Boy eats 90 percent fat diet, seizures stop

Bacon = medicine.

Bacon = medicine.

The New York Times magazine explores food-as-medicine connections, as a parent explains the process of treating his nine-year-old son's epilepsy with an extremely high-fat diet that's heavy on the bacon, cheese, and macadamia nuts, as well as eggs scrambled with heavy cream and whole milk yogurt mixed with coconut oil.

In an average week, the parents say, the boy consumes "a quart and a third of heavy cream, nearly a stick and a half of butter, 13 teaspoons of coconut oil, 20 slices of bacon and 9 eggs." His diet is nearly 90 percent fat!

The boy used to have, on average, 130 petit mal seizures a day, and his ketogenic diet, as it is known, has reduced them roughly 75 percent. Hopefully, he will only be on the diet for a few years and its long-term health affects will be minimal--after about a year and a half, he hasn't gained excessive weight and, though his cholesterol levels are elevated, all other tests are normal.

Interestingly, the article points out how the Mayo Clinic made crucial headway on the subject nearly 100 years ago, and found that the ketosis effect--a state in which the body burns fat, not carbs, for fuel--caused by starving patients was the root of the successful treatment for seizures. Kudos to Minnesota's own!