A high-fat ‘ketogenic’ diet – that means cream cakes, hot dogs, bacon with mayonnaise – seems to be helping cut the number of seizures epileptic children have, reports the Metro.
The high-fat approach resulted in half the children in a hospital pilot study suffer 50% less fits. A quarter of the children had no seizures whatsoever for over six months.
The high-fat diet supposedly dates back to biblical times, but as epilepsy drugs became available, it was no longer used. Now, the diet is being looked at again, as it could possibly help epilepsy suffers who don’t respond to drug treatment.
The diet tricks the body into burning fat instead of carbohydrate, resulting in ketones building up in the body (ketones are the end product of fat being burned for energy). This cuts the ‘discharges’ in the brain that cause epileptic fits. All the children involved are closely monitored so they don’t gain too much weight.
So far, of the 24 children to have trialled the diet, only two developed problems and needed to stop, said consultant neurologist Dr Jayprakash Gosalakkal, who led the study at Leicester Royal Infirmary.