Non-ketogenic combination of nutritional strategies provides robust protection against seizures

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 14;7(1):5496. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05542-3.


Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects 1% of the world population. Conventional treatments of epilepsy use drugs targeting neuronal excitability, inhibitory or excitatory transmission. Yet, one third of patients presents an intractable form of epilepsy and fails to respond to pharmacological anti-epileptic strategies. The ketogenic diet is a well-established non-pharmacological treatment that has been proven to be effective in reducing seizure frequency in the pharmaco-resistant patients. This dietary solution is however extremely restrictive and can be associated with complications caused by the high [fat]:[carbohydrate + protein] ratio. Recent advances suggest that the traditional 4:1 ratio of the ketogenic diet is not a requisite for its therapeutic effect. We show here that combining nutritional strategies targeting specific amino-acids, carbohydrates and fatty acids with a low [fat]:[proteins + carbohydrates] ratio also reduces excitatory drive and protects against seizures to the same extent as the ketogenic diet. Similarly, the morphological and molecular correlates of temporal lobe seizures were reduced in animals fed with the combined diet. These results provide evidence that low-fat dietary strategies more palatable than the ketogenic diet could be useful in epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet, Ketogenic*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Seizures / prevention & control*
  • Synaptic Transmission