A blinded, crossover study of the efficacy of the ketogenic diet

John M. Freeman, Eileen P.G. Vining, Eric H. Kossoff, Paula L. Pyzik, Xiaobu Ye, Steven N. Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Despite over 80 years of use, the ketogenic diet (KD) has never been tested in a blinded manner. Twenty children with intractable Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) were fasted 36 h and then randomized to receive the classic KD in conjunction with a solution containing either 60 g/day of glucose or saccharin. Parents and physicians were blinded to both the solution composition and level of ketosis. A crossover to the KD with the alternate solution occurred following the sixth day and a repeat fast. A 24-h electroencephalography (EEG) was obtained at baseline and after each arm. After administration of the solution, there was moderate evidence of a reduction in parent-reported seizures between the glucose and saccharin arms, with a median difference of 1.5 seizures per day (p = 0.07). There was no reduction in the number of EEG-identified events, with a median reduction of 7 events per day (p = 0.33). Ketosis was not completely eliminated in the glucose-added arm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-325
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Children
  • Epilepsy
  • Fasting
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Randomized crossover trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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