What Is The History Of The Ketogenic Diet?
As early as 500BC, Greek and Indian doctors recognized that fasting for extended periods would have positive effects on patients with epilepsy. Cures were documented after a period of abstaining completely from "food and drink" (I doubt this was a realistic long-term plan, though). In the early 1900s, fasting as a treatment for epilepsy became popular again. However, with the introduction of medicines to control epileptic episodes, the treatment dropped off. Nevertheless, 20-30% of patients remained unresponsive to the drugs and for these individuals, especially children, fasting diets continued to be used. It was in 1921 that endocrinologist Rollin Woodyatt noted that three water-soluble compounds, acetone, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate (together called ketone bodies) were produced by the liver as a result of starvation or if they followed a diet rich in fat and low in carbohydrates. Russel Wilder from the Mayo Clinic called this the “ketogenic diet” and used it as a treatment for epilepsy, also in 1921. This is a significant finding because it shows that you can create a "starvation" state in the body without actually starving. Yay! Finally, a long-term plan that is fea Continue reading >>