The ketogenic diet has been tested to treat diseases such as refractory epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer's
The ketogenic or Keto diet is undoubtedly one of the most controversial, but do we know what it consists of? This diet is based on a very high fat, low carbohydrate and normal protein consumption, with strict control of the ingested amounts.
In the scientific field, it has been widely studied for the treatment of refractory epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that does not respond to two or more drugs. These investigations have shown that in some cases, thanks to this type of diet, seizures can be reduced by more than 50%, and sometimes even completely eliminated.
Currently the benefits of the ketogenic diet have been studied in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, Alzheimer's disease. However, under these conditions, a result as solid as that observed in epilepsy refractory to drug treatment has not been observed.
Our body regularly works with carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose, the fuel necessary to carry out our daily activities.
With the ketogenic diet, the consumption of carbohydrates is reduced and as a consequence, the liver will process the fat to transform it into ketones, which are the alternative fuel for the body, produced when there is a shortage of supply of carbohydrates (glucose).
After following this diet for several days, ketones build up in the blood and this is called ketosis.
The exact mechanism by which this diet controls seizures in refractory epilepsy has not been fully deciphered, however, what is known is that it is ketones in the blood that have an anticonvulsant and anti-inflammatory effect.
And it is for this reason that it offers great benefits to the patient with refractory epilepsy since, in addition to reducing seizures or eliminating them completely, in some cases it even offers a cognitive improvement to the patient.
It is important to remember that the ketogenic diet is not for everyone because it is a strict diet personalized to the patient who needs it; where the neurologist, nutritionist or trusted nutritionist must participate, and above all, the patient and their family. What is a solution for some may represent a health problem for others. Following a ketogenic diet or keto diet is a personal decision, what matters is that you take the first step to have a healthier life without any side effects.
1 Do Patients With Absence Epilepsy Respond to Ketogenic Diets ?, Journal of Child Neurology, 2011