Ketogenic Diet For Parkinson’s

Ketogenic Diet For Parkinson's

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Ketogenic Diet For Parkinson’s Disease

In regard to neurological disorders, ketogenic diet is recognized as an effective treatment for pharmacoresistant epilepsy but emerging data suggests that ketogenic diet could be also useful in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease, and some mitochondriopathies. Although these diseases have different pathogenesis and features, there are some common mechanisms that could explain the effects of ketogenic diets. These mechanisms are (2):

  • To provide an efficient source of energy for the treatment of certain types of neurodegenerative diseases characterised by focal brain hypometabolism.
  • To decrease the oxidative damage associated with various kinds of metabolic stress.
  • To increase the mitochondrial biogenesis pathways.
  • To take advantage of the capacity of ketones to bypass the defect in complex I activity implicated in some neurological diseases. (2)

Low Fat vs Ketogenic Diet For Parkinson’s Disease

The conclusion of the aper was that “it is plausible and safe for PD patients to maintain a low-fat or ketogenic diet for 8 weeks. Both diet groups significantly improved in motor and nonmotor symptoms; however, the ketogenic group showed greater improvements in nonmotor symptoms.” (3)

What is important to metion is that the most common adverse effects were excessive hunger in the low-fat group and intermittent exacerbation of the Parkinson’s disease tremor and/or rigidity in the ketogenic group.



The Gut Microbiome, Ketogenic Diet, And Parkinson’s Disease

Recent studies have shown the role of the low carbohydrate, adequate protein, and high fat “ketogenic diet” in remodeling the composition of the gut microbiome and thereby facilitating protective effects in various central nervous system (CNS) disorders (4).

Gut microbes are found to be involved in the pathogenesis of various CNS disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stress, anxiety and depression (4).

Conclusions: Ketogenic Diet For Parkinson’s disease

A systematic review of the research concluded that: “various forms of Ketogenic diets seem tolerable and effective as part of the treatment for epilepsy, AD and PD, although more investigation concerning the mechanism, efficacy and adverse events is necessary.” (6)

Thus far, only a few studies have evaluated the role of the ketogenic diet in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Single studies with human participants have demonstrated a reduction of disease symptoms after application. (1)

The application of the ketogenic diet to elderly people, however, raises certain concerns. Persons with neurodegenerative diseases are at risk of malnutrition, while food intake reduction is associated with disease symptoms. In turn, the ketogenic diet leads to a reduced appetite; it is not attractive from an organoleptic point of view, and may be accompanied by side effects of the gastrointestinal system. All this may lead to further lowering of consumed food portions by elderly persons with neurodegenerative diseases and, in consequence, to further reduction in the supply of nutrients provided by the diet. (1)


  1. Role of Ketogenic Diets in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease) (click here)
  2. Ketogenic diet in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases (click here)
  3. Low-fat versus ketogenic diet in Parkinson’s disease: A pilot randomized controlled trial (click here)
  4. A review on preventive role of ketogenic diet (KD) in CNS disorders from the gut microbiota perspective (click here)
  5. Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet (click here)
  6. Use of ketogenic diets in the treatment of central nervous system diseases: a systematic review (click here)
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