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Keto diet can help with epilepsy, Type 2 diabetes

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There is no doubt that the very-low-carb “ketogenic” diets can lead to weight loss, although studies have also shown that in the long term, weight loss is independent of the composition of fat, carbohydrate and protein in a diet as long as caloric intake is reduced. However, not everyone is “doing keto” to lose weight. Some are seeking better brain function, improved control of blood sugar, help with neurological ailments, or even starvation of tumour cells by limiting their supply of glucose.

The most significant evidence for keto benefits is in childhood epilepsy. Hippocrates, the most famous of the ancient Greek physicians, noted that fasting reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures. That idea was not put to a test until the early 20th century when clinical trials demonstrated seizure improvement after two to three days of fasting. When it was found that starvation resulted in elevated blood levels of acetone, beta-hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetate, these compounds became candidates for the therapeutic effect. Such “ketone bodies” form when due to a lack of glucose, as in a low-carb diet, the body has to resort to the use of its fat stores to supply energy. It is the breakdown of fat that yields the ketones that can serve as an alternative energy source for the brain and their use instead of glucose somehow reduces seizures.

Since epilepsy is a brain disorder that responds to an influx of ketones into the........

© Montreal Gazette