Kids and keto: Can a high-fat low-carb diet help with ADHD autism and more? – Di…

Kids and keto: Can a high-fat low-carb diet help with ADHD autism and more? – Diet Doctor As parents wed do anything in our power to help our children thrive and live their best lives possible. When a child has a developmental or neurologic condition can changing to aketogenic diethelp improve symptoms social interactions or behavior? When Diet Doctor posted a request in mid-April asking for parents to share their experiences of putting their children on the ketogenic diet to help with ADHD autism and other neurologic conditions more than a dozen families responded. Parents from Australia Germany South Africa Canada and the US all reached out. Some had only had their child or children on the diet for a few weeks too soon to see definitive results but they were hopeful and committed to stick with it. Others sent inspiring stories even videos of before and after transformations. One of those was the Nusky family of Cincinnati Ohio who had previously tried dozens of ways to help their son Brandon manage the symptoms of his Tourette Syndrome. Along with this challenging neurologic condition which causes him to have repetitive vocal and motor tics he also has obsessive compulsive disorder and ADHD. Its a trio Tourettes OCD and ADHD that oftenappear togetherin some children suggesting researchers say that there is an underlying shared neurologic pathway. Up until a year ago Brandons tics such as constantly rolling his head from side-to-side could be so exhausting and uncontrollable for him that on bad days he told his parents that he would be better off if he killed himself or if they killed him. He was only 7 years old. That kind of thing just breaks your heart. We would do anything to help him said his mother Krissy Nusky. And the family did try everything: veganism gluten-free diet chiropractors homeopathy oils medications behaviour therapy. We have spent thousands of dollars and nothing helped said Krissy. Then a year ago on the advice of their pediatrician they tried the ketogenic diet. Krissy remembers how the pediatrician posed it. He said: There is a diet you can do. It is very difficult. Most parents wont stick with it. But if you do stick with it it may help. watch weight loss program here:<== Nothing to lose; everything to gain The Nusky family felt they had nothing to lose. A year ago the whole family adopted the ketogenic diet parents Brandon now 8 and his 10-year-old sister. And unlike the pediatricians warning they have not found it hard at all. Gone from their meals now are all the refined carbohydrates potatoes rice flours grains sugar cookies cake cereals porridge juice and fruit except berries. Meals are now salads and vegetables with hamburger patties (without a bun) or meat and salad. Krissy now makes homemade keto egg noodles with a tomato sauce to replace the spaghetti with chili that used to be a weekly family staple. A favourite meal is now ground beef with taco seasoning withtaco shells made out of cheesemelted on parchment paper in the oven and garnished with sour cream. I try to keep it interesting and fun for the kids and give them choice in what we eat. That makes it go better. Brandons older sister likes to bake so she has been experimenting with differentketo breadsand baked-goods recipes from Diet Doctor and other sites. Each morning Krissy makes sure to give Brandon a keto shake with exogenous ketones made of MCT oil heavy cream and almond milk all blended together. Sometimes she includes protein powder cocoa powder or fresh berries. On cold mornings she will warm it like a hot chocolate. On hot mornings she serves it to him cold like a milkshake. And the results have been amazing: the symptoms of all three of his conditions rapidly improved. His tics are now very rare and he is calm focused and doing well in school. His OCD which compelled him to keep every action and movement even and equal such as high fives with both hands a watch on both wrists has relaxed. The ketogenic diet is the only thing that gives him relief. While it is not a cure it helps manage all of his major symptoms said his mother. watch weight loss program here:<== Brandon wants his experience to help others Krissy shared dramatic footageseen here of Brandons exhausting tics prior to going on the ketogenic diet and then a calm and tic-free Brandon doing a bible reading at their church after being on the ketogenic diet. It is really important to Brandon that I share this information in case others can benefit from our experience says Krissy who notes that the diet has actually helped the whole family. Her husband has now lost 100 lbs (45 kg) in a year and she has not only lost weight too but her fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are now much better. Both Brandon and his sister have lost excess body fat and are now at ideal weights for their age and size. A huge relief to all of them is that Brandons distressing suicidal thoughts are gone too.We dont have that issue anymore. I feel like the diet has been life-saving in so many ways. I feel like I have my son back. Brandon is so committed to the diet now that even when his mom says he can have at special occasions a piece of wedding cake or another treat he refuses. He knows how bad it makes him feel. When they did try as tests introducing low-glycemic fruit (watermelon) gluten-free pasta and sugar-free ice cream back into his diet at various time his tics OCD and ADHD were back within a few hours. When he had the sugar-free ice cream Halo-Top his tics just went crazy. We are never going back to the standard American diet. We are keto for life. watch weight loss program here:<== Other parents respond Nicolas Lorente of Munich Germany has seen distinct improvement in his sons autism