Background & aims: This 6-month prospective, single-arm observational study was designed to assess the effects of the KD on the nutritional status, resting energy expenditure (REE), and substrate oxidation in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Methods: Eighteen patients with medically refractory epilepsy underwent assessment of body composition, REE, and substrate oxidation rates before and after 6 months of KD.
Results: Compared with baseline, there were no statistically significant differences at 6 months in terms of height, weight, BMI z-scores, and REE. However, the respiratory quotient decreased significantly (from 0.80 ± 0.06 to 0.72 ± 0.05, p < 0.001) whereas fat oxidation was significantly increased (from 50.9 ± 25.2 mg/min to 97.5 ± 25.7 mg/min, p < 0.001). Interestingly, we found that the increase in fat oxidation was the main independent predictor of the reduction in seizure frequency (beta = -0.97, t = -6.3, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Administering a KD for 6 months in patients with medically refractory epilepsy increases fat oxidation and decreases the respiratory quotient, without appreciable changes in REE.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.