Epilepsy – Using a ketogenic diet for seizures in children is a well-established treatment. In a 2010 study done at Johns Hopkins, one-third of children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy became either seizure-free or had a greater than 90% reduction in seizure frequency, and 44% of them were free of medications.13 A Cochrane review found that the classic ketogenic diet led to seizure freedom in as high as 55% of participants and seizure reduction in up to 85%.14 Results are similar for adults, and one review found that 32% of patients on a ketogenic diet and 29% on a modified Atkins diet had a greater than 50% reduction in seizures with 9% and 5% experiencing a greater than 90% reduction respectively. 15 For many patients, the benefits of the diet often extend for years, even after the diet is discontinued.16 17
What this shows is that there is very little difference in heart disease risk relative to total cholesterol above and below 200. In fact, no significant increase in risk was measured until total cholesterol reached an excess of 240. There also seems to be a protective role that having a total cholesterol above 180 serves both for heart disease and healthy mental function.
For centuries, fasting has been used to treat many diseases, including seizures. Water diets without food for days to weeks were used in the 1800s and early 1900s by many physicians treating epilepsy, but these diets and fasting could only be done for short periods of time. Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic suggested in July 1921 that a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates could maintain ketosis (a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for energy – instead of carbohydrates – and turns them into ketone bodies) longer than fasting alone. In addition, Wilder suggested this metabolic state could be maintained on a long-term basis. He was the first to name this regimen “The Ketogenic Diet.”
“This is an important area of research that has the potential to significantly improve treatment responses,” said AICR’s Director of Research Nigel Brockton, Ph.D. “There are plausible mechanisms by which the ketogenic diet could help make treatment more effective, but, as we see many times, plausibility alone is not enough; it has to be tested. That’s why we are supporting research in this area.”
A small Feb. 20, 2017, study looked at the impact of a six-week ketogenic diet on physical fitness and body composition in 42 healthy adults. The study, published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, found a mildly negative impact on physical performance in terms of endurance capacity, peak power and faster exhaustion. Overall, researchers concluded, “Our findings lead us to assume that a [ketogenic diet] does not impact physical fitness in a clinically relevant manner that would impair activities of daily living and aerobic training.” The “significant” weight loss of about 4.4 pounds, on average, did not affect muscle mass or function.
Leanne: Yeah, that believed in coconut from the very beginning and they didn’t go on this campaign of ridding it from the earth. I’m totally pro coconut oil and saturated fat. It’s been so great chatting with you about this cholesterol piece. I hope that a lot of our listeners, watchers, readers are going to benefit from the information that you’ve shared. If they want to know more about you Cholesterol Clarity is awesome. Keto Clarity is great. Your podcast, just download every single podcast Jimmy’s ever made. It will keep you busy for the next two years.
Initial studies indicate that the ketogenic diet appears effective in other metabolic conditions, including phosphofructokinase deficiency and glycogenosis type V (McArdle disease). It appears to function in these disorders by providing an alternative fuel source. A growing body of literature suggests the ketogenic diet may be beneficial in certain neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In these disorders, the ketogenic diet appears to be neuroprotective, promoting enhanced mitochondrial function and rescuing adenosine triphosphate production.
Jimmy Moore: The thing here is I also always had high cholesterol. Cholesterol goes to … think of cholesterol like a fire fighter and inflammation is the fire. If a fire fighter goes to the scene of a fire, blows the water onto … you burning the house and it puts it out. Let’s say the neighbors house is on fire, and there’s no fire fighter that comes, what happens? Destruction, right?
Dietary choices to help prevent breast cancer There are many different causes of breast cancer, including age, genetics, and family history. There are also some factors that people can control, such as diet, smoking, and exercise. In this article, we take a look at the healthful foods that may help prevent breast cancer and also explain which foods to avoid. Read now
Your child may start the diet in the hospital, so nurses and doctors can observe the first few days. Your child will probably need to go without any food for 36 to 48 hours before beginning the diet. After that, food is gradually increased over a few days. This diet does not provide all the vitamins a body needs, so your child will probably have to take sugar-free vitamin supplements.
“But if you’re a young and healthy adult, I have no safety concerns about removing carbs,” he adds. “It’s really not a radical concept.” You may experience some short-term issues like bad breath, constipation and flu-like symptoms. (Drinking lots of water can help.) But the lasting benefits could range from reduced hunger and increased energy to weight loss. Some preliminary research even hints at memory improvements.
As you might suspect, this metabolic theory of cancers is controversial in the mainstream cancer paradigm, but there’s already promising initial evidence to support it, and most traditional cancer specialists concede that this metabolic theory has merit, and it may be a piece of the puzzle. I would say that the dominant paradigm idea right now is that metabolic dysfunction is likely one of the pieces of the puzzle, but that cancer is multifactorial and probably does involve genetic mutations that may be independent of metabolic dysfunction and that there are other causes that may not be directly related to metabolic dysfunction.
Cholesterol is most commonly transported in the blood by molecules composed of fat and protein called lipoproteins. From least dense to most dense, they come in five forms: chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Because VLDL, LDL, and HDL cholesterol are frequently used as clinical indicators, we are going to focus on them.
Numerous preclinical studies have provided evidence for an anti-tumor effect of KDs  (Figure 1). For example, our laboratory intensively studied the anti-tumor effect of KDs in combination with or without low-dose chemotherapy on neuroblastoma. We found that the growth of neuroblastoma xenografts was significantly reduced by a KD consisting of a 2:1 ratio of fat to carbohydrate + protein when combined with caloric restriction . However, caloric restriction, despite its anti-tumor effect and potential to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy, would be contraindicated in a range of cancer patients, particularly those with cachexia. Thus, we further focused on optimizing the KD composition to address this issue. We found that an ad libitum KD (8:1) with a fat content of 25% medium-chain triglycerides and 75% long-chain triglycerides produced a stronger anti-tumor effect compared to a KD (8:1) with all long-chain triglycerides, and was as efficacious against neuroblastoma as the above-described KD (2:1) combined with caloric restriction . These results stress the importance of an optimized KD composition to suppress tumor growth and to sensitize tumors to chemotherapy without requiring caloric restriction.
Some practitioners have raised the concern that long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet may shift the composition of the microbiota (the beneficial microbes that live in our bodies) in an undesirable direction and may even encourage the overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria. These beneficial bacteria feed on prebiotics (such as fiber and resistant starch), both of which are likely to be low in a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Without prebiotics, beneficial bacteria are not able to produce substances like butyrate and other short chain fatty acids that keep the intestinal cells healthy, and long-term disruption of the microbiota can lead to a host of health problems throughout the body. 57 58
Cancer cells need to carefully maintain their “redox status”. Redox status is the balance between oxidants and antioxidants. Oxidants, including free radicals and other “reactive” chemical species, are made continuously in every living cell as a byproduct of metabolic activities. Several antioxidant systems have evolved in our body to specifically counter the harmful actions of these oxidants.
Of course, we know that genes alone are not responsible for cancer because we share many of the same genes as our hunter–gatherer ancestors and even just the same genes as our ancestors several generations ago, and yet the rate of cancer keeps going up. It’s expected to overtake cardiovascular disease as the number one cause of death in the U.S. fairly soon, and so that can’t be explained by genes alone.
Kossoff et al. (2018) proposed that dietary therapy should be considered earlier as an option for treatment of intractable epilepsy, because of its proven efficacy, the poor chance of improvement with further anticonvulsant administration, and the possibility of using the MAD (Kossoff et al., 2006) and low-glycemic-index treatment (LGIT) (Pfeifer and Thiele, 2005), which are easier to manage in adults.
A ketogenic diet derives approximately 90% of dietary calories from fat, 8% from protein, and just 2% from carbohydrates.1 In comparison, the standard American diet derives 35%, 15%, and 50% of calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates, respectively. Although it is rising in popularity, the ketogenic diet is not a new dietary intervention. It is an established nutritional treatment approach — first developed in the 1920s — for patients who have epilepsy that is not well controlled with antiepileptic agents. The keto diet later remerged as an acceptable intervention in the 1990s.
Certainly Dr. Seyfried has put together a most impressive achievement, chronicling in great detail his belief that cancer does not develop from genetic alterations – as is generally believed – but as a result of changes in fundamental cell physiology, specifically changes in energy production, that in turn lead to the cancer phenotype. In essence, the genes remain intact, but metabolism goes awry.
When a person first starts onto a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, it takes the body several days to a few weeks to shift from relying on glucose to instead rely on fat. During this transition, people may experience what is sometimes referred to as the “keto-flu”—muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and sugar and carbohydrate cravings.49 There may also be increased urination which can result in a loss of minerals, such as sodium and potassium. To counter these effects one should strive to get more minerals and in particular, more sodium and potassium, drink plenty of water, get some exercise and ensure adequate caloric intake. Once the body becomes keto-adapted, these symptoms largely resolve, and many people report increased energy, decreased cravings and weight loss.
A randomised, controlled clinical trial among 120 overweight adults with high levels of cholesterol compared the effects of a ketogenic diet against a low-fat diet. After 24 weeks, the group following the keto diet reported greater weight loss and declines in the triglyceride levels and higher increases in the HDL cholesterol levels compared to the low-fat group (11).
"The message is not that children with [uncontrollable] seizures should not be on this diet, because it can be remarkably effective and most children only stay on it for a few years," Kwiterovich tells WebMD. "But our findings suggest the distinct possibility that anyone who eats a very high-fat diet may be setting themselves up for later [blood vessel] disease."
I would receive further support for my thinking during the summer of 1981, after completing my second year of medical school. That July, through one of my journalism contacts from my previous life, I had the opportunity to meet the controversial alternative cancer practitioner, the dentist Dr. William Donald Kelley. Over a 20 year period beginning in the early 1960s, Kelley had developed a very intensive nutritional approach to cancer that came under harsh public scrutiny and media attention when he agreed to treat Steve McQueen.
