This high-fat, low-carb method of eating has captivated popular culture, and more people than ever are wondering whether it will make a difference for their health. When you limit your carb supply, your body starts to break down fat into compounds called ketones, which are an alternative fuel source that many people believe has impressive benefits for your health and weight. In fact, fasting is the only epilepsy treatment recorded by Hippocrates, and it was standard practice across much of the world for over two thousand years. While most people today start the ketogenic diet to lose weight or otherwise improve their health, the eating strategy originated as a treatment for epilepsy. The research story begins with the first modern study of fasting and its role in epilepsy, which took place in France around The study found that epilepsy patients who consumed low-calorie diets combined with periods of fasting experienced fewer seizures and had fewer adverse health effects from the condition. Around the same time, an American osteopathic physician named Hugh Conklin began to recommend fasting to his epileptic patients to help them get their seizures under control. Using a method that caused epileptic patients to fast for days at a time, he boasted a 50 percent success rate for adults, and as high as 90 percent for children.
The ketogenic diet is a high- fat, adequate- protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control refractory epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally carbohydrates in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is important in fueling brain function. But if little carbohydrate remains in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, the latter passing into the brain and replacing glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood a state called ketosis eventually lowers the frequency of epileptic seizures. The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories [Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications.
Ketogenic diet od history
Nutr Clin Pract. The sorbitol content of suntan lotion and other skincare products may be high enough for some to be absorbed through the skin and thus negate ketosis. A multicenter study of the efficacy of the ketogenic diet. Aust Pediatr J ;— Ketogenic diets in the treatment of epilepsy: short term clinical effects. Cited 31 March This method of ketogenic diet delivery has since been reported effective in over 40 patients in a dozen separate medical publications.