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High-Fat Diets May Help Adults with Epilepsy

A high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet may help adults as well as children to control epileptic seizures, a study finds. Many children with hard-to-control epilepsy use a ketogenic diet. This diet is 3 or 4 parts fat to 1 part carbohydrates and protein, as measured by weight. Some people also have used a modified Atkins diet, which has 1 part fat to 1 part carbohydrates and protein. Little research has been done in adults. A new evidence review looked at 10 studies of people whose seizures were not controlled by medicine. In all, 47 people were assigned to follow a ketogenic diet. Another 85 followed a modifed Atkins diet. For nearly one-third of those on each diet, the number of seizures dropped by at least half. Smaller numbers (5% to 9%) were able to reduce seizures by 90%. These effects were seen within days or weeks after people started the diets.

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