Effects of ketogenic diet on vascular function

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2014 Jul;18(4):489-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Mar 25.


Background: Ketogenic diet is a well-established treatment in children with difficult to treat epilepsy. Very little is known about the long-term effects on vascular atherogenic and biochemical processes of this high-fat and low carbohydrate and protein diet.

Methods: We evaluated 26 children after one year and 13 children after two years of ketogenic diet. High resolution ultrasound-based assessment was used for carotid artery intima-media thickness (cIMT), carotid artery distensibility and carotid artery compliance. Blood lipids including high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol, (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), apolipoprotein A (apoA), apolipoprotein B (apoB) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were analysed.

Results: A gradual decrease in carotid distensibility and an increase in LDL-C, apoB and the TC:LDL-C and LDL-C:HDL-C ratios were seen at three and 12 months of KD-treatment. These differences were not significant at 24 months. cIMT, BMI and hsCRP did not show any significant changes.

Conclusions: The initial alterations in lipids, apoB and arterial function observed within the first year of KD-treatment appear to be reversible and not significant after 24 months of treatment.

Keywords: Arterial elasticity; Ketogenic diet; Lipidemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet, Ketogenic / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Epilepsy / blood*
  • Epilepsy / diet therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Time Factors


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol