Author Topic: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?  (Read 6877 times)

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Offline Paleo Donk

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Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« on: June 27, 2010, 06:25:52 am »
Assumption - A properly administered ketogenic diet will remove nearly all seizures from nearly all epileptic children.

For me, this is the best evidence we have that a diet high in animal fats is indeed correct and most likely optimal for humans. No other diet can even come close to matching the efficacy of ketogenic diets have with obliterating epilepsy.

Unfortunately, the way these diets are normally administered is quite improper - nothing is raw and vegetable oils seem to make up a decent part as well as quite a bit of cheating going on for sure and there are significant (2-6%) amount of kids that get kidney stones.

I was wondering if someone could make an argument that the fact that ketogenic diets work so well for epileptics does not imply that they should work so well for the rest of humans. Are epileptics really that much of a fluke that some non-natural diet provides such an enormous relief of symptoms could somehow not translate to optimality for the rest of us? I really don't think so.

Simply put - the ketogenic diet is 80-95 percent fat with the rest protein and little to no carbohydrate. Also interesting is that kids will still do well with such little protein in their diet, the most anabolic period of their lives.

Here are some links of experiments for further reading

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20132287
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17621514
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19596731
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17621514
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 06:32:35 am by Paleo Donk »

Offline KD

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 09:08:43 am »
I tend to agree, but doing a bit of reaching... from a medical standpoint its basically a treatment for one specific illness that is considered risky due to some massive health compromises (which we could assume be due to the way its executed). There are many other diagnoses that offer various treatments (perhaps not diet) that jeopardize other systems to concentrate on the problem at hand and we wouldn't see as ideal.

assuming for a second that ketogenic diet is not our natural original diet, it could also be that the epileptic disorder only is controlled through such an excess in fat, or is upset by a higher ratio of carb and protein but not that those ratios are best for normal function. So it not necessarily true that the diet is just so 'pure' and healing that it cures epilepsy that cannot be cured otherwise on other diets but a diet that heals only at those points in excess or subtraction. Again with the case of cancers and other illnesses (either natural or medical - although they might be wrong about the cause) recommend treatments that flood the body with other chemicals or antioxidants or starve it of others. The brain is very complicated, and its believed by some that excess of toxic matter and metals can contribute greatly to issues in the brain. Its possible that the fat helps facilitate an active flow of toxins out of the brain, and balanced stream of natural chemicals, whereas carbs and excessive proteins might be dangerous purely for the opposite reasons for those conditions only but not otherwise.

this is just pulling out the remaining anti-arguments, I think you are right in seeing the low levels of protein as having the most significant points of information. I also tend to agree that we would have the same issues epileptics have only not advanced enough to be exhibiting symptoms, and should benefit similarly.

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 10:57:05 am »
I wonder if there is any other major ailment that is cured so well by a change in diet. Can anyone name anything with a more dramatic effect?

I also think (with nothing to back this up) that epileptic genes were probably amongst paleo man, they were just never triggered through bad diet, just like a whole host of genes are now being expressed in ways they never were meant to be expressed. Seeing that epilepsy was even mentioned in the bible as being treated with zero-carb (fasting) further backs that up.

I think seizures diminish as the epileptic gets older (though increase again with advanced age) and so perhaps the body becomes much better at processing an improper diet as time goes on. Essentially, symptoms of a bad diet are exacerbated earlier or later in life. Think for instance infants who are fed exclusively soy-formula and turn out to be duds as opposed to the many adults who eat tons of soy and remain healthy.

Also, there was a survey conducted where 96% of the families who tried the diet would recommend it to others. I can't imagine many pharmaceutical drugs getting anywhere near this number, assuming its not biased significantly.  So, regardless of the "side-effects" it appears the pay-off is well worth it.

I quickly looked up epilepsy in other animals and only found stuff about it with dogs and no wild animals. And if wild animals don't get epilepsy this just adds more evidence to the fact that our natural diet would be a ketogenic diet. I would like to try a 90%+ fat diet.

