About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Link Between Gut Bacteria and Anti-seizure Effects of Ketogenic Diet

by Adeline Dorcas on May 26, 2018 at 2:10 PM
Font : A-A+

Link Between Gut Bacteria and Anti-seizure Effects of Ketogenic Diet

Gut bacteria play a vital role in anti-seizure effects of the high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, reports a new study by UCLA scientists. The findings of the study are published in the journal Cell.

The study is the first to establish a causal link between seizure susceptibility and the gut microbiota -- the 100 trillion or so bacteria and other microbes that reside in the human body's intestines.

Advertisement


The ketogenic diet has numerous health benefits, including fewer seizures for children with epilepsy who do not respond to anti-epileptic medications, said Elaine Hsiao, UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology, and senior author of the study. However, there has been no clear explanation for exactly how the diet aids children with epilepsy.

Researchers in Hsiao's laboratory hypothesized that the gut microbiota is altered through the ketogenic diet and is important for the diet's anti-seizure effects. Hsiao's research team conducted a comprehensive investigation into whether the microbiota influences the ability of the diet to protect against seizures and if so, how the microbiota achieves these effects.
Advertisement

In a study of mice as a model to more thoroughly understand epilepsy, the researchers found that the diet substantially altered the gut microbiota in fewer than four days, and mice on a diet had significantly fewer seizures.

To test whether the microbiota is important for protection against seizures, the researchers analyzed the effects of the ketogenic diet on two types of mice: those reared as germ-free in a sterile laboratory environment and mice treated with antibiotics to deplete gut microbes.

"In both cases, we found the ketogenic diet was no longer effective in protecting against seizures," said lead author Christine Olson, a UCLA graduate student in Hsiao's laboratory. "This suggests that the gut microbiota is required for the diet to effectively reduce seizures."

The biologists identified the precise order of organic molecules known as nucleotides from the DNA of gut microbiota to determine which bacteria were present and at what levels after the diet was administered. They identified two types of bacteria that were elevated by the diet and play a key role in providing this protection: Akkermansia muciniphila and Parabacteroides species.

With this new knowledge, they studied germ-free mice that were given these bacteria.

"We found we could restore seizure protection if we gave these particular types of bacteria together," Olson said. "If we gave either species alone, the bacteria did not protect against seizures; this suggests that these different bacteria perform a unique function when they are together."

The researchers measured levels of hundreds of biochemicals in the gut, blood and hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays an important role in spreading seizures in the brain. They found that the bacteria that were elevated by the ketogenic diet alter levels of biochemicals in the gut and the blood in ways that affect neurotransmitters in the hippocampus.

How do the bacteria do this? "The bacteria increased brain levels of GABA -- a neurotransmitter that silences neurons -- relative to brain levels of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that activates neurons to fire," said co-author Helen Vuong, a postdoctoral scholar in Hsiao's laboratory.

"This study inspires us to study whether similar roles for gut microbes are seen in people that are on the ketogenic diet," Vuong said.

"The implications for health and disease are promising, but much more research needs to be done to test whether discoveries in mice also apply to humans," said Hsiao, who has helped to develop a company that will examine the potential clinical applications of her laboratory's findings.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Diet Pills Low Carbohydrate Diet Atkins Diet The Cabbage Diet South Beach Diet Shigellosis Negative Calorie Diet Bulimia Nervosa Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease 

Recommended Reading
Epilepsy
Fits or convulsions or Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent, involuntary seizures and is ......
Health Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diet is a diet where you load up on protein and fat and drop your carbohydrate intake. ......
Amazing Benefits of Gut Bacteria
The bacteria that live in the gut offer numerous health benefits such as synthesis of vitamin K, ......
Health Benefits of Probiotic Yogurt Diet
Probiotic yogurt adds bountiful of beneficial bacteria to the intestinal tract which prove to be ......
Atkins Diet
Atkins diet is a low carbohydrate diet and aids in weight loss. It was developed by Robert Atkins....
Bulimia Nervosa
The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followe...
Diet Pills
Diet pills are flooding the market by millions. The positive side of diet pills to most people is th...
Low Carbohydrate Diet
A low carbohydrate diet helps achieve weight loss. It is a diet plan that restricts the carbohydrate...
Negative Calorie Diet
The History of dieting probably dates back to the year 1807. It was believed that King William sudde...
Shigellosis
Shigellosis or Bacillary Dysentery is a common cause of gastro-enteritis worldwide and can cause blo...
South Beach Diet
South Beach Diet plan originally developed to prevent heart disease, soon gained popularity as weigh...
The Cabbage Diet
The plausible reason that can be sited is the inherent low calorie property of cabbage....
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use