and epilepsy. He and his wife Deni put their 6-year old son Angel on the diet a year ago when he started having repeated seizures that were not controlled by medication. Angels autism was diagnosed at age 2 and his epilepsy at age 5. He has a genetic mutation called aSCN2a mutation which is known to impact the sodium ion channels that regulate the conduction of nerve signals and is linked to autism and epilepsy. It has been known for almost 100 years that the ketogenic diet is a powerful and positive treatment forepilepsy and Angels epilepsy seizures have reduced in frequency and they have been able to stop one of his two seizure medications. But it is the changes in his autism symptoms that have the Lorente family most encouraged. He is calm more concentrated more present. We think he understands more said his dad who isbloggingabout their sons progress. The popular documentaryThe Magic Pillfollows among seven subjects two children with epilepsy and autism as their families convert from a high-carbohydrate processed-food diet to a low-carb unprocessed ketogenic diet. Viewers watch as the childrens behaviour and symptoms dramatically improve over the course of a few months. Medical authorities howeversuch as the head of the Australian Medical Associationhave slammed the documentary and the diet as being patently ridiculous and harmful. watch weight loss program here:<== Peggy Holloway of Nebraska is convinced that her sons ADHD symptoms are greatly improved by low-carb ketogenic eating and worsened specifically with sugar junk food processed foods and red food dyes. She shared his struggles in school and in life that at times were so bad we feared he might not survive his adolescence. Fortunately about a decade ago she and her son both discovered low-carb high-fat eating and both have had dramatic health improvements. Now age 29 her sons positive experience with the diet is the primary driver that has him now pursuing a career in nutrition counselling. The conclusion of our story is that if any family is dealing with a child with ADHD please please at least give a low-carb diet a trial. There is nothing to lose and if it benefits the child the family may avoid all the heartache we suffered says Peggy. Research revealing multiple avenues of impact Anecdotal evidence like these families stories are inspiring but what is the research base for putting children with developmental behavioral or neurologic conditions on a ketogenic diet? When it comes to epilepsy the research is vast and ever-expanding. In fact more than1300 scientific articleshave been published in medical journals over the last 90 years about epilepsy and the ketogenic diet. It is not yet exactly clearwhyit works for epilepsy but it is now well established that it is an effective treatment for seizure control. When scientists began to try to understand how the diet works to control seizures they uncovered some mechanisms and findings that potentially make it relevant to other neurological diseases saysDr. Jong Rho a world-leading pediatric neurologist researcher and expert in ketogenic therapies for pediatric neurologic conditions. Located in Calgary Canada Dr. Rho and his research team now havemore than 115different published medical articles some basic laboratory research with animal models as well as clinical studies that are investigating ketogenic mechanisms in epilepsy as well as in other childhood developmental issues such as autism. watch weight loss program here:<== Dr. Rho notes in videotaped interviewshereandherethat while the exact action of the ketogenic diet is not completely understood there are a number of reasons why the ketogenic diet may be effective for better brain function in children with neurologic conditions (which applies equally to brain health in adults.) The ketogenic diets impacts include: The breakdown of fat to ketones provides theenergy-hungrybrain with an alternate energy source other than glucose that is actually more efficient and produces lessoxidative stress. It isneuroprotective preventing or lessoning neuronal injury or cell death. It isanti-inflammatory and inflammation has emerged a risk factor for not only seizures but other chronic diseases. It hasepigeneticimpacts that inhibits the expression of some genes linked to neurologic problems and moderates the expression of some proteins and enzymes. It alters themicrobiomeof the gut which may in turn impact the cross-talk between the gut and the brain which has been linked particularly toautism spectrum disorders. It impacts various nerveion channelsthat improves the transmission of nerve cell signals. It promoteshomeostasis essentially restoring physiologic balance and equilibrium in both cellular and systems processes. For example if nerve cells are firing too much it dampens them down; if cells are firing too little it ramps them up. There are so many intersecting and potentially synergistic mechanisms that you cant parse out just one target or one key element says Dr. Rho whose2018 paperinNeuropharmacologysummarized the new findings that ketones may have multiple impacts. It could be a combination of things working together to produce the beneficial effect. But more and more we are showing in the laboratory and in clinical studies that we can render significant benefits just by changing the diet. It is really powerful. A2017 paperin the journalNeurochemistry in a similar vein summarized what is known about ketones and the brain: they enhance mitochondrial respiration increase neuronal growth factors strengthen the signal sent between synapses reduce brain inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. These effects the paper noted then seem to have downstream implications for a wide range of brain functional pathways. The Charlie Foundation which was established in 1994 to help support parents doing the ketogenic diet for epilepsy control now provides support for parents who want to do the diet for children with a wide array of neurologic conditions. They offer five variations on the keto diet which differ in the ratio of fat to protein and carbs. The five variations can help families fine-tune the diet in a way that works best for them and their child. watch weight loss program here:<== Promising published case studies and clinical trials for autism In recent years there have been promising cases reports and preliminary clinical trials in the medical literature detailing significant improvements of children put on the ketogenic diet for autism specifically. A2013 reportin theJournal of Child Neurologydescribed the case a girl with severe autism since the age of 4 who developed epileptic seizures at puberty. Placed on a dairy-free ketogenic diet for seizure control over the course of several years on the diet not only was she seizure free but her behaviour and IQ improved so much that she progressed on cognitive testing to be deemed non-autistic. Moreover morbid obesity as well as life-long gastro-intestinal issues resolved. A2017 reportMetabolic Brain Diseasedescribed a clinical trial in Egypt in which 45 children aged 3 to 8 with diagnosed autism spectrum disorder were placed for six months on one of three diets: 15 on a ketogenic diet; 15 on a gluten-free casein-free (dairy free GFCF) diet and 15 on a well-balanced standard diet as a control. Children on both the ketogenic diet and the GFCF diet showed significant improvement in core features of the autism spectrum disorder but those on the ketogenic diet had the greatest improvement in social functioning and cognitive abilities. AnApril 2018 reportin the journalMetabolic Brain Diseasedescribed the case of a six year old boy with autism and ADHD in Poland who was shown on a PET (positron emission tomography) brain scan to have a low uptake of glucose in his brain. He was placed on the ketogenic diet and within a month showed a marked improvement in hyperactivity attention span communication skills fear anxiety and emotional reactions and adaptability to change. AMay 2018report in the journalPhysiology & Behaviourdescribed a clinical trial in which families of 46 children in Hawaii aged 2 to 17 years of age were educated on the ketogenic diet. Some families dropped out but 15 of them followed the diet with supplemental MCT oil for three months and saw statistically significant improvement in core symptoms of autism. Ten of the subjects continued on the diet for six months and the improvements were maintained. The authors stressed that the ketogenic diet plus MCT oil is a potentially beneficial diet treatment to improve the core features of autism but it needs more long term investigation. Dr. Julie Buckley a Florida-based pediatrician who has writtena bookabout healing autistic children with diet feels we know enough to recommend ketogenic eating to help any child with neurologic developmental or behavioural issues. watch weight loss program here:<== I recommend the dairy-free ketogenic diet for every family with a child on the autism spectrum. I really think there is no reason not to try says Dr. Buckley. Buckley is one of the authors of the 2013 case study noted above and she put her own daughter with autism on a dairy-free ketogenic diet with great results. Her daughter is now 19 and while still on the autism spectrum she is very high functioning with a very high IQ. Buckley also gives her daughter a methyl folate supplement to deal with her MTHFR deficiency.MTHFR methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase is a gene that creates a special enzyme involved in the complex process of folate metabolism breaking down folate and folic acid to be used in cellular processes. Somestudiesshow that children on the autism spectrum may be deficient in MTHFR. A folate supplement called 5-MTHL (L-Methylfolate) is available in health food stores that supposedly is easier to break down for those with MTHFR deficiencies. Thisadvice is still controversialbut Buckley says she recommends the supplement along with the ketogenic diet to all her families with children with autism. Do all children with cognitive behavioural or neurologic conditions respond to the ketogenic diet? Buckley says that alas it is clear that not all do. But families only know if their child will respond by trying. watch weight loss program here:<== An increasing number of families need this information. In the last week of April 2018 theUS Center for Disease Controlannounced that its surveillance network had found that now 1 in every 59 children is diagnosed in the autism spectrum up 15 per cent from just two years ago and up more than 200 per cent over the last decade. In 2004 just1 in 166children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Buckley is dismayed that in this day and age it is still seen as being controversial to put a child with autism or any other neurologic cognitive or behavioral issue on a ketogenic diet. No one should be eating the terrible diets that we eat today. I am absolutely certain that all children whether or not they have autism or another condition will see their health improve if they stop eating the crappy diets of today if they dont eat sugar and processed food if they eat lots of healthy fats and are well nourished! The fact that this is still seen as being controversial among physicians and as needing more investigation astounds me! The parents who contacted Diet Doctor about their own children would agree. People say keto is so hard. But it is not. And I would fly to the moon to help my children so why wouldnt I try feeding Brandon a special diet? said Krissy Nusky. 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