Heh, I just found a paper detailing an epileptic black bear raised in captivity on dog food, ice cream and peanuts. http://www.jstor.org/pss/20460241

Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 11:21:17 am »
hmm, that would be interesting to find out first of all what the percentage of wild animals that were epileptic. From there we could induce epilepsy and then try to treat it with a ketogenic diet or their natural diet. If the ketogenic diet does not work for the animal as well as the natural diet for helping with the epilepsy then again this would further show that humans are meant for high-fat.

Offline KD

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 11:58:10 am »
I know that Gabriel Cousens, who recommends a moderate->high fat mostly raw vegan diet, has claimed that the best treatment for diabetics is a 30 day low fat raw approach. Thyroid issues require removal of many foods and addition of others.

lots of disease was present in biblical times, which is one reason we can't attribute all illness to heavy metals and environmental toxins and processed foods or commercial processing and grain feeding. Cooking is one culprit, a reliance on agricultural products or plain lack of access to proper nutrition another. Also factoring in information contrary to hygiene theories and natural/raw health that even plants succumb to disease getting their proper rest and food (sunshine).

I would tend to think epilepsy is a 'disease of civilization' but don't understand why if it was not present in wild animals it would prove our natural diet is ketogenic. I mean, alot of even carnivorous animals do not eat a ketogenic diet or close. I don't think it makes it bad, but I think 90% fat in nature would be pretty tough, being more achievable with concentrated oils, or bulk fats from suppliers.

Interesting about the high satisfaction rate, not only is that high for a treatment, its extremely high for any 'diet'. I think even a properly executed RPD wouldn't have that high a return rate (say after one year), and I assume their satisfaction included sticking with the diet in social situations etc...although it probably has more leeway and cheating as you mentioned.

Offline Nation

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2010, 12:28:11 pm »
but I think 90% fat in nature would be pretty tough, being more achievable with concentrated oils, or bulk fats from suppliers.


Maybe epileptic people can get the same results with a RZC diet?  Something like 75% fat, 25% protein. I wonder if it's ever been tried by somebody with epilepsy.

Offline rawlion

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 04:48:17 pm »
No other diet can even come close to matching the efficacy of ketogenic diets have with obliterating epilepsy.

The medium-chain triglycerides diet works just as well.

http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/keto_news_august07
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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 09:03:31 pm »
I would tend to think epilepsy is a 'disease of civilization' but don't understand why if it was not present in wild animals it would prove our natural diet is ketogenic. I mean, alot of even carnivorous animals do not eat a ketogenic diet or close. I don't think it makes it bad, but I think 90% fat in nature would be pretty tough, being more achievable with concentrated oils, or bulk fats from suppliers.

I suppose this is the crux of my argument. I think it would be great to investigate whether ketogenic diets work for all animals or just in humans. If they work well for all animals, then the diet is simply a fluke and has some alternate explanation other than being our natural diet. But, what is great about wild animals is that there is no debate on what their natural diet is - that data has already been observed. My assumption here is that a natural diet will cure the animal of epilepsy. Below is one study on epileptic mice.

For instance, we'd need an animal like a mouse who's natural diet is not high in fat to be induced with epilepsy and then treated with either a ketogenic diet or their natural diet and see which one works better.

Quote
KD treatment delayed seizure onset in young male EL mice by 1 month; however, seizure protection was transient, inasmuch as the treated and control mice experienced a similar number and intensity of seizures after 6 weeks on the diet.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10961617

Apparently, the ketogenic diet did nothing for these mice long term. To my knowledge there haven't been any studies done with diets that were that much different than high-fat diets. There is a small study done below that showed that low glycemic index diet achieved better results than the ketogenic diet.

http://www.direct-ms.org/pdf/NutritionNonAuto/KetogenicDietModifiedEpilepsy.pdf

I think epilepsy is a great disorder to test whether diet has any impact. The outcome is black and white - there is no need for blood tests, simply a counting of seizures. And these seizures show signs of being diminished immediately within a day or two of treatment with the new diet.

Yuri, my assumption is that a properly administered ketogenic diet will do best. I am aware of this MCT diet which is high in fat (60% based on your link), but I think this diet which consists of tremendous amounts of liquid, highly processed oils will be no match for raw animal fats. All the studies are based on ridiculous unnatural forms of diets unfortunately. The scientists seem to care more about the chemical structure(18 carbons or 12 carbons) of the food and not the actual source of the food itself (processed oils vs raw bone marrow, etc..)


