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Ketogenic Diet Curbs Epileptic Seizures Without Long-Lasting Side Effects

February 16, 2010: 10:49 AM EST
The high-fat ketogenic diet – the basis of the Adkins diet – not only reduced and in many cases eliminated seizures in epileptics, according to new U.S. research, it had no long-term detrimental side effects. The study involved 101 patients ages 2 to 26 years treated for a minimum of 16 months and for up to eight years between 1993 and 2008. The diet of high-fat foods and very few carbohydrates apparently triggers biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-causing short circuits in the brain’s signaling system. The diet is complicated, however, often difficult to maintain, and sometimes has temporary side effects: higher cholesterol, impaired growth and, rarely, kidney stones.
Amisha Patel, Paula L. Pyzik, et al., "Long-term outcomes of children treated with the ketogenic diet", Epilepsia, February 16, 2010, © International League Against Epilepsy
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