(J. Klepper, Aschaffenburg; updated 01.2007)

The ketogenic diet is a normocaloric, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for the treatment of intractable childhood epilepsy and specific defects of brain energy metabolism (see Indications).

The ketogenic diet simulates the body’s response to starvation by shifting the metabolism from carbohydrate to fat utilization for fuel. In starvation, ketones are formed from the breakdown of body fat. They readily pass the blood-brain barrier and provide the brain with energy.

Applying a ketogenic diet follows the same principle but prevents weight loss by providing nutritional fat to maintain ketosis.