Ketogenic diet poses a significant effect on imbalanced gut microbiota in infants with refractory epilepsy

World Journal of Gastroenterology | September 14, 2017

Xie G, et al. - This research aspired to examine whether patients with refractory epilepsy and healthy infants differ in gut microbiota (GM), and how ketogenic diet (KD) alters GM. In healthy infants, GM pattern differed dramatically from that of the epileptic group. KD could significantly modify symptoms of epilepsy and reshape the GM of epileptic infants.


  • The authors recruited 14 epileptic and 30 healthy infants.
  • They recorded seizure frequencies.
  • They collected stool samples for 16S rDNA sequencing using the Illumina Miseq platform.
  • They examined the composition of GM in each sample with MOTHUR.
  • They conducted inter-group comparison by R software.


  • 64% of epileptic infants demonstrated an obvious improvement after being on KD treatment for a week, with a 50% decrease in seizure frequency.
  • In epileptic infants (P1 group), GM structure differed dramatically from that in healthy infants (Health group).
  • Proteobacteria, which had accumulated significantly in the P1 group, decreased dramatically after KD treatment (P2 group).
  • In the P1 group, Cronobacter predominated and remained at a low level both in the Health and P2 groups.
  • In the P2 group, Bacteroides increased significantly, in which Prevotella and Bifidobacterium also grew in numbers and kept increasing.

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