state, altering the metabolism to use fats as a primary fuel source; catabolism of fatty acids in the liver produces ketone bodies KB, which induces urinary ketosis Rho, Recent studies have found a significantly positive outcome with the use of the KD for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adults Barborka, ; Neal et al. Regardless of the efficacy of the KD, most patients discontinue the diet because of its unpalatable and restrictive features. In the last 20 years, new variants of the KD diet have emerged, including the Modified Atkins diet MAD, a low-glycemic-index diet, which although it has a high fat content, allows more protein and does not restrict calories and fluids. However, it is not yet known with certainty whether the success of the KD is due to a single or several mechanisms Bough and Rho, ; Lutas and Yellen, ; Rho, ; Youngson et al.
The “classic” ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is usually used in children with seizures that do not respond to medications. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins. Foods are weighed and measured. Elaine Kiriakopoulos, Dr. Eric Kossoff, and Registered Dietitian Zahava Turner talked about the history, components, safety, effectiveness, recent developments, and more related to the use of ketogenic diets in the treatment of epilepsy. Several studies have shown that the ketogenic diet does reduce or prevent seizures in many children whose seizures could not be controlled by medications. If seizures have been well controlled for some time, usually 2 years, the doctor might suggest going off the diet.