History and Origin of the Ketogenic Diet

Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


In the past, many dietary “cures” for epilepsy were advocated, and such treatments included the excess or limitation of almost every substance (animal, vegetable, or mineral) (1). However, fasting as a treatment for seizures was less recognized. Fasting is the only therapeutic measure against epilepsy recorded in the Hippocratic collection (1). In the fifth century BC, Hippocrates reported on a man who had been seized by epileptic convulsions after having anointed himself before the fire in a bath, in winter. Complete abstinence from food and drink was prescribed, and the cure was effective.


Mayo Clinic Ketone Body Seizure Frequency Ketogenic Diet Seizure Type 
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