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. This classic ketogenic diet contains a ratio by weight of fat to combined protein and carbohydrate. This is achieved by excluding high-carbohydrate foods such as starchy fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, grains, and sugar, while increasing the consumption of foods high in fat such as nuts, cream, and butter. However, medium-chain triglycerides MCTs —made from fatty acids with shorter carbon chains than LCTs—are more ketogenic.
The keto diet is a science-based low-carb, moderate protein, higher fat diet with a history dating back to the early s. Many people choose the keto diet for weight loss. We review the history, growth, and relevance of the keto diet. Our ancestors recognized the health benefits of fasting as early as about BC, unwittingly instigating a state of ketosis and leveraging it for a variety of conditions. Following are just a few known historical instances of fasting as medical treatment. In the early s, a doctor named Russell Wilder from The Wilder Clinic recognized the dangers of fasting for children and explored different diets to see if something else might elicit a similar response as fasting. He discovered that you can mimic the effects of fasting by avoiding sugar and eating a higher fat diet. He tested this diet on people with epilepsy with a very positive outcome and his diet became the main epilepsy treatment for many years. In the s, new anti-convulsion seizure drugs were developed.
Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet pp Cite as. However, fasting as a treatment for seizures was less recognized. Fasting is the only therapeutic measure against epilepsy recorded in the Hippocratic collection 1. In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates reported on a man who had been seized by epileptic convulsions after having anointed himself before the fire in a bath, in winter. Complete abstinence from food and drink was prescribed, and the cure was effective. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Advertisement Hide. History and Origin of the Ketogenic Diet. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.