The Ketogenic diet has long been used, as far back as 500 BC in fact, to treat seizures, and widely-published research has shown that it can result in an up to 90 per cent decrease in seizures for patients with epilepsy.
It’s also been shown to help with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even cancer. Scientists admit they aren’t entirely sure why this is, and it’s still more of an association than a direct cause and effect.
Dr Mallakh has pointed out that many of the drugs proven to help with bipolar depression have anti-seizure properties, which has established a link between the high-fat, low-carb diet and its effects on the brain, if nothing else.
It’s not just health experts who have been singing the praises of the Atkins and Ketogenic diets. A number of celebrities including Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore count themselves as fans, and Kim Kardashian famously credited the meal plans for helping her shift 50 pounds of baby weight in just five months.
But there are skeptics, particularly when it comes to how the diet may affect the body long term.
Just last month, we reported that nutritionist Dr T Campbell was hitting back against the low-carb craze with his new book, The Low-Carb Fraud.
Ignoring its apparent mental benefits, he argues that the standard American diet is already too high in protein and fat, an imbalance that is merely worsened with this sort of diet. ‘Low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diets cause high cholesterol – a major indicator of heart disease and cancer risks,’ he suggests.