Low-carb weight loss plan reduces seizures for folks with drug-resistant epilepsy

A trial of 160 folks discovered that pairing normal epilepsy therapies with a low-carbohydrate weight loss plan lowered seizures by greater than 50 per cent in 1 / 4 of members

Well being

4 January 2023

A low-carb weight loss plan helped cut back seizures for folks with drug-resistant epilepsy

Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Pairing a low-carbohydrate weight loss plan with typical epilepsy drugs can cut back seizures in folks with drug-resistant epilepsy by 50 per cent.

Utilizing 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 have been developed. Nonetheless, almost a 3rd of the roughly 50 million folks worldwide with epilepsy don’t reply to those medication.

Manjari Tripathi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and her colleagues recruited 160 folks between 10 and 55 years previous who had greater than two seizures a month regardless of utilizing no less than three anti-seizure drugs at most doses. The researchers suggested half of them to comply with a modified Atkins weight loss plan, which consists of consuming solely 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, drastically slicing down on the 275 grams beneficial for grownup each day consumption underneath US dietary tips. All members continued normal epilepsy medication. Caregivers tracked seizures and meals utilizing a each day log, and members 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 weight loss plan noticed month-to-month seizures lowered by greater than 50 per cent in comparison with the month earlier than the trial. The identical was true for less than 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 cut back seizures by inducing ketosis, which is when the physique burns fats as its major gas, says Tripathi. There are lots of potential mechanisms for why this improves epilepsy together with adjustments within the intestine microbiome, irritation and electrical signalling between neurons, she says.

Mackenzie Cervenka at Johns Hopkins College in Maryland says it’s encouraging to see that the modified Atkins weight loss plan may be an efficient therapy. Prior research to deal with epilepsy with weight loss plan typically use the ketogenic weight loss plan, which requires calculating the ratio of carbs to fat in all meals. “That may be much more time consuming,” says Cervenka, which means fewer folks stick with it. “The modified Atkins weight loss plan is much less rigorous with regard to preparation and monitoring,” she says.

Journal reference: Neurology, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000206776

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