Modified Atkins diet vs classic ketogenic formula in intractable epilepsy

Acta Neurol Scand. 2013 Dec;128(6):402-8. doi: 10.1111/ane.12137. Epub 2013 May 16.


Objectives: The study was designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the ketogenic diet (KD) whether classic 4:1 formula or the modified Atkins diet (MAD) in intractable childhood epilepsy.

Patients and methods: Anthropometric measurements and serum lipid profile were measured upon enrollment and after 3 and 6 months in 40 patients with symptomatic intractable epilepsy. Fifteen were given MAD diet, ten were kept on classic 4:1 ketogenic liquid formula, and the rest were allowed to eat as desired.

Results: The liquid ketogenic formula group showed significantly higher body mass index compared with those who did not receive KD after 6 months. The lipid profile of KD patients was within normal limits for age and sex during the study period. The rate of change of frequency and severity of seizures showed best improvement in ketogenic liquid formula patients followed by the MAD group than the patients on anti-epileptic medications alone.

Conclusion: The KD whether classic 4:1 or MAD is a tolerable, safe, and effective adjuvant therapy for intractable symptomatic childhood epilepsy with limited adverse effects on the growth parameters and accepted changes in the lipid profile. The liquid ketogenic formula patients showed better growth pattern and significantly more seizure control.

Keywords: Ketogenic diet; anthropometric measurements; epilepsy; lipid profile; modified Atkins diet.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet, Carbohydrate-Restricted / methods*
  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Epilepsy / blood
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Lipids