Effects of the ketogenic diet on nutritional status, resting energy expenditure, and substrate oxidation in patients with medically refractory epilepsy: A 6-month prospective observational study

Anna Tagliabue, Simona Bertoli, Claudia Trentani, Paola Borrelli, Pierangelo Veggiotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-249
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Nutrition
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • Drug-resistant epilepsy
  • Fat oxidation
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Respiratory quotient
  • Resting energy expenditure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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