The Role of Milk Nutrition and Ketogenic Diet in Epileptic Disorders

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Maria Giovanna Ciliberti, PHD
Antonella Santillo, PHD
Rita Polito, PHD
Giovanni Messina, PHD
Marzia Albenzio, PHD


This chapter explores the role of the gut-brain axis, ketogenic diet, and cow’s milk allergy on epileptic seizures, with a special focus on childhood. Milk nutrition is particularly relevant for normal growth and health in childhood; however, some studies report an association between cow’s milk allergy and epileptic events. It is necessary to clarify the role of protein polymorphisms in these events and the influence of milk protein fractions on gut microbiota in the pathophysiology of epilepsy. The rationale for the discussion assumes that appropriate nutrition in infants offers the possibility of minimizing diet-induced proinflammatory mediators in the brain, and at the peripheral level. The putative role of diet on inflammation and intestinal microbiome in infants with generalized epilepsy are presented. Furthermore, the potential benefits of ketogenic diet along with non-bovine milk alternatives to manage epilepsy in children are discussed.


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Chapter 8