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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Dec-20-23, 05:28
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default The keto diet protects against epileptic seizures, and scientists are uncovering why

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The keto diet protects against epileptic seizures, and scientists are uncovering why

The high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is more than just a trendy weight-loss tactic. It has also been known to help control seizures in children with epilepsy, particularly those who don't respond to first-line anti-seizure medications.

In a new UCLA study published in the journal Cell Reports, researchers demonstrate that the changes the diet causes in the human gut microbiome—the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the digestive tract—can confer protection against seizures in mice.

Understanding how the function of the microbiome is altered by the diet could aid in the development of new therapeutic approaches that incorporate these beneficial changes while avoiding certain drawbacks of the diet, said the study's lead author, Gregory Lum, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of UCLA professor Elaine Hsiao.

The ketogenic diet is not recommended as a primary anti-seizure option because patients are often averse to drastic changes in their food intake or have trouble staying on the diet due to its strict requirements and potential side effects like, nausea, constipation and fatigue.

In the hope of finding new ways to more effectively treat seizures in the approximately one-third of people with refractory epilepsy who don't respond to existing anti-seizure medications, Lum sought to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms behind diet's alteration of the human gut microbiome.

Previous research conducted by Hsiao's lab had found that in a mouse model bred to mimic epilepsy, mice fed a ketogenic diet had significantly fewer seizures than mice fed a standard diet. Lum took that research step further, studying how the gut microbiome is beneficially altered in children with epilepsy who start ketogenic diet therapy. To that end, he transplanted fecal samples from pediatric epilepsy patients on the diet into mice to gauge whether the diet-associated gut microbiota would protect the mice against seizures.

The fecal samples were collected in collaboration with UCLA's Ketogenic Diet Therapy Program from 10 pediatric epilepsy patients who did not respond to anti-seizure medication and were subsequently treated with the ketogenic diet. The samples were taken both before they started the diet and after one month on the diet.

The study found that the mice that received fecal transplants from patients collected after a month on the diet were more resistant to seizures than mice that received pre–ketogenic diet fecal transplants.

Importantly, the study also found that in the pediatric patients, the ketogenic diet altered key gut microbiome functions related to fatty acid oxidation and amino acid metabolism—and that these changes were preserved when the fecal matter was transplanted into the mice.

While more research on these changes is needed, Lum said, the study holds promise as a step toward finding new microbiome-based therapies for pediatric epilepsy patients who do not respond to standard anti-seizure medications.

"Narrowing down the functions of the microbes that are beneficial toward seizure protection can potentially lead to new ways to enhance the efficacy of the ketogenic diet or to mimic its beneficial effects," he said.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023...scientists.html
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Dec-20-23, 07:45
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Calianna Calianna is online now
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Quote:
The ketogenic diet is not recommended as a primary anti-seizure option because patients are often averse to drastic changes in their food intake or have trouble staying on the diet due to its strict requirements and potential side effects like, nausea, constipation and fatigue.


The nausea, constipation and fatigue sound like they're just "induction flu" symptoms, which go away after a few weeks on a ketogenic diet.

They did acknowledge that the kids are averse to changing their diet or have trouble staying on the diet, but I would imagine the primary reason for that is the same as for anyone else trying to switch to keto in a world where about 90% of what's sold in the grocery store is primarily starch and sugar, and nearly 100% of all food advertising is for starchy or sugary food: Going against the grain (literally) is a tough road to follow, especially when you're first starting out.

Not to mention the plant-based push so much in the media, and that what is touted as a "healthy" diet is nearly the exact opposite of keto, making anyone who eats primarily meat and fat a social pariah.

So of course they'd rather come up with a drug that mimics the effects of keto. That's easier for the parents too - just give the kid a drug (as if drugs are a normal part of life), rather than carefully watching their diet, and explaining (repeatedly, I'm sure) why their kid can go to a birthday party, but can't have the cake and ice cream, can't have the treats passed out at school, can't have the Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin pie, or the Christmas cookies, Easter candy... The entire year is full of keto UN-friendly celebrations and situations.

Being "different" is hard on a kid, so I feel for them, but they'd be so much better off without the drugs, and learning to manage their diet themselves, become assertive about what they can and can't eat. No one tells a kid deathly allergic to peanuts that "oh it's just too hard to avoid peanuts, just stab yourself with this epi-pen and you can have all the peanuts you want." Giving a kid epilepsy drugs when there's a dietary solution is just as crazy.
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  #3   ^
Old Wed, Dec-20-23, 12:32
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Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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I don't necessarily think an epileptic kid's diet is just Atkins. It is much higher fat. I saw it once where it was a powder mixed with cream. It didn't look very appetizing at all. Maybe things have changed by now. The levels of ketosis needed might be much higher than most folks achieve by following Atkins.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Dec-20-23, 18:38
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is online now
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Many people must change their diet because of health reasons.

I wonder if my father would be alive today if a doctor called him on his diet instead of prescribing 17 prescription drugs. He developed an ulcer and bled out, in the ICU.

My FIL brother had a good outcome as a type1 diabetic BECAUSE his mom was neurotic about his care. Fanatic about his food and his insulin. He grew up , had a family and lived into his 50's. A good outcome ad she followed the standard care. Oday we know better outcomes are achieved by addressing the carb intake. Again, not SAD fare.

