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Summary of Research into the Ketogenic Diet

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Nutrition
Wordcount: 1203 words Published: 26th Aug 2021

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The Ketogenic diet was originally called starvation therapy by two Parisian doctors in 1911. Starvation therapy was used on children and adults who claimed seizure symptoms were not as bad during treatment. Two Harvard physicians studied the effects of the starvation diet in epilepsy patients and they did see seizure improvement within two-three days. In 1924 Dr. Russell Wilder renamed starvation therapy to “Ketogenic diet.” Dr. Wilder concluded that by eating many fats, some protein and no carbohydrates could throw the body into ketosis. By starving the body of carbohydrates, the body will burn fat which will increase energy and result in weight loss. When the body goes into ketosis, epileptic seizures are decreased at least by half. Usually, the calculations of how much protein a person should eat were based on body weight. “Children would eat 1 g of protein per kilogram/body weight and 15 g of carbohydrates a day and the remaining calories in fat.” 

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 Since the ketogenic diet requires a 4:1 ratio of fat and 90% of calories coming from fat there is some health risk that might occur. Side effects of a high-fat diet include hypercholesterolemia, acidosis, kidney stones, constipation, confusion, anxiety and/or irritability just to name a few. Some people who start the ketogenic diet might feel weak, have vomiting and experience gastrointestinal distress. These symptoms might be associated with the “Keto Flu”. Although people might experience side effects many believe it is a good way to achieve weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

  •      What are the credentials of the author(s)? What do the abbreviations after the name(s) mean? Do they enhance the authors’ credibility? Explain. Dr. Martin Gildea DC, CFMP, DACBN DC-Doctor of Chiropractic, CFMP-Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner DACBN Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition

At first, I didn’t think the letters behind the doctor’s name enhances the credibility of the article in the journal until I went to his website. Although Dr. Gildea’s practice is chiropractic services he practices “Science-Based Nutrition and Wellness”. His practice evaluates patterns in a person’s nutrition and/or biochemistry imbalances and provides a detailed report which explains dietary, lifestyle and nutrient recommendations based on individual results. 

  • Is the author affiliated with an organization or institution? Does the affiliation with the organization or institution enhance the authors’ credibility? Briefly explain.

Upon my search of Dr. Martin Gildea DC, CFMP, DACBN.is affiliated with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN). I think Dr. Gildea being associated with the ACNB does enhance his credibility because of that organization is acting in the interest of the public by establishing education and ethic requirements for certification.

  •  Does the periodical have an editorial board? Do the editors’ credentials enhance the article’s credibility? Where does one look in a periodical for the editorial board?  Yes, the Nutritional Perspectives: Journal of the Council on Nutrition does have an editorial board and articles are reviewed before publication. Yes, the editor’s credentials enhance the article’s creditability because they are experts in their field and they are not getting paid, so I feel their opinions are not biased.

The editorial board can be found by going to the journal homepage, scroll down to the footer and click editorial board link.

  • Is scientific research being presented or discussed? Is the research current?

Yes, there is scientific research presented in the journal article. The research is not recent due to the ketogenic diet being used less now due to the increase of antiseizure medication.

  • If so, what specific kinds of research or data are presented or cited to support the ideas?

Two Harvard physicians conducted a study and it was proved that the starvation diet (ketogenic diet) did reduce seizures in epileptic patients.

  • Were references listed to allow readers to investigate the information’s original source? Were full citations provided?

Yes, references and full citations were provided so the reader could investigate the information for themselves.

  • What is the underlying hypothesis (if/then, cause/effect, etc.)?

The hypothesis for the starvation (ketogenic) diet is by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat, seizures would be reduced. “After three months, around 4 in 10 (38%) children who started the diet had the number of their seizures reduced by over half and the children were able to reduce their medication” (Epilepsy Society).

  • What are the article’s conclusions/recommendations?

In conclusion a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet alters the metabolism in the brain which helps in epileptic seizures. The ketogenic diet is effective in decreasing seizures but with effective antiseizure medication this diet is less used now.

What sources other than those listed in the periodical would you refer to if you were to research the article’s topic further? Resources are listed under references on last page.



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