The diet seems to work for more than one kind of seizure, and for children who have a lot of seizures or few seizures. But most doctors say it shouldn’t be used instead of medications if the drugs are working and the child is not having bad side effects. Parents generally decide to try the diet because they hope it will give their child a better chance for a normal life.
It’s not as though Dr. Seyfried doesn’t cite clinical evidence. It’s just that the evidence is so darned thin and unconvincing thus far. For instance, in this talk, the first study he presents is a very small case series (two patients, actually) performed in 1995 in which two girls with inoperable astrocytomas were placed on a ketogenic diet in order to “determine if a ketogenic state would decrease glucose availability to certain tumors, thereby potentially impairing tumor metabolism without adversely affecting the patient’s overall nutritional status.” Interestingly (to me, at least) these case reports came from University Hospitals of Cleveland, where I did my general surgery residency. In fact, I was still there in 1995. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the journal back to 1995; so I’m stuck with just the abstract. However, the abstract is pretty clear:
The anti-angiogenesis love affair not only affected conventional researchers and oncologists, but infiltrated deeply into the “alternative” cancer world. During the late 1990s, I read numerous articles lauding the anti-angiogenic effect of various herbs. Some ten years ago or more, a number of alternative physicians began promoting artemesinin, an herb from Africa long used as a treatment for malaria, as a “natural” anti-angiogenesis supplement.
Cancer cells have damaged mitochondria and lack the ability to create energy from aerobic respiration. They cannot metabolize fatty acids for energy. For this reason, cancer cells thrive in oxygen-depleted environments. Instead, cancer cells metabolize glucose and amino acids. Restricting glucose or the amino acid glutamine is essential to starve off cancer.
I actually went on a ketogenic diet last year to see if it would help my migraines. I have a history of chronic migraines which would usually last 3 days, sometimes longer. Triptans help a lot but I don’t like having to take them. I stayed in ketosis for about 8 months and experienced a significant reduction in migraines, from feeling some type of headache (mild o r severe) almost everyday to 1 or 2x per month while in ketosis. Although I’m very healthy otherwise, I do think my migraines may have something to do with blood sugar fluctuations (despite previously eating a whole foods diet and no refined carbs), and keto totally stabilized this. I eventually came off of Keto because I’m not really a meat lover. When I came off, but remained low carb, my migraines stayed under control for the most part. When I increase carbs, they do return.
I am a board-certified medical oncologist with 30 years experience in caring for cancer patients and another 20 years of research in cancer medicine dating back to 1963. Seyfried’s “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” is the most significant book I have read in my 50 years in this field. It should be required reading of all cancer specialists, physicians in general, scientific researchers in the field of cancer and for medical students. I cannot overstate what a valuable contribution Thomas Seyfried has made in writing this masterpiece.
The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – life changing. Did you know that a keto diet can help treat high blood pressure, may result in less acne, may help control migraine, might help with certain mental health issues and could have a few other potential benefits?
Keep eating low carb to continue losing weight, feeling good and becoming healthier!Try making any of our hundreds of recipes available on the site. We make sure each and every recipe is delicious, nutritious and will keep you under your daily carb limit, even if you go for seconds. In addition, we provide step-by-step instructions to make the process as easy as possible. If you ever run into any issues or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment or contact us directly! We’re always happy to help.
Wilder's colleague, paediatrician Mynie Gustav Peterman, later formulated the classic diet, with a ratio of one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight in children, 10–15 g of carbohydrate per day, and the remainder of calories from fat. Peterman's work in the 1920s established the techniques for induction and maintenance of the diet. Peterman documented positive effects (improved alertness, behaviour, and sleep) and adverse effects (nausea and vomiting due to excess ketosis). The diet proved to be very successful in children: Peterman reported in 1925 that 95% of 37 young patients had improved seizure control on the diet and 60% became seizure-free. By 1930, the diet had also been studied in 100 teenagers and adults. Clifford Joseph Barborka, Sr., also from the Mayo Clinic, reported that 56% of those older patients improved on the diet and 12% became seizure-free. Although the adult results are similar to modern studies of children, they did not compare as well to contemporary studies. Barborka concluded that adults were least likely to benefit from the diet, and the use of the ketogenic diet in adults was not studied again until 1999.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that's recently become popular for weight loss. But the diet has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s, according to the Epilepsy Society, a charity in the United Kingdom. Although most people with epilepsy today control their seizures with anti-epileptic drugs, the diet is sometimes prescribed to children with epilepsy who have not responded to several medications.
A well-formulated ketogenic diet, besides limiting carbohydrates, also limits protein intake moderately to less than 1g/lb body weight, unless individuals are performing heavy exercise involving weight training when the protein intake can be increased to 1.5g/lb body weight. This is to prevent the endogenous production of glucose in the body via gluconeogenesis. However, it does not restrict fat or overall daily calories. People on a ketogenic diet initially experience rapid weight loss up to 10 lbs in 2 weeks or less. This diet has a diuretic effect, and some early weight loss is due to water weight loss followed by a fat loss. Interestingly with this diet plan, lean body muscle is largely spared. As a nutritional ketosis state sustains, hunger pangs subside, and an overall reduction in caloric intake helps to further weight loss.