Tag Archives: ketogenic diet for epilepsy

My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: Day 33 + Magnesium Review

CB022214Weight: 159 lb

Transgressions: 12 oz  of 7-Up carbonated beverage

Exercise: none


I accidentally drank a 7-Up at the hospital physician’s lounge: the diet 7-Ups were right next to the regular 7-Ups in the refrigerator.  It had 39 g of carbs, all sugar of course.  I didn’t realize what I’d done until too late; the texture finally gave it away.  I rarely drink 7-Up in any case.  My favorite diet soda is Fresca.  Nothing wrong with 1-2 daily for most folks.  If I were going to cheat on purpose, it wouldn’t be with soda pop.  Snickers bar is more like it!

My nutrient analysis of the un-supplemented Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet suggests that it may be deficient in magnesium.  Here’s a summary of magnesium physiology from UpToDate.com and Medscape:

Role of Magnesium

Influences properties of cell membranes.  Helps regulate other mineral levels: sodium, potassium, calcium.  Works with enzymes, particulary in energy production.  Helps with protein production.  Most of our magnesium is in our bones.


Leafy greens, nuts, legumes, animal proteins.  [All but legumes are on the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.]

Effects of Deficiency State

Abnormal EKG (an electrical tracing of heart activity).  Abnormal heart rhythms, especially ventricular arrhythmias.  Weakness, convulsions, loss of appetite, low blood levels of calcium and potassium, seizures, apathy, delirium coma.

Causes of Low Magnesium

Gastrointestinal or kidney losses: vomiting, diarrhea, diuretics, genetic disorders, several kidney-toxic drugs little used in the general population, small bowel bypass surgery, inability to absorb from intestinal tract.

Miscellaneous: marked dietary deprivation, diabetes, alcohol abuse, high blood calcium levels, ketogenic extremely high-fat diets used to suppress epilepsy (usually in children: up to 10% have low magnesium).


Hmm…, causes of magnesium deficiency include …ketogenic extremely high-fat diets used to suppress epilepsy…  The ketogenic anti-epilepsy diet may be even lower in carbohydrates than is the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, so fewer leafy greens (and nut-free?).  Since I don’t treat children with epilepsy, I haven’t done much research into the anti-epilepsy ketogenic diet yet. 

One Centrum multivitamin/multimineral supplement contains only 13% of the recommended “% Daily Value” of magnesium.  Might be a good idea for KMD dieters to take an additional magnesium supplement, probably available over-the-counter at pharmacies, supermarkets, or health food stores.  Or get a blood level of magnesium drawn periodically.



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