veggies.jpg (6769 bytes)fruitbowl.jpg (6391 bytes)Proof that the Atkins Diet Works Like Chemotherapy By Sickness-Induced Starvation

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Proof that the Atkins Diet Works Like Chemotherapy By Sickness-Induced Starvation 

** The Seizure Treatment

Almost 80 years ago doctors began using a diet sufficiently restricted in carbohydrate to cause the body to change its metabolism to burn fat, and produce a byproduct – ketones – for seizure control .  This diet works as well as, or better than, medications, yet the mechanism which decreases seizures remains unknown.  The greater the level of ketosis, the better the seizure control.  The anti-seizure benefits may last long after the diet is discontinued.  To be effective, the fat content of the child’s diet must be about 90% of the calories – carbohydrates are restricted to less than 10g/day – similar to the Atkins diet. 

However, the major difference between the two ketogenic diets (Atkins for weight loss vs. the one for seizure control) is the goal for the intake of calories.  The diet for the children is calorie sufficient so that they will grow.  It is often a chore for parents to get their children to eat enough of these fatty foods to meet calorie needs.  This is reflected in the fact that 15% (25 of the 165) eligible subjects quit the diet because it was “too restrictive.”1 

Short-term complications of this seizure-control diet included hypoglycemia, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and refusal to eat.  Long-term complications included irritability, lethargy, kidney stones, acidosis, hyperuricemia (uric acid), hypocalcemia (low calcium), decreased amino acids, decreased growth, and elevated cholesterol.  Most patients stop the ketogenic diet after 2 years – hopefully, temporary use in childhood will not result in a long-term increased risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and kidney damage.

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