SAD is pushed at us from right, left, top and bottom!! Every direction. That makes a change in diet hard. Learning a new way takes dedication. One that I find is sabotaged at every turn by people around me.

So ,yes, adherence is HARD when people actively poopoo your effects to become better: not eat SAD, but real whole food.
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Dec-23-23, 05:14
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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There used to be a show called Mystery Diagnosis (and since I was struggling with my own I was glued to it and there was a baby born with a rocky first year until it was discovered he had a rare genetic issue: his body could not process carbohydrates.

The show explained that carbohydrates are NOT essential for life. This child did have some pre-made foods as they grew up, but by the time he went to school he was eating meat and fat like I did as a Carnivore. It's possible the premade foods added variety, and I get that, but this was the strictest diet I'd ever heard of. Aside from some nerve issues that happened before the diagnosis, he was doing fine on it, in his mid-teens.

I think the medical business really leans on how "hard" it is to change our ways, because that benefits their interests.

When the world reboots and the truth is told... that's easier.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Dec-23-23, 09:01
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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A woman in my neighborhood said to me a few years ago that I was so lucky to be thin. She was not thin. Of course she had never seen me when I was 100+ pounds heavier. The assumption seems to be that if you are thin it’s because you were lucky and must have gotten the right genes. But it is possible to change the way you eat, just like it is possible to quit smoking or to stop drinking and drugging. None of these things are easy but all of them are possible. The extent to which the external environment supports these kinds of changes does matter, but in the final analysis it is up to us as individuals to take responsibility for our own health. I am fortunate to have had the skill set to determine what I needed to do and the motivation to do it. There is so much misinformation out there, and such lack of environmental support for change (its too hard can’t be done) that it takes a lot of determination to do what is necessary but it is possible.
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Dec-23-23, 09:35
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Calianna Calianna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
There used to be a show called Mystery Diagnosis (and since I was struggling with my own I was glued to it and there was a baby born with a rocky first year until it was discovered he had a rare genetic issue: his body could not process carbohydrates.

The show explained that carbohydrates are NOT essential for life. This child did have some pre-made foods as they grew up, but by the time he went to school he was eating meat and fat like I did as a Carnivore. It's possible the premade foods added variety, and I get that, but this was the strictest diet I'd ever heard of. Aside from some nerve issues that happened before the diagnosis, he was doing fine on it, in his mid-teens.

I think the medical business really leans on how "hard" it is to change our ways, because that benefits their interests.

When the world reboots and the truth is told... that's easier.



Also keep in mind that the food industry caters to whatever the current dietary trends happen to be.

I often see labels that say things like gluten free on foods that have never contained gluten because they have never been made with grains of any kind.

Same with foods that bear a label saying they're cholesterol free when it's a food that never did have cholesterol to begin with.

Or other labels that should not even need to be applied to certain foods: lactose free and gluten free on fresh eggs, or Cholesterol free on fresh whole potatoes.

They only put those labels on them because they're buzz words for certain diets and so many people are so uneducated about where their food comes from, or even what category of food it is, or what the natural properties of that food are.

So getting back to the medical industry - The pharmaceutical companies have one tool to solve medical problems: drugs, so that's what they focus on.

As we've seen on here, a lot of the research on diet and illness is skewed by outside interests expecting a certain, and abandoned when it doesn't show the result they expected.


I think doctors are often between a rock and a hard place. Many of them realize that a lot of physical issues could be solved by changing diet, but since they often have very mediocre education on nutrition, and the dietary research is being skewed (with no time to dig deeply into it to determine whether the conclusion matches the actual testing results), often that advice is lacking.

It doesn't take them long to realize that most patients won't follow dietary advice anyway - I mean just look at the number of diabetics who can't (or won't) stay out of the cookies, candy, and cake, even though their condition continues to worsen. (I get it, I really do - that stuff is addictive, and it does take a very strong will to resist long enough to stop craving those things.)

In the end, the focus of doctors' education is solving medical problems with medicinal intervention, and since most patients won't follow dietary advice, medications are their only other course of action.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Dec-26-23, 09:39
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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It doesn't help that Keys' lipid hypothesis also messed up diet advice. Weight Watchers started in the early Sixties as a low carb plan. The famous "diet plate" was old, but we can recognize a bunless burger and cottage cheese with fruit as something out of Atkins.

For decades all of us were told how to lose weight and they were wrong. I don't blame anyone who struggled with their weight for feeling resentment and mistrust. I still do.

If they had embraced Atkins and science, instead of demonizing him, how many human-years of life could have been saved?
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Dec-26-23, 13:24
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
A woman in my neighborhood said to me a few years ago that I was so lucky to be thin. She was not thin. Of course she had never seen me when I was 100+ pounds heavier. The assumption seems to be that if you are thin it’s because you were lucky and must have gotten the right genes. But it is possible to change the way you eat, just like it is possible to quit smoking or to stop drinking and drugging. None of these things are easy but all of them are possible. The extent to which the external environment supports these kinds of changes does matter, but in the final analysis it is up to us as individuals to take responsibility for our own health. I am fortunate to have had the skill set to determine what I needed to do and the motivation to do it. There is so much misinformation out there, and such lack of environmental support for change (its too hard can’t be done) that it takes a lot of determination to do what is necessary but it is possible.

This comment should be saved as a sticky note. Extremely important to understand this observation.
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