Impact of the modified Atkins diet on cardiovascular health in adults with epilepsy

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11 Scopus citations


Aim The current study investigated biochemical and vascular markers of cardiovascular health in adult patients with epilepsy treated with long-term (greater than 1 year) ketogenic diet therapy compared with controls. Method Anthropometric measures, serum fasting lipid panel, apolipoproteins A-1 and B, lipoprotein sub-fractions as well as common carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), and plaque presence were assessed in 20 adult patients with epilepsy on a modified Atkins diet (MAD) for > 1 year started as an adult compared with 21 adult patients with epilepsy naïve to diet therapy. Results Patients treated with MAD had significantly lower weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumference, percent body fat, and serum triglyceride levels when compared with control patients. In contrast, they had significantly higher serum levels of small low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) particles and were significantly more likely to have LDL pattern B in which small LDL particles predominate when compared with controls. However, there was no significant difference in cIMT or plaque presence between groups. Conclusion Our results provide clinical evidence demonstrating the cardiovascular safety of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet used in adults with epilepsy for at least 12 months. It also highlights potential markers of cardiovascular risk – small dense LDL particles – that should be closely monitored in adults treated with diet therapy long-term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-86
Number of pages5
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Epilepsy
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Low-density-lipoprotein
  • Modified Atkins diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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