Atkins Diet With Medication May Help Reduce Epilepsy Seizures

Share on PinterestExperts say diet can be helpful in helping reduce epileptic seizures. Hinterhaus Productions/Getty ImagesResearchers say a modified Atkins diet along with medication may help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy that is difficult to treat.They report that study participants who were on the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet along with medication had a significant reduction in seizures compared to participants who used drug therapy alone.Experts say more study is needed, but these findings may help guide medical professionals in recommending therapies for epilepsy.

Medication, electrical implants, and brain surgery are among the interventions that can limit dangerous and sometimes deadly epileptic seizures.

However, experts say there is a fourth method that is both non-invasive and free of side effects: diet.

A high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920s to control epileptic seizures, notably among children. Ketones, formed when the body uses fat for energy, are believed to act as an anti-seizure agent in the brain.

“When the brain is forced to run off of these secondary energy sources in the absence of large amounts of carbohydrates, there is something in that change in metabolism that improves control over epilepsy,” Dr. Tyler Allison, a neurologist at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, told Healthline.

Now, researchers are saying that a ketogenic diet can also reduce seizures among adults with drug-resistant epilepsy and those who have not responded to other types of anti-seizure interventions.

In a new study published in the journal Neurology, the researchers report that a modified version of the high-fat, low-carb Atkins diet, combined with medication, appears particularly effective in reducing seizures among adults and adolescents.

The study involved 160 adults and adolescents who had epilepsy for more than 10 years on average and had an average of 27 seizures per month. These individuals had tried an average of four anti-seizure medications at the maximum tolerated dose without success.

Researchers led by Dr. Manjari Tripathi of the All India Institute of Medical…

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