Fasting has been recognized as a treatment for many ailments for over two thousand
years. In the early 1920’s several physicians discovered that fasting was helpful
in reducing seizures. In efforts to mimic the effects of fasting, the ketogenic diet
was born. Dr. Peterman at the Mayo Clinic who designed the ketogenic diet, used it for
seizure control but also reported the cognitive and behavior improvements that occurred
with it. Fast forward to 1994 when Jim and Nancy Abrahams’ son Charlie began having seizures,
seizures that didn’t respond to 6 medications or even a brain surgery. Soon after starting
the diet, his seizures diminished completely. They created The Charlie Foundation to spread
the news, the almost unbelievable news that a diet was more effective than any of Charlie’s
Ketogenic diets have been found to be helpful in many conditions beyond epilepsy. The following
conditions have been reported in the medical literature in either an animal study or a case report.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig ’s disease)
- Early onset Alzheimer’s Disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Brain tumors
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Mitochondrial disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury
The Classic Ketogenic Diet is viewed as the gold standard for epilepsy treatment. The Classic Diet
consists of a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio of the grams of fat to the grams of protein plus carbohydrate. Variations
of the Classic diet have been used to make the diet more flexible and palatable such as 2:1 and 1:1 ratios.
These ratios are lower in fat and higher in carbohydrate and protein.
Please respect that ketogenic diets are metabolic therapies that require medical supervision for safety.
As with any metabolic diet therapy, there can be adverse effects if not managed with appropriate supplementation and monitoring.
For further information about ketogenic diets visit our web-site www.charliefoundation.org
Beth Zupec-Kania, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist