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What other medical issues have you seen a ketogenic diet help?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2010 at 6:45 PM

We know ketogenic diets aid in weight loss but as we've seen with paleo that's never the end of it, right? This week has seen some excitement around the ketogenic diet's effect of epilepsy. Using ketones over glucose in the brain seems to help cut down on seizures.

I am interested in other things that its been implicated in helping/curing. I know Paleo isn't always ketogenic but it can be. Seems like there is potential that using ketones for fuel could do a lot of interesting things in the brain... anyone seen any other studies or articles on it?

I like to see more ways eating bacon can make the world a better place...

Here is the New York Times article... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21Epilepsy-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=health

6234b07fd779f3e0e37089da91f70041

(0)

on February 22, 2012
at 10:25 PM

@ Eva - Canned sardines are high in calcium. Although the bio availability is lower than a cal citrate form, it is a whole food approach, and Paleo should be primarily about selectively eating whole foods. Are green leafy foods eliminated on the ketogenic diet? If not, munch away to obtain magnesium.

3f11b5fda91063846bba45daac3541bd

(1186)

on August 25, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Hi Yoannah, I read some of your other posts on fibromyalgia-- did you specifically find a strict keto diet was more effective than paleo for helping your fibro?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Ambimorph, thank you for the link. To add to this: Here is a blog article on "Ketosis and the Brain", written by Emma who has the Failsafediet blog. http://autoimmunethyroid.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/what-ketosis-does-to-the-brain/ And a post by Dr. Emily Deans, "Your Brain on Ketones". Her whole blog is fascinating. Her last line states that being in ketosis means a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair. http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 23, 2010
at 05:12 AM

Yep, the keto diet was used before there were any other chemicals available, and actually probably is still safer than most drugs in current use. Personally, I'd try the keto route before taking a bunch of very powerful drugs with very powerful side effects.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 23, 2010
at 05:11 AM

I have not actually seen an science backing those claims. I have seen some quotes that it 'may' or 'probably' will cause such problems. I don't know anyone who had stool probs on ketogenic over the long term, although some have had it at the outset if the switchover was sudden and not enough adaptation time was allowed. I could see cal-mag being a problem though, as it already is in most of the regular population, but you could get the cal from small bones and crushed bone and the mag from salmon and almonds. Most likely, the person in question just finds it easier to do pills.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 23, 2010
at 04:12 AM

Yeah, there were also some other encouraging stories in this paleohacks thread a while ago: http://paleohacks.com/questions/595/migraines-and-paleo I sent it to an acquaintance who is a sufferer but I don't know if he ever tried the paleo route. Only so much you can do ...

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 22, 2010
at 09:13 PM

awesome! yeah I've been aware of the use of Keto for epilepsy but I am glad to see a high fat diet getting press for actually being good for something. the brain tumor thing is really interesting.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on November 22, 2010
at 08:07 PM

Thanks for sharing. Some good information that I was unaware of, despite the author's attempt to represent a ketogenic diet as too hard and unhealthy for most people.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:54 PM

Maddy, it's not really true. The very restrictive diet given to epileptics are often both calorie and fluid restricted, so have sometimes increased kidney stones and stunted growth. It wouldn't be true on a run-of-the-mill ketogenic diet. Even so, that statement is alarmist, exaggerating, and misinformed.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:54 PM

Maddy, it's not really true. The very restrictive diet given to epileptics are often both calorie and fluid restricted, so has increased kidney stones and stunted growth. It wouldn't be true on a run-of-the-mill ketogenic diet. Even so, that statement is alarmist, exaggerating, and misinformed.

1759614d2ac38131d8004c50da2d9899

(10)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:30 PM

"It puts Sam at risk of developing kidney stones if he doesn’t drink enough. It is constipating, so he has to take daily stool softeners. And it lacks so many essential nutrients that if Sam didn’t take a multivitamin and a calcium-magnesium supplement every day, his growth would be stunted, his hair and teeth would fall out and his bones would become as brittle as an 80-year-old’s." - scary, is this true?

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3 Answers

6
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 22, 2010
at 07:49 PM

The epilepsy fix is not news, it's been known for nearly a century, and has been in clinical use for decades.

Ketogenic diets help or cure many brain problems: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, Bipolar disorder, brain trauma, as well as heart disease and diabetes. There are also numerous studies showing they will reduce or eliminate brain tumours.

See for example THE NEUROPROTECTIVE PROPERTIES OF CALORIE RESTRICTION, THE KETOGENIC DIET, AND KETONE BODIES

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on November 22, 2010
at 09:13 PM

awesome! yeah I've been aware of the use of Keto for epilepsy but I am glad to see a high fat diet getting press for actually being good for something. the brain tumor thing is really interesting.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 23, 2010
at 05:12 AM

Yep, the keto diet was used before there were any other chemicals available, and actually probably is still safer than most drugs in current use. Personally, I'd try the keto route before taking a bunch of very powerful drugs with very powerful side effects.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 14, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Ambimorph, thank you for the link. To add to this: Here is a blog article on "Ketosis and the Brain", written by Emma who has the Failsafediet blog. http://autoimmunethyroid.wordpress.com/2008/05/13/what-ketosis-does-to-the-brain/ And a post by Dr. Emily Deans, "Your Brain on Ketones". Her whole blog is fascinating. Her last line states that being in ketosis means a better environment for neuronal recovery and repair. http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on November 25, 2010
at 05:25 PM

From personal experience: fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

3f11b5fda91063846bba45daac3541bd

(1186)

on August 25, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Hi Yoannah, I read some of your other posts on fibromyalgia-- did you specifically find a strict keto diet was more effective than paleo for helping your fibro?

2
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on November 23, 2010
at 03:34 AM

Robb Wolf has spoken about essentially curing migraines with keto/Paleo diets. I don't know any of the literature, but a Google search for "ketogenic diet migraines" might turn up some interesting things, if you are a migraine sufferer.

I do know that epilepsy meds are sometimes used to treat migraines, which is suggestive.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 23, 2010
at 04:12 AM

Yeah, there were also some other encouraging stories in this paleohacks thread a while ago: http://paleohacks.com/questions/595/migraines-and-paleo I sent it to an acquaintance who is a sufferer but I don't know if he ever tried the paleo route. Only so much you can do ...

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