A ketogenic diet means high-fat and very low-Carbohydrate diet. It is a type of metabolic therapy which means the body is using mainly ketones as an energy source instead of glucose. The aims of metabolic therapy are to optimize neuron metabolism, growth and repair, and protect neurons.

A pilot randomized controlled trial in 2018 had compared the effects of a low-fat diet and ketogenic diet on Parkinson’s Disease. The low-fat diet consisted of vegetables, meats, whole grains and fruits with ~25% calorie intake from fat. Whereas the Ketogenic diet consisted of vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, oils and nuts with ~80% calorie intake from fat. The results showed that both diets improved the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Interestingly, the ketogenic diet also showed significant improvements on non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, e.g. Urinary problems, pain, tiredness, cognitive impairments and daytime sleepiness. In conclusion, the ketogenic diet is feasible and safe for Parkinson’s Disease and it showed greater improvements in both motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s.

My Rehab Team Dietitians are able to help people with Parkinson’s Disease to develop a tailored nutritional program. Contact us on 1300 469 734 or info@myrehabteam.com.au for more information.

Phillips, M., Murtagh, D., Gilbertson, L. J., Asztely, F., & Lynch, C. (2018). Low-fat versus ketogenic diet in Parkinson’s disease: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 33(8), 1306–1314. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.27390