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Baby born with brain tumors had 20 seizures daily until ketogenic diet helped

A baby born with tumors suffered seizures until a ketogenic diet helped.
A baby born with tumors suffered seizures until a ketogenic diet helped.
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Life has not been easy for tiny Blake Shore and his family. When he was only one day old, he underwent open-heart surgery to remove a large tumor blocking his blood flow. And although the months since have involved medical challenges and adjustment, the baby is now celebrating his first birthday with a cake catering to the ketogenic diet needed to help control his seizures, reported High Point Enterprise on Aug. 21.

"He’s started a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has almost no sugar," Amber Shore explained. "So as you can imagine, it was difficult figuring out what to do for his first birthday cake, but luckily we found a recipe."

Blake's condition is called tuberous sclerosis. Although benign, the tumors cause problems based on their location. His brain tumors, for example, have caused up to 20 seizures daily.

"That’s been our biggest battle right now," revealed Amber. "We’ll see him learn something, and then he’ll have a seizure, and it almost instantly erases what he’s learned. He just hasn't been able to take off developmentally because of these seizures."

But miracles in the medical world do happen, and Amber is grateful for what her baby has achieved. Implementing a ketogenic low carb diet has made a dramatic difference.

"It’s been a miracle in my opinion," she said. "Blake was to the point that he would have 20 seizures a day, and now he can go a full day without a seizure — that’s why I label it a miracle. It’s definitely done wonders for him."

Amber plans to continue carefully monitoring Blake's high fat low carb diet. He just began rolling from side to side on his back, which was another milestone to cheer.

"Those are things most parents take for granted, but we really celebrate those milestones," said Amber. "And as long as the diet continues to work, the milestones should become more frequent, hopefully to the point soon where he’s crawling and sitting up."

High fat low carb ketogenic diets also have been shown to help with other conditions, including epilepsy, certain types of cancer, depression, dementia, Parkinson's disease and obesity. Jack Osbourne currently is using a Paleo ketogenic diet to control his MS symptoms.

For Alix Hayden, who describes herself as a "healthy gal living with cancer," a ketogenic diet also has provided an alternative therapy. In an exclusive interview, she revealed that her tumor is located in a spot where, unless it enlarges or converts to a more aggressive cell type, surgery is not recommended."

It was that discovery that resulted in her decision to make "lifestyle choices to stack the deck in my favor, so to speak." And one of those choices was a ketogenic diet.

"I decided to try it because I thought I had nothing to lose," she now admits. With her knowledge of biology and nutrition, coupled with the research she had evaluated, Alix "truly felt that this diet would be less dangerous for me than a burgeoning brain tumour, and I believed there was a credible chance based on what I'd read that it could have a very real and positive effect on stacking that proverbial deck for me."

In one of those semi-serendipitous situations that life sometimes produces, Alix works in "a metabolic health research company. For the past twelve years we've been publishing work supporting the idea that cancer is a metabolic disease, and that diet, supplements, lifestyle choices can and do impact it. It just took me six months to get back in gear."

She began researching and discovered the studies of Dr. Thomas Seyfried from Boston College. Alix now feels that what she has learned from these combined sources make the ketogenic diet a value weapon in her battle for health.

Dr. David Perlmutter says that a high fat low carb ketogenic diet can do more than help certain diseases. He believes that by eliminating grains and sugar and boosting fat, dieters can actually prevent Alzheimer's disease, reported WACH Fox News on Aug. 21.

Author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers," Dr. Perlmutter recommends reducing carbohydrates to 60 to 80 grams per day. He agrees with the Paleo diet theory that the human body has not changed since the days when our prehistoric ancestors consumed diets of vegetables and meat.

"For more than 99 percent of our time on this planet, we were on a high fat, low carb, virtually gluten-free diet," points out Dr. Perlmutter. Hence by using the Paleo model and choosing high quality sources of protein and fat such as grass-fed beef and unprocessed almonds, he says dieters can win at weight loss and health.

The "Grain Brain" diet is designed to prevent the blood sugar spikes caused by carb consumption. Dr. Perlmutter cites studies showing that such spikes increase the risk of dementia and type 2 diabetes. One study discovered that those who consumed a high fat low carb diet have a 42 percent lower risk of dementia.

Avoid grains, because our bodies are not designed to consume them, says Dr. Perlmutter. Instead, eat nuts, veggies, olive oil, eggs, wild fish, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef and avocados. When it comes to dairy, choose full-fat options, such as whole milk.