Saturday, May 10, 2008

A diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates and protein reduced seizures in children with epilepsy in the first clinical study to test the food regimen, U.K. scientists said.

Researchers at University College London analyzed results from 103 children between 2 and 16 years old who didn't respond to drugs and had at least seven epileptic fits a week. Patients on the diet had more than one-third fewer seizures after three months, while attacks increased by more than one-third in those who didn't change their diets, the scientists said in Lancet Neurology.
``We have shown that the diet has efficacy and should be included in the management of children who have drug-resistant epilepsy,'' Professor J. Helen Cross wrote in the article.

The high-fat, low-carbohydrate regimen has been widely followed for drug-resistant childhood epilepsy since it was originally reported to be effective in the 1920s. The U.K. researchers said their study is the first to test it as a treatment. The diet is believed to copy the body's response to starvation, in which the brain runs on chemicals known as ketone bodies rather sugars, though its mechanism isn't clear, the scientists wrote.

The study supports conducting more research to try to determine why the diet works, Max Wiznitzer of the Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland wrote in an accompanying comment.
The most frequently reported side effects were constipation, vomiting, lack of energy and hunger. The researchers didn't specify what foods were included in the study, saying only that it was based on three or four parts of fat to one part carbohydrate and protein.

The study was funded by HSA Charitable Trust, Smiths Charity, Scientific Hospital Supplies Ltd. and the Milk Development Council.


Post a Comment

<< Home