Australia Canada Denmark France
Germany Netherlands

Other Uses of the Ketogenic Diet

Untitled document

 We know that the ketogenic diet can reduce and in some cases even completely stop seizures, there are many factors that may be involved in this process, ketones, glucose reduction, calorie restriction, and goodness knows what else within the complexities of the brain. Some aspects may be necessary for some, but perhaps not for all?
There has been a lot of speculation on whether the Ketogenic diet may be effective in other neurological disorders; a small amount of research is starting to appear. We have a Mum on site trying Keto for her child with a brain tumor, already seeing improvement!
 Who knows what the future may be, perhaps Alzheimer’s patients being treated with Atkins or MCT, or Motor neuron disease patients treated with Ketocal! 

Why Keto?

Rho J (2004) devoted a whole chapter to neuroprotection and the epileptogenic effect of the Ketogenic diet; he concluded that many different mechanisms are at work and that of course further research is needed!

Baranano K & Hartman A (2008)

Dingledine R. (2005) Found that the Ketogenic diet improves neuronal stability and enhances ability to withstand metabolic changes.

Gasior et al (2006) Neuroprotective, antioxidant, anti inflammatory? May be effective following traumatic brain injury and stroke!
Behavioral Pharmacology 17 431-439

Zhao. Z et al (2006) Found that ketones protect against neuronal death.


References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.

Reger M et al (2004) Found that ketones improved cognition in memory impaired adults.

Veech et al are convinced that ketones can be used to treat other disorders and are set on developing an inexpensive form of oral ketone medication!



Although little research is as yet available, this is an area that looks very promising. The theory is that cancerous tumors need glucose for energy to grow. The link below looks at this hypothesis.

Effects of a Ketogenic diet on tumor metabolism and nutritional status in pediatric oncology patients: two case reports.

Nebeling L et al (1995)
Tisdale MJ et al (1987)

Thomas N. Seyfried, 2006, Metabolic Targeting of Brain Cancer

References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.

Alzheimer’s disease

Signs of Alzheimer’s in its early stages – Is it a type of diabetes?

Auwera I et al (2005) Found that a Ketogenic diet reduced Beta Amyloid, a protein which becomes raised in Alzheimer’s patients.

Alzheimer’s linked to diabetes;
Arvanitakis Z (2004) Found an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in those with Diabetes.


There is a doctor in USA with Type 1 Diabetes, a Dr Bernstein,  he swears by the ketogenic diet to control his diabetes, runs his own clinic, and advises the diet should be very closely supervised!

Willi S et al (2004) Found that an Atkins type diet had a stabilizing effect  on blood glucose, also reduced medication required in a small trial on adolescents with diabetes.

Yancy Jr et al (2005) Showed similar results in a trial of patients with type 2 Diabetes

Yamada et al (2005) The Ketogenic diet reduces neuronal death, caused by hypoglycaemia.
Dashti et al (2007) Beneficial effects of KD in obese diabetic subjects.


 Nielsen J and Joensson E (2008) Low cho diet for Diabetes Follow up.



Some AED’s are used for Bipolar, so it’s possible that The diet may also help?!
Maloney C (2006)

Study at Stanford University was discontinued due to lack of interested participants! ( Maybe Atkins or Low GI would be more appealing!)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Zhao et al (2006) Found that the ketogenic diet altered progression of the disease, by protecting against neuronal death and increasing the electrical potential between the mitochondria and cytoplasm.


Evangeliou et al (2003) 60% of the children showed some improvement on a ketogenic diet.


Canadian animal study found the Ketogenic diet may be effective in reducing hyperactivity.


Menninger, W. (1932) Looked at using ketogenic diets for migraine, more recently Strahlan (2006) has seen positive results in a case study sited in Freeman J et al (2007) Ketogenic diet a decade on.



Husain A et al (2003) Found modest improvements after 8 weeks in a small study, using a ketogenic diet to treat narcolepsy.

Parkinson’s Disease

Przedborski S (2003) Found in an animal study that an infusion of ketones reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s. 

Vanltallie B (2005)A small study with Parkinson’s patients looks promising, though not conclusive.

Science Direct look at Vanltallie’s study.


Jabre M et al (2006)

Tourettes pilot study


Thyroid Health


Hyperinsulinemia Diseases of Civilization

Interesting, Perhaps we should all be looking at our carbohydrate consumption?!
Syndrome X

Fishel et al (2005)

Volek J & Feinman R (2005) Hypothesize that a low carbohydrate diet may control Insulin levels and so improve the features of Metabolic Syndrome.

Medical News Today (2007) Linking Polycystic Ovary Syndrome to Hyperinsulinemia.

Mavropoulos et al (2005) A small study, Ketogenic diet for Polycystic ovary Syndrome.

Heart Disease

Initially Keto looks like a bad choice where heart disease is concerned!

Groesbeck et al (2006) Looking better!

Johns Hopkins (2008) High cholesterol drops naturally in children on high-fat anti-seizure diet.


Stafstrom C & Rho J (2004) Found by altering fat content in the diet, IE ‘good’ fat for ‘bad’ fat improved Cholesterol/HDL levels.????

Best T et al (2000) Notes some children on the Ketogenic diet show a prolonged QT interval on ECG investigation.

Bergqvist A et al (2003) Noted a risk of selenium deficiency leading to cardiomyopathy in one child. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bsc/epi/2003/00000044/00000004/art00018

Carrie Loughran MF USA link dietician has found that adding Carnitine supplement decreases lipid levels (MF conference 2006). As carnitine deficiency can lead to Cardiomyopathy, it should be considered, AED’s may have already depleted carnitine levels.

Interestingly there is a Dr Clark at oxford University conducting animal research and found an alternative energy source (ketones) improve energy uptake in heart failure! She also stated that the diet is ‘hideous’ and would be ‘disastrous’ for a coronary patient. ( must remember to send her one of our recipe books!

Even so

Halton T (2002) In a health study of 82,802 women, found that following a ketogenic type diet did not increase the risk of heart disease, infact, if vegetable fats and proteins are used, there could well be a reduction in risk of heart disease!


Shai I et al (2008)

Westman E et al (2005) Compare Keto to Low fat diet
Low carb diet for heart disease?


Low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets can be equally effective at helping obese adults shed weight over the longer term, but cutting carbs may have an advantage when it comes to some heart risk factors, a study published Monday suggests.


So conflicting evidence there! But I have to say I am no longer a low fat, high carb fan!

Traumatic brain injury



There are  I am sure other articles and there will be more to come, please add to this section if you find further studies! I will be updating as new research comes in!

Previous page: Status Epilepticus
Next page: Epilepsy Syndromes

YOU MUST consult your own medical Keto Team before making ANY changes to your childs treatment,
Matthews Friends cannot be held responsible if you do not heed this warning.
Registered charity No.1108016 © Matthews Friends 2004-2013