Ketogenic Dietary Therapies in Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Facts or Fads? A Scoping Review and a Proposal for a Shared Protocol

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Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with increasing incidence. An expanding body of literature is examining connections between ASD and dietary interventions. Existing reports suggest a beneficial effect of ketogenic dietary therapies (KDTs) in improving behavioral symptoms in ASD. In this context, the purpose of this scoping review was to identify and map available evidence in the literature about the feasibility and potential efficacy of KDTs in pediatric patients with ASD and to inform clinical practice in the field. Moreover, based on the resulting data from the literature review, we aimed to provide a shared protocol to develop a personalized KDT intervention in patients with ASD. A comprehensive and structured web-based literature search was performed using PubMed and Scopus and it yielded 203 records. Seven papers were finally selected and included in the review. Data were abstracted by independent coders. High variability was identified in study designs and dietary aspects emerged among selected studies. Results supported the effectiveness of KDTs in promoting behavioral improvements. Clinical recommendations on which patients may benefit most from KDTs implementation and difficulties in dietary adherence were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 16 2021

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