The Atkins diet – not always seen as a healthy way to shed weight – may help to prevent fits in children with epilepsy, a team of US scientists says.
Six patients, including three children aged up to 12, kept to the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet and were studied by researchers from Johns Hopkins children’s centre in Baltimore. They remained seizure-free for between four and 20 months and were able to take lower doses of medication.
Because the study involved only six people, the research should be treated with caution and the Atkins diet should not be used to replace the rigorous ketogenic diet that can reduce seizures.
“Our report raises new questions about the ideal level of calorie and protein restriction imposed by ketogenic diet,” Eric Kossoff, of the children’s centre, told a meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Boston.