Low-carb diet reduces seizures for people with drug-resistant epilepsy

A trial of 160 people discovered that pairing commonplace epilepsy therapies with a low-carbohydrate diet lowered seizures by greater than 50 per cent in 1 / 4 of contributors


4 January 2023

By Grace Wade
A low-carb diet helped scale back seizures for people with drug-resistant epilepsyElena Shashkina/Shutterstock
Pairing a low-carbohydrate diet with typical epilepsy drugs can scale back seizures in people with drug-resistant epilepsy by 50 per cent.
Using low-carb diets to deal with epilepsy started a couple of century in the past however fell out of favour as soon as anti-seizure drugs had been developed. However, almost a 3rd of the roughly 50 million people worldwide with epilepsy don’t reply to those medicine.
Manjari Tripathi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and her colleagues recruited 160 people between 10 and 55 years previous who had greater than two seizures a month regardless of utilizing at the least three anti-seizure drugs at most doses. The researchers suggested half of them to observe a modified Atkins diet, which consists of consuming solely 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, drastically reducing down on the 275 grams advisable for grownup each day consumption underneath US dietary tips. All contributors continued commonplace epilepsy medicine. Caregivers tracked seizures and meals utilizing a each day log, and contributors accomplished a quality-of-life questionnaire earlier than and after the examine.

After six months, greater than 26 per cent of these on the low-carb diet noticed month-to-month seizures lowered by greater than 50 per cent in comparison with the month earlier than the trial. The similar was true for solely 2.5 per cent of the management group. The low-carb group additionally reported considerably larger enhancements in high quality of life, on common, in comparison with the management group.
Low-carbohydrate diets scale back seizures by inducing ketosis, which is when the physique burns fats as its major gas, says Tripathi. There are many potential mechanisms for why this improves epilepsy together with modifications within the intestine microbiome, irritation and electrical signalling between neurons, she says.
Mackenzie Cervenka at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland says it’s encouraging to see that the modified Atkins diet could be an efficient remedy. Prior research to deal with epilepsy with diet typically use the ketogenic diet, which requires calculating the ratio of carbs to fat in all meals. “That is usually a lot extra time consuming,” says Cervenka, which means fewer people persist with it. “The modified Atkins diet is much less rigorous with regard to preparation and monitoring,” she says.
Journal reference: Neurology, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000206776
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