Also, having a diet that is 90%+ fat in nature might have been possible if we truly were scavengers for much of our existence subsisting on bone marrow and brains, which supply little protein. This is based on the fact that we might have been too small to hunt large game until only the last few hundred thousand years. If anything, scavenging points to a lower protein diet, whether the energy was provided by fats or carbs.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 09:11:35 pm by Paleo Donk »

Offline KD

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 11:53:33 pm »
I suppose this is the crux of my argument. I think it would be great to investigate whether ketogenic diets work for all animals or just in humans. If they work well for all animals, then the diet is simply a fluke and has some alternate explanation other than being our natural diet.
...
Also, having a diet that is 90%+ fat in nature might have been possible if we truly were scavengers for much of our existence subsisting on bone marrow and brains, which supply little protein. This is based on the fact that we might have been too small to hunt large game until only the last few hundred thousand years. If anything, scavenging points to a lower protein diet, whether the energy was provided by fats or carbs.


But a more natural diet might cure alot of things (perhaps not so unilaterally and successfully as mentioned) and it will be hard to target if healing even an otherwise incurable illness guarantees the best approach in absence of illness. In other words, it doesn't necessarily have the most healing power in total, just because certain chemicals or nutrients in that proportion function well for that purpose which is largely seen as an unnatural occurrence and imbalance. It certainly could mean that (it is most natural), but then you'd have to study the same ketogenic patients with other chronic illness to see if those are also overcome. Obviously the cooked nature and quality is already resulting in some physical breakdown, so it isn't the purity of the organism per se that is resulting in the best healing of that particular area. Also its worth investigating how soon after dropping the diet that symptoms would return, in the case of natural healing/hygiene (which I think is mostly bullshit but on this has some pertinence) a cure is only completely viable if it ceases to exist in absence of treatment, so even through the treatment is food, put on fasts or raw foods there would have to be no spikes in symptoms for it to be declared curative. Its possible even switching over to high ketogenic raw would be unbalancing for some epileptics. And the other factor people with the largest straying from a ketogenic diet would not necessarily be at highest risk for epilepsy.

Another reason it can't be confirmed as natural diet due entirely to its relief in one condition, is that people often experience relief just from removing processed foods or eating macrobiotics, prayer, all kinds of things. I think the common (speculation) about RZC is pertinent, perhaps because of the foods typically used on a ketogenic diet, that higher amounts of heated proteins can be aggravating to the healing that larger ammounts of raw proteins would not, or what I was trying to say before which is that they only are damaging for a certain type of healing but not definitively damaging for everyday ingestion. Certainly people that view RZC in the highest light would see it as healing most illnesses due to it being a natural diet (and not based entirely on its fat or protein ratios), but even if one would have an easier go proving RZC is a natural diet (one that encompasses a few ranges of macronutrients) its not going to guarantee the most healthful outcome in conquering all contemporary conditions, and the type of diet manufactured today might not be at all similar to an all animal foods diet in the past.

basically (and this does not defy the mice comparison) it may be possible that our diet is one that is extremely high in fat by 'design' (more so than other animals) but that are need for different ratios (higher or lower) is only culled upon by the onset of diseases due to previous inheritance and poor diet.

I think it is theoretically possible to get 90% fat in nature, and do believe in the scavenger model, but even then it would probably have to be an almost driven approach to specifically seek out such fat and biologically neglect other proteins. After all brains are what <70% fat? that would be alot of bones to reach a high activity level of primative man. Personally I think also the scavenger model for humans would include some plant matter/grubs and other proteins etc...But I do think its possible that certain ranges of nutrients can be most beneficial regardless if our ancestors needed them to thrive daily, especially with contemporary healing processes.


Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 05:52:35 am »
basically (and this does not defy the mice comparison) it may be possible that our diet is one that is extremely high in fat by 'design' (more so than other animals) but that are need for different ratios (higher or lower) is only culled upon by the onset of diseases due to previous inheritance and poor diet.

