High-fat and ketogenic diets in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

J Child Neurol. 2013 Aug;28(8):989-92. doi: 10.1177/0883073813488669. Epub 2013 May 10.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disease. Epidemiologic data suggest that malnutrition is a common feature in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and being overweight or obese confers a survival advantage in this patient population. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse models, a high-fat diet has been shown to lead to weight gain and prolonged survival. However, little research has been conducted to test whether nutritional interventions might ameliorate the disease course in humans. Here we review the currently available evidence supporting the potential role of dietary interventions as a therapeutic tool for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ultimately, determining whether a high-fat or ketogenic diet could be beneficial in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will require large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Keywords: ALS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; diet; fat; ketogenic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diet therapy*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / epidemiology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / mortality
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat / methods*
  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Mice