There are a number of diets being tried to help people with epilepsy. The ketogenic diet (KD), a high fat, adequate protein, and low carbohydrate diet, is the most well known of dietary therapies amongst the epilepsy community. It was initially devised in 1921 to "mimic the anticonvulsant effects of fasting, which were known to suppress seizures." Because the KD is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, the body is forced to burn fat for energy, a process called ketosis. The review explains that this shift in energy results in an anticonvulsant effect, though the exact mechanisms are still not fully understood.
Another treatment, still in preliminary stages, is a diet high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). This may be another option to control seizures. A diet enriched in PUFA has shown to help in brain development and decreases the excitability of nerve cells that can induce seizures. Additionally, a diet high in PUFA may help against the degenerative effects of Alzheimer disease.
These diets have been successful to a point, but each has drawbacks in terms of implementation. As success has been observed with the Atkins diet, people with epilepsy might find this diet to be easier to follow.
"Unfortunately, our knowledge about the relation between nutrition and epilepsy is in its infancy," states author Dr. Carl E. Stafstrom. "Aside from the ketogenic diet, nutritional modalities to treat epilepsy
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