Something Old is New Again: Study Says Periodic Supervised Fasting May Help Seizures in Children in Addition to Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and a Video
Supervised Fasting May Help Seizures By A Different Mechanism Than the Ketogenic Diet
Low carbohydrate diets for weight loss are famous or infamous depending on who you talk to. A lesser known application of low carbohydrate high fat diets is the low carb ketogenic diet that doctors use to control hard to treat seizures along with medication. Pediatric neurologists at John Hopkins Hospital have published a study suggesting that the ketogenic diet and fasting can work in tandem to reduce seizures but appear do so through different mechanisms."In the study, six children, ages 2 to 7, and all on the ketogenic diet, were asked to fast on alternate days. All six children had seizure disorders incompletely resolved by the diet alone".
The ancient Greeks, guys with names like Erisistratus and Galen recommended diet alteration for epilepsy.
Ketogenic diets are diets that cause the body to produce chemical byproducts called ketones when the body has insufficient carbohydrates. "Made up of high-fat foods and few carbohydrates, the ketogenic diet is believed to work by triggering biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-causing short circuits in the brain’s signaling system".
The ketogenic diet, popularized in the early 1900s (see NY Times article article from 1922) was designed to mimic the physiologic effects of fasting — a seizure-control method favored by ancient Greeks. The ancient Greeks, guys with names like Erisistratus and Galen recommended diet alteration for epilepsy. "The royal physician Erasistratus(304 BC – 250 BC) was a Greek anatomist and royal physician under Seleucus I Nicator of Syria. He declared, "One inclining to epilepsy should be made to fast without mercy and be put on short rations." Several studies have shown that the ketogenic diet does reduce or prevent seizures in many children whose seizures could not be controlled by medications.
Look at this article from the New York Times
dated July 5,1922 !!
Scientists at Johns Hopkins found that alternating fasting worked in some children to control seizures. They suspect that the fasting works by an alternate mechanism in the nerve cells based on tests they did. They warn that any diets or fasting especially in children MUST BE DONE UNDER PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST SUPERVISION. OTHERWISE could be DANGEROUS.
Pediatric neurologists at John Hopkins Hospital published the study in the journal Epilepsy Research. The study suggesting that the ketogenic diet and fasting can work in tandem to reduce seizures.Fasting appears to work via a different mechanism — a finding that challenges the longstanding assumption that the two share a common mechanism. "In the study, six children, ages 2 to 7, and all on the ketogenic diet, were asked to fast on alternate days. All six children had seizure disorders incompletely resolved by the diet alone. Four of the six children experienced between 50 percent and 99 percent fewer seizures after the fasts were added to the dietary regimen. Three of the six were able to continue the fasting regimen for two months or longer".