Keto Diet Epilepsy (Brain And Sugar)


Keto diet and epilepsy let’s take a
little look at epilepsy and how the keto diet actually got started most people
probably don’t know that the keto diet originally was a treatment for epilepsy
especially in kids and it had a fantastic success rate it was the
majority and then 90 percent range got complete or almost complete
resolution of their symptoms and that was the case until they developed drugs
and then they said oh you don’t have to keep eating all this fat we’ve got a
simple pill and then you can eat whatever you want now depending on your
philosophy I don’t think that’s a great idea because there’s tons and tons of
side effects with drugs and if you keep eating all that sugar then you’re
creating other ill health effects as you well know but let’s just look take a
quick look at what epilepsy is so epilepsy is a spontaneous action
potential it’s a spontaneous uncontrolled discharge of energy and
signals from a cell so the brain signals with electricity and it’s supposed to do
that in a controlled fashion so we have something called a resting membrane
potential that’s the difference that’s the the lying down here that the voltage
of the membrane is being pushed down so that it’s stabilized so it’s harder for
it to discharge it kept it like a spring you load it up and you keep it far away
from the place where where it discharges so then when the brain wants to send a
signal then it creates a chain of events where it slowly increases the potential
until it reaches a threshold and then everything happens all at once it’s a
sudden action we’re called an action potential and that starts a propagation
of a wave that becomes a brain signal and then the brain slowly after this and
slowly and slowly in relation to how quickly it happens but it still happens
that reset still happens in milliseconds and then the brain brings it down below
threshold and it pushes it down toward the resting membrane potential so that
it’s stable until next time it’s supposed to fire off so there different
things that can affect this resting membrane potential and if it starts
creeping up toward that point of spontaneous discharge then we have an
unstable membrane and that’s what happens in epilepsy when cells start
firing uncontrollably and randomly so the way that cells talk to each other is
through synapses and when they do that they either increase or decrease the
resting membrane potential so this cell over here has a synapse and it sends a
signal to increase the resting membrane potential meaning it’s bringing it
closer to threshold and it does that by let’s say 5 millivolts but at the same
time this cell over here sends an inhibitory signal it pushes the
potential further down by minus 10 millivolts so the net effect is a minus
5 so even though there’s two cells one is bringing it trying to make it fire
and one is trying to make it stop the net effect is that this cell is
stabilized and brought down so of course in the brain there’s a hundred billion
brain cells and each brain cell makes on average five to ten thousand connections
so the complexity of how all these networks are interacting and firing and
stabilizing and turning off is just immense when everything is working the
brain does this on purpose but there’s a number of factors that can affect this
and that can destabilize these membranes so one is hereditary some people are
have defects another one is trauma if you’ve had kin
Cushing’s or head trauma and you’ve sort of damaged some of the cells that might
be inhibitory then you can have a predisposition for for a lesser membrane
potential minerals can be very very important because the way that the
membranes fire is through the influx and outflux by transporting minerals metal
ions like sodium and potassium and calcium across this membrane magnesium
also is important magnesium is calming to people because it has a stabilizing
effect on this membrane and finally the reason we’re bringing this up is that
sugar can have a tremendous destabilizing effect on this membrane so
and there’s a lot of different ideas on why ketosis is so beneficial for the
brain and so forth but if we just look at at the very very most basic
observation that it cured it reversed the symptoms of the majority of
epileptic kids so epilepsy is instability of cell membranes if you cut
out the sugar the symptoms go away so that means the stability of the brain
increases that alone should be enough of an argument to eat a low-carb diet and
we also know that a high glucose high average glucose and a high a 1c produces
a faster brain degeneration your brain shrinks a little bit more a year-by-year
the higher your blood sugar is so there’s a lot of different different
observations to to support that one of the most common misconceptions about the
brain is people say you have to have carbohydrates because the brain only
runs on fuel they say and that’s not true it’s almost true because the the
brain is more restricted on fuel than other body cells like your
heart and your muscles they can run on a variety of different fuels they can
break down proteins into glucose they can break they love fat the heart runs
primarily on fat for energy the brain can’t use fat but it uses glucose and
ketones and some people say that the people in favor of or opposed to ketosis
in favor of high carb they say that you have to have carbs because the brain
only runs on that and the brain will always burn that first so that’s why it
prefers glucose and you can turn that around and say well the glucose is
dangerous for the brain so that’s why it burns it first because glucose in
diabetics high blood sugar will put you in a coma low blood sugar will put you
in a coma stable blood sugar promotes health and promotes brain function and
that’s the main thing that ketosis does for the brain it stabilizes blood sugar
it puts it at a very very stable level it it hardly varies at all
and once we cut the carbs enough once we cut them back far enough then the brain
can run about 75% on ketones and 25% on glucose so when we cut the carbs back
far enough when you cut them low enough then the body will learn to burn fat
better it will make ketones and ketones become the backup fuel for the brain and
it can use as much as 75% of the fuel from ketones so when people say we have
to eat carbohydrates because the brain needs it that’s a very very small
portion you don’t need a whole lot of glucose and you don’t have to worry
about it because it if you eat enough vegetables you’re gonna get a few grams
of carbs every day regardless so you’re going to get plenty of glucose for the
brain to supply the last 25% of what the brain needs
and when you cut carbs down you’re not threatening your blood sugar level okay
yes the brain needs some glucose but you can never cut back far enough because
the body has other ways of restoring blood sugar and the best way to keep it
really really stable the way the brain loves it is to get into ketosis and make
some ketones for the brain so like I said way back the ketogenic diet started
as a treatment for epilepsy in children and back then they didn’t know a whole
lot about nutrition they didn’t understand ketosis very well they just
knew that if you cut the carbs way back try to get them down to zero then and
and increase the fats then you could reverse epilepsy but they didn’t
understand necessarily a whole lot about the quality of fats they didn’t
understand much maybe about whole food nutrition and they didn’t understand
that you could eat lots and lots of vegetables and you could use tools like
intermittent fasting which is perfectly fine even in kids because if you
stabilize blood sugar then you don’t need to eat like a hummingbird you don’t
need to top off your blood sugar every couple hours because your body learns to
balance out the energy supply over the 24 hours so you if you eat a couple of
times a day that’s plenty with intermittent fasting and with vegetables
and with whole food then you can turn that into a very very healthy lifestyle
and that was some of the arguments way back and that’s why it fell out of favor
because people the the kids got tired of the diet cuz it was really bland and
they were almost chewing on butter sticks basically and then drugs came
around and they said look we’ve got the pill now you can eat whatever you want
so that’s that’s why it fell out of favor and people sort of forgot about it
until we had this epidemic of insulin resistance and diabetes and obesity and
now it became the primary tool for weight loss and insulin resistance so
the point though is stabilizing blood doesn’t just insulae reduce insulin
resistance and obesity it’s also good for the brain it is good for your health
and it is good for every organ in the body if you do it right please share
this video with as many people as you can leave your comments and questions
below if you have experience with this please share so we can hear some success
stories again thanks for watching

