The ketogenic diet is a high- fat, adequate- protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used mainly to treat hard-to-control refractory epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally carbohydrates in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is important in fueling brain function. But if little carbohydrate remains in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, the latter passing into the brain and replacing glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood a state called ketosis eventually lowers the frequency of epileptic seizures. The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories [Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was developed for treatment of paediatric epilepsy in the s and was widely used into the next decade, but its popularity waned with the introduction of effective anticonvulsant medications.
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The original Ketogenic Therapy, known as the classic Ketogenic Diet, or classic Keto for short, was designed in by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of epilepsy. Classic Keto carries a ratio, which means that there are four parts fat for every one part protein and carb. The main difference between the five types of Ketogenic Diets is this macronutrient ratio. All Ketogenic Diets are high in fat, adequate in protein and low in carbohydrates. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body, converting fat into fatty acids and ketones in the liver. When there is an elevated level of ketones in the blood, one is in a state of ketosis, which has a variety of therapeutic benefits for the sick and healthy alike. In addition to the macronutrient ratio, the frequency of eating can influence ketosis. More specifically, a practice called intermittent fasting, which reduces the window of time a person eats throughout the day, can help in obtaining and sustaining ketosis.