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What is the science behind Ketogenic diet, used for Epilepsy management?

  • One-third of children suffering from epilepsy have uncontrolled or drug-resistant seizures. A large volume of research geared towards epilepsy management strategies have identified the Ketogenic diet as an effective therapy for uncontrolled cases of epilepsy.

    A regular everyday diet that we eat has a much higher proportion of carbohydrate to fat content. The body metabolises the carbohydrates we consume into glucose which generates energy for our body to function. The Ketogenic diet 'forces' the body to get into fasting mode and derives energy by burning the fat reserves in the liver, instead of relying on glucose. The process of deriving energy from fat reserves is called ketosis, which generates ketone bodies in the bloodstream. This calorie burning switch can be achieved by reducing the consumption of foods that are rich in carbohydrates but unconventionally high in fat content.

    Though Ketone bodies released in our blood stream in this scenario have been found to be therapeutic, too much of anything isn't beneficial. Hence Ketogenic diet requires a calculated assessment of fat to carbohydrate/protein ratio that ensures sufficient and harmless amounts of Ketone bodies get generated to combat disease. This delicate balance of calories consumed needs to be adopted under the careful supervision of a Neurologist in collaboration with a trained nutritionalist.

    The anti-epileptic effects of this induced mode of starvation has been examined by several theories, and remains the focus of extensive research today. Dr.Janak Nathan, a Neurologist and founder of the Asian Institute of India (AIKD) has been a pioneer in introducing Ketogenic diet therapy in India for Paediatric epilepsy management. 

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a qualified health practitioner for safe management.

    Read more about what the Ketogenic diet is and its uses in children with uncontrolled epilepsy.


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