Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet

Part of the series Nutrition and Health pp 185-199

The Ketogenic Diet

Interactions With Brain Amino Acid Handling
  • Marc Yudkoff
  • , Yevgeny Daikhin
  • , Ilana Nissim
  • , Itzhak Nissim

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The energy requirements of the human brain are enormous. Cerebral oxygen consumption is 35 mL/min/kg or approx 50 mL/min in the adult brain. The rate of wholebody O2 consumption is 250 mL/min, indicating that approx 20% of oxygen utilization is directed toward the needs of the brain, which occupies only 2% of body weight. Virtually no oxygen is stored in the brain, implying that to maintain the integrity of this vital organ, cerebral blood flow (approx 800 mL/min), which constitutes about 15% of cardiac output, must proceed in an uninterrupted manner. If flow is completely shut down, a state of unconsciousness would ensue within 10s.