by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
Health Impact News has reported on many of the disease reversing results of the ketogenic (high fat-moderate protein-low carb) diet.
See for example:
Now, a new study is looking at the positive effects of gut bacteria among those following a ketogenic diet for epilepsy.
Even though Johns Hopkins used a ketogenic diet for curing epilepsy over 80 years ago, when medical drugs did not help epilepsy effectively, mainstream medicine continues to rely on new and expensive toxic drugs for epileptic children. The “cocktail” combinations of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed often worsens childhood epilepsy.
Health Impact News previously published a report on how a four year old child with refractory epilepsy (not treatable with pharmaceutical medications), was treated at the Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Clinic using a ketogenic diet.
At first, the child was also kept on pharmaceuticals. The results were poor until he was taken off the medications; then he began healing completely. See:
A new Chinese study on pediatric epileptic cases may even draw the attention of mainstream medical professionals, due to the results seen in children’s gut microbiota structure when following a high-fat ketogenic diet.
The study was published by the World Journal of Gastroenterology: “Ketogenic diet poses a significant effect on imbalanced gut microbiota in infants with refractory epilepsy.”
The researchers acknowledged that prior effective use of ketogenic dieting (KD) for childhood epilepsy cited studies supporting gut microbiota (GM) imbalances concurrent with epilepsy. They decided that further investigation to explain why ketogenic dieting works on epileptic children should be conducted.
From the study:
Based on the involvement of gut microbiota (GM) in the gut-brain axis, increasing reports demonstrated imbalanced GM in neurogenic diseases (NDs), including autism-spectrum disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. However, GM dysbiosis in childhood epilepsy remains unexplored.
They chose 14 epileptic children in the Shenzhen Children’s Hospital at or under three years of age as treatment subjects who were convulsing more than four times per week despite treatment using up to three anti-epileptic drugs. They also had no antibiotic exposure for at least one month, and no known genetic metabolic disorders or severe systemic illnesses other than the uncontrollable seizures.
Control subjects were healthy children in the same age bracket who were also without antibiotic exposure in the same month. The idea was to first analyze the genomic DNA of microbiota from children’s stools for elements of microbiota flora and compare the treatment group to the control group both before and after KD while observing potential recoveries.
What was used for a group of toddlers that could be considered ketogenic? The researchers used Qitong ketogenic liquid milk (8.0 grams lipid, 3.4 grams protein, and 0.6 grams carbohydrate per 100 grams milk), Qitong ketogenic cookies and Qitong ketogenic set-meal packages. As you can see, a ketogenic diet does not completely eliminate carbs, and contains moderate levels of protein, but its main characteristic is that it increases healthy fat levels.
What is the best fat to boost ketones? Many studies point to coconut oil, due to its unique fatty acid structure with medium chain fatty acids. See:
Both the epileptic children and healthy children were put on the ketogenic diet for a short time. Confirming less seizures was half the study’s purpose. The other half was ascertaining the ketogenic diet’s microbiota influences.
After only a week of KD therapy, 64% of epileptic infants showed an obvious improvement, with a 50% decrease in seizure frequency with three being totally seizure free. Gut microbiota structure in epileptic infants (P1 group) differed dramatically from that in the healthy infants (healthy group).
Proteobacteria include a wide variety of pathogens, such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Vibrio, Helicobacter, Yersinia, and many others. Proteobacteria had accumulated significantly in the epileptic group, but decreased dramatically after KD treatment.
Cronobacter, a pathogen that leads to meningitis and seizures, was dominant in the epileptic group prior to KD treatment, but then assumed a lower level equivalent to the healthy group.
Bacteroides increased significantly in both the KD treated groups. Bacteroides digest and metabolize high-fat food and regulate the secretion of interleukin cytokines in dendritic cells (DCs), which act as messengers between the innate and the adaptive immune systems.
Bifidobacterium, friendly or probiotic bacteria, also grew in numbers and kept increasing, as well as Revotella, a producer of short chain fatty acids, which protects the intestinal mucosa and function as neurotransmitters.
The researchers concluded:
GM [gut microbiota] pattern in healthy infants differed dramatically from that of the epileptic group. KD [ketogenic diet] could significantly modify symptoms of epilepsy and reshape the GM of epileptic infants. The complete study is available here.
This study didn’t come out of a vacuum. There have been several other studies, in addition to empirical evidence of diseases cured with ketogenic dieting. For example, an earlier study involving more children with refractory epilepsy, 317, over a longer period of time, seven years, was one of the other studies cited by the study summarized in this article.
The difference is that the earlier study was focused on the safety and efficacy of a KD diet for refractory epilepsy, while the more recent study analyzed details of the various aspects of microbiota elements and activity before and after ketogenic dieting. Here’s the earlier study abstract.
Not using anti-epileptic drugs is taboo in mainstream medicine. They are used with terrible side effects on young children with usually little or no positive effects. The taboo is so entrenched that the Mayo Clinic doctor who prescribed a ketogenic diet for the aforementioned four year old boy, kept him on those pharmaceuticals until it was obvious that very little improvement was taking effect.
After cutting out the pharmaceuticals completely, the boy enjoyed dramatic improvements. The video below tells the story. Please ignore the bottle of Canola oil displayed. Perhaps they didn’t know at the time or still don’t know the virtues of coconut oil for neurological issues. (Sources)
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