The ketogenic diet remains THE most powerful tool in the treatment of epilepsy.
It is also one of the oldest.
Strangely, we still aren’t quite sure how it works. We’re not sure if it has something to do with the ketone bodies produced, or the types of fat taken in or the avoidance of certain carbohydrates like gluten.
We’re not even sure if the ketones have a direct effect on the brain of whether they help by changing the gut bacteria to produce anti-seizure neurotransmitters.
But this study gives us some insight. By removing the amino acid threonine from a ketogenic diet, seizures were not controlled like they were on the full ketogenic diet.
It may have to do with the fact that threonine is converted to pyruvate, a compound absolutely essential for generating energy in the brain.
Regardless, make sure you are getting plenty of threonine from foods like lentils, beef, soy (organic, non-GMO), pork, chicken, nuts, seeds and beans.
I have never understood the reluctance of neurologists to strongly recommend the ketogenic diet for patients with seizures. Studies strongly support it’s effectiveness and safety, many times above anticonvulsant meds. Continue reading Ketogenic Diet for Infantile Seizures
For those who are unaware, melatonin is a hormone produced deep in the brain (the pineal gland) and helps to regulate our sleep / wake cycle, among other things. Sunlight hitting the back of the retina shuts down the production of melatonin, while the onset of nighttime will allow the body to release more melatonin. So what does this have to do with depression?
As “beat up on vitamins” month continues, one of the current scares centers around the risk of prostate cancer and the use of vitamin E. Several years ago concern was raised over vitamin E increasing the risk of heart attacks, so it’s nice to see that “they” have shifted their focus. So, does vitamin E cause prostate cancer?
The relationship between toxins and development of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, migraines and seizures, is strong. As spring rolls around, you may want to reconsider spraying for weeds and insects.
I’ve always been very saddened by our approach to conditions like epilepsy and migraines in this country. We feel that if the events are halted with medications (or, horrifyingly, by surgical removal or parts of the brain) then the treatment is a success.
There is no doubt that some new, fancy and expensive anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) have been developed and marketed. It seems like neurologists actually prefer to use these new drugs over the older drugs that have had decades of use.
In those who suffer from migraine headaches and seizures, anything that can help to reduce the number of attacks they have is a welcome addition. Clearly lifestyle and supplementation play a strong (if not stronger) role in the management of both migraine headaches and seizures along with the mainstream medical approach of pharmacological management. For many sufferers, this information is rarely shared by their physicians.