The effect of olive oil-based ketogenic diet on serum lipid levels in epileptic children


Ketogenic diet (KD) is one of the most effective therapies for intractable epilepsy. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant molecules and has some beneficial effects on lipid profile, inflammation and oxidant status. The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum lipid levels of children who were receiving olive oil-based KD for intractable seizures at least 1 year. 121 patients (mean age 7.45 ± 4.21 years, 57 girls) were enrolled. At baseline and post-treatment 1, 3, 6, and 12 months body mass index-SDS, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels were measured. Repeated measure ANOVA with post hoc Bonferroni correction was used for data analysis. The mean duration of KD was 15.4 ± 4.1 months. Mean total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly higher at 1st, 3rd, 6th and 12th months of the KD treatment, compared to pre-treatment levels (p = 0.001), but showed no difference among during-treatment measurements. Mean body mass index-SDS and HDL-cholesterol levels were not different among the baseline and follow-up time points (p = 0.113 and p = 0.067, respectively). No child in this study discontinued the KD because of dyslipidemia. Even if rich in olive oil, high-fat KD causes significant increase in LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels. More studies are needed to determine the effect of KD on serum lipids in children using different fat sources in the diet.

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We thank all the patients and parents who contributed to this study.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nur Arslan.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was designed in compliance with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Informed consent was obtained from parents on enrollment in the study. The study was started and data collection began after the approval of the Ethics Committee of the Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine (Number of ethical approval: 2015/10-38).

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Güzel, O., Yılmaz, U., Uysal, U. et al. The effect of olive oil-based ketogenic diet on serum lipid levels in epileptic children. Neurol Sci 37, 465–470 (2016).

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  • Children
  • Epilepsy
  • Olive oil
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Cholesterol
  • Triglyceride