21 thoughts on “Keto Diet Epilepsy (Brain And Sugar)

  1. That is very interesting. I always feel better when I eat less sugar. I gave up soft drinks seven years ago. I notice my energy lasts longer when I eat more protein.

  2. May I ask a question about the keto diet that is off topic? Can I put ketoaid (with ACV, K, Na) in a stainless container and sip on it all day. Some say the metal will leach into the solution and we will end up with metal in our body. True or false? ….. enjoyed your video on epilepsy.

  3. Great information!
    My brain seems to have no problems on the carnivore diet. As an anecdotal comparison I can say that my brain performance is better on carnviore than on keto.
    I've been doing 1 year of keto, now 5 months carnivore.

  4. Doctor, could you do video about PCOS?!?
    And how to solve the problem?!?
    Do you suggest supplements ?!?
    Or food dieting is enough?!?
    Thanks

  5. I saw a little girl on internet. After 26 months of keto, her daily seizures dropped from 100 to zero, she quit 4 medicines she was using for it.

  6. Dr. Ekberg: I just had a NutrEval test Genova Labs. It's very expensive but Medicare pays the full cost so I believe it's quite legitimate. Do you know anything about it and what do you think? Sometimes I wonder where these lab test get their normal ranges.

  7. can you talk about vital wheat gluten flour which apparently has 0 carbs – also oat fiber (not oat bran) and rice fiber both suppose to have 0 carbs are these OK on keto diet – I have come across videos making bread using these things and of coarse the comment section buzzed with controversy and confusion, some saying it's ok some saying it's not keto – the bread used yeast activated with a teaspoon of honey (gives the yeast something to eat and is converted so no sugar remains) which acts with the gluten and make a very impressive loaf of bread not so different to regular bread – it came to about 3 net carbs per slice

  8. Hi! Thanks for the amazing video. Could you please make a video about excessive urination and cramps associated with intermittent fasting and keto diet?

  9. I'm doing the keto diet now for my epilepsy. My only issue so for is i was only 110 pounds before starting, three day laters I'm at 105. I am not trying to loose weight on this

  10. I love how your videos cover the topic in depth. Thank you Dr Ekberg on explaining how sugar hurts the brain and why keto helps with epilepsy and other issues.

  11. Just found your videos and I appreciate you and the way you lay out the information! And I love your slight accent! New subbie!

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