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Keto Lifestyle 101: The Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

Simply put, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat, moderate protein diet that helps your body burn fat as your main source of energy instead of

Living a Keto Lifestyle: 5 Top Tips to Keep You on Track

The key to reaping the biggest health benefits is turning your keto diet into a keto lifestyle. Learn the top five strategies here.

Benefits of a KETO Lifestyle

Herman Brot products are ALL very low in carbohydrates and KETO friendly. They can easily be incorporated into your macros while on a keto diet

Keto Diet and Epilepsy: Unveiling Microbiome Magic

Keto Diet and Epilepsy: Unveiling Microbiome Magic

UCLA Study Reveals Gut's Role in Seizure Protection


Keto Diet and Epilepsy: In the dynamic realm of medical research, the ketogenic diet has transcended its conventional role as a weight-loss strategy to emerge as a potential ally in the battle against epileptic seizures. A groundbreaking study from UCLA, recently published in the journal Cell Reports, delves into the intricate relationship between the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, the human gut microbiome, and its profound impact on seizure control. Led by Gregory Lum, a postdoctoral researcher working alongside UCLA professor Elaine Hsiao, the study sheds light on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the diet-induced alterations in the gut microbiome, offering a glimpse into the future of innovative therapeutic approaches for pediatric epilepsy patients. As we navigate the corridors of this research, we uncover not only the profound connections between diet and health but also the potential for microbiome-based therapies to revolutionize the landscape of epilepsy treatment.

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The Keto Diet’s Role in Seizure Control

The ketogenic diet, characterized by high-fat and low-carbohydrate intake, has long been recognized for its efficacy in controlling seizures, particularly in children with refractory epilepsy. Refractory epilepsy refers to a condition where patients do not respond adequately to standard anti-seizure medications. Although the diet is not recommended as a primary option due to its stringent requirements and potential side effects, it has shown promise as a secondary or complementary treatment for those resistant to conventional medications.

The Gut Microbiome Connection

The human gut microbiome, comprising trillions of bacteria and microorganisms in the digestive tract, has emerged as a pivotal player in various aspects of health. Lum’s study, published in the journal Cell Reports, highlights the diet-induced changes in the gut microbiome as a key factor in conferring protection against seizures. Understanding these alterations could pave the way for innovative therapeutic strategies that harness the benefits of the ketogenic diet without subjecting patients to its drawbacks.

Mice as Model Organisms

To unravel the intricate relationship between the ketogenic diet, gut microbiome, and seizure protection, Lum utilized a mouse model bred to mimic epilepsy. Previous research from Hsiao’s lab had already demonstrated that mice on a ketogenic diet experienced significantly fewer seizures than those on a standard diet. Lum took this a step further by investigating how the gut microbiome changes in children with epilepsy undergoing ketogenic diet therapy.

Fecal Transplants and Microbiome Alterations

In collaboration with UCLA’s Ketogenic Diet Therapy Program, Lum collected fecal samples from pediatric epilepsy patients who did not respond to traditional anti-seizure medications but exhibited positive responses to the ketogenic diet. These samples were collected both before initiating the diet and after one month of adherence.

The study revealed a remarkable discovery: mice that received fecal transplants from patients after one month on the ketogenic diet displayed greater resistance to seizures compared to those that received pre-diet fecal transplants. This crucial finding suggests that the alterations in the gut microbiome induced by the diet contribute significantly to its anti-seizure effects.

Key Microbiome Functions

Further delving into the specifics, the study identified key changes in gut microbiome functions related to fatty acid oxidation and amino acid metabolism in pediatric patients on the ketogenic diet. Significantly, these changes were preserved when the fecal matter from the patients was transplanted into mice. The preservation of these altered functions suggests a potential mechanism by which the gut microbiome influences seizure protection.

Promising Implications for Microbiome-Based Therapies

While Lum emphasizes the need for additional research to comprehensively understand these microbiome changes, the study marks a significant step toward developing microbiome-based therapies for pediatric epilepsy patients resistant to standard anti-seizure medications. Lum envisions narrowing down the functions of the beneficial microbes to enhance the efficacy of the ketogenic diet or even mimic its effects without the need for strict dietary adherence.

Challenges and Future Directions

Despite the promising findings, challenges lie ahead in translating these discoveries into practical therapies. The variability in individual responses to the ketogenic diet and the complex nature of the gut microbiome necessitate a thorough exploration of personalized approaches. Additionally, long-term studies are crucial to assess the sustainability and safety of microbiome-based interventions.


The UCLA study led by Gregory Lum unveils a captivating link between the ketogenic diet, alterations in the gut microbiome, and protection against epileptic seizures. The findings not only enhance our understanding of the intricate interplay between diet and microbial communities but also open new avenues for therapeutic interventions in pediatric epilepsy. As scientists continue to decipher the specific functions of the beneficial microbes, the prospect of microbiome-based therapies as a complement or alternative to existing treatments becomes increasingly tangible. The journey from laboratory insights to practical applications holds immense promise for improving the quality of life for individuals with refractory epilepsy.

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