Workpackage 10 – Dietary Therapies
Our Aims and Objectives
To widen awareness and availability of dietary therapies, with development of European standards and recommendations as to what, when and how dietary treatment should be applied.
Ketogenic Dietary Therapies Guidelines
Produced by the Matthew’s Friends charity, this booklet guides you through the first steps of Ketogenic Dietary Therapies.
The guide is an ideal supplement to this website and is extremely useful to give to patients looking to begin the diet.
We suggest that you take a look at the following publications.
- Ketogenic Diet international consensus guidelines:
- Ketogenic Diet TPN guidelines:
- Minimum Requirements for Ketogenic Services:
What are Ketogenic Dietary Therapies?
Ketogenic Dietary Therapies are very low carbohydrate, high fat diets designed to encourage the body to switch its main source of fuel from carbohydrates to fats. Ketones are produced as a by-product of this increased “fat burning” process and the brain quickly adapts to using ketones as the main fuel source for energy production.
There are four ketogenic diet approaches sharing the common principle of a reduced carbohydrate (CHO) intake and an increased fat intake:
- Modified Ketogenic Diet or the Modified Atkins Diet
- Low Glycaemic Index Treatment (LGIT)
- Classical Ketogenic Diet
- MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Diet
The main difference between them is the degree to which carbohydrate, fat and protein foods are weighed and counted; the Classical and MCT ketogenic diets require all foods to be measured while the Modified Ketogenic Diet and Low Glycaemic Index Treatment focuses on careful carbohydrate control and generous fat portions. The crossover between these regimes is significant and often a hybrid may be used, designed around the needs of the individual. Medical screening and monitoring is the same for ALL ketogenic therapies.
How the Diet works?
There is much research in this area. The diet appears to “mimic starvation” by using fat as an alternative fuel source for the body, producing ketones. These ketones and the associated biochemical changes in the brain, can have an anti-convulsive effect.
The “Holy Grail” of the ketogenic diet is for a patient to be initiated on the diet, become seizure free, reduce/remove the amount of anti-epileptic medication taken, wean the diet off after a period of 2 years and STAY seizure free. This DOES happen for some, but there are also other degrees of success on the diet:
- Reduction in number of and intensity of seizures
- Reduction in drugs and their subsequent side effects
- Increased alertness
- Improvement in behavioural problems
- Improvement in learning ability
- QUALITY OF LIFE!
Emma Williams, MBE