Ketogenic Diet in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Therapeutic Use of the High-Fat Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet in Autism Spectrum Disorders

high-fat-diet

Health Impact News Editor Comments

A new study published in Frontiers in Pediatrics has concluded that the high-fat low-carb ketogenic diet  may improve mitochondrial function in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

The ketogenic diet was originally developed at John Hopkins Hospital in the 1920s to treat children with epilepsy. The diet has been successfully used over a long period of history in stopping seizures in children where drugs fail.

The diet fell out of favor in recent years, due to the bias against saturated fats. However, with several meta-studies being published in recent years showing that there is no scientific basis of linking saturated fat consumption to heart disease, the ketogenic diet is being studied in many disease applications, including cancer, diabetes, and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS.

There have also been studies conducted and published regarding the ketogenic diet’s effect on ASD. One study published last year (2013) in France showed a ketogenic diet improves multiple autistic behaviors in the BTBR mouse model. (Study here.)

Potential Therapeutic Use of the Ketogenic Diet in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Frontiers in Pediatrics 2014; 2: 69. 

Abstract

The ketogenic diet (KGD) has been recognized as an effective treatment for individuals with glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) deficiencies as well as with epilepsy. More recently, its use has been advocated in a number of neurological disorders prompting a newfound interest in its possible therapeutic use in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). One study and one case report indicated that children with ASD treated with a KGD showed decreased seizure frequencies and exhibited behavioral improvements (i.e., improved learning abilities and social skills). The KGD could benefit individuals with ASD affected with epileptic episodes as well as those with either PDH or mild respiratory chain (RC) complex deficiencies.

Full Study Here.

Published at healthimpactnews.com

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