The thing with epilepsy is that it is a childhood disorder unlike many other diseases of civilization and so it happens to an organism that is sufficiently good at eliminating toxins and does not have the accumulated effects of decades of poor diet which would disrupt the organism's ability to handle certain diets. Diabetics cannot handle sugar and those with gallstones do not handle fat that well and these diseases do not usually come before 40 years  old.

Since childhood epilepsy still persists today, I would assume that whatever predisposes one to it has been genetically selected for epilepsy for perhaps all of time on earth

Similarly type I diabetics seem to do well on ketogenic diets and again  those children may very well have the same extraordinary benefits as those with epilepsy. There is some evidence that autistic kids benefit from ketogenic diets.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12693778

Thus, epilepsy, autism, type I diabetes and likely many others have all been intertwined in our genetic code for quite some time and one would think that they would have been selected against long ago since they occur before reproduction age. Cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes are selected against and are true diseases of civilization and thus generally only appear after reproduction age. So do these disorders that appear well before reproduction age and are essentially cured by a ketogenic diet prove that indeed this diet is optimal?

Offline RawZi

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2010, 05:56:47 am »
Cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes are selected against and are true diseases of civilization and thus generally only appear after reproduction age. So do these disorders that appear well before reproduction age and are essentially cured by a ketogenic diet prove that indeed this diet is optimal?

    Maybe it's only ideal for those of us who have more roots in the ice age?
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Offline KD

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 09:25:32 am »
Thus, epilepsy, autism, type I diabetes and likely many others have all been intertwined in our genetic code for quite some time and one would think that they would have been selected against long ago since they occur before reproduction age. Cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes are selected against and are true diseases of civilization and thus generally only appear after reproduction age. So do these disorders that appear well before reproduction age and are essentially cured by a ketogenic diet prove that indeed this diet is optimal?

hmm, I dunno, It is a positive sign towards your argument if multiple illness can be improved through a ketogenic diet, makeing it more possible that the diet cures through overall health increase rather than simply regulates something in the brain.

I'm not sure about how you are grouping the diseases though. My understanding (and its not sophisticated here) is that autism and diabetes has been exponentially increased in this century and that the listed illnesses are more or less all diseases of civilization exacerbated by modern pollutants. Lots of children get all kinds of diseases like cancer. Heart disease I think it different in that it not really a disease per se but rather a build up of various problems over time. Cancers can be an accumulation as well but not necessarily require such a long deterioration period. Diabetes I think is similar, and with various drugs for other childhood issues can results in both types fairly early on. Children often succumb to alot of diseases that adults do not, with the alt-theory being that they are able to have more thorough detox response to improper intake which is overwhelmed over time.

The problems when you move away from the epilepsy specific is you don't know how much is cured by the the specific ratios and how much is just leaving out allergenic and damaging foodstuffs etc...as there are also various raw vegan or raw milk cures for say autism, which might just be removal from processed milk and grains etc...

Its getting there but I still think it requires more proof that the common denominator is increased health which is causing the disease to be cured, or if is something else. curing is such a tough term, and generally as I mentioned the only true cure is when the problem doesn't exist regardless of method, and this applies to cures on any raw or alternative method. Cooked foods can of course revert symptoms eventually, but it is true that not all people who consume cooked foods have all illnesses. So even some symptoms that go away on RPD are not in some cases cured, although for some like those based in deficiency, if one can ease comfortably into cooked foods they might still retain the affects of curing.

Offline wodgina

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 10:01:30 am »
The MCT diet seems a good way to make money.

Ketogenic diet is very interesting, the same drugs epileptics use are the same ones bipolars use and I think there's going to be a study  on the ketogenic effects on bipolars.

There is some strong evidence that a ketogenic diet is natural for humans or a diet with frequent fasting.
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Offline KD

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Re: Ketogenic diet cures epilepsy - Why isn't it optimal?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 10:28:32 am »

Ketogenic diet is very interesting, the same drugs epileptics use are the same ones bipolars use and I think there's going to be a study  on the ketogenic effects on bipolars.

There is some strong evidence that a ketogenic diet is natural for humans or a diet with frequent fasting.
is there a study underway or results to be published? in the US?

what is your definition of ketogenic here? are you talking under 30 g carbs or you speaking of the same <10% protein + carbs that PD mentions?

 

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