An olive oil-based ketogenic-diet leads to a decline in selenium levels in children with drug-resistant epilepsy, according to a study published in the journal of Biological Trace Elements Research.Previous research has shown that low amount of selenium, an element found in trace amounts in the blood that, may increase the risk of seizures. Therefore the levels of selenium in the blood of children with epilepsy who are on a ketogenic diet should be closely monitored.For the study, the team led by Dr Orkide Guzel, at Behçet Uz Children Hospital in Izmir, Turkey, enrolled a total of 110 children with drug-resistant epilepsy, aged between three and 12 years, who were on ketogenic diet for at least 12 months.The researchers measured the level of selenium in the children’s blood before the start of ketogenic diet treatment (baseline) and again at three, six and 12 months.The results showed that although there were no significant differences in the level of selenium in the blood of the children after three months of treatment with ketogenic diet, selenium levels were significantly lower at six and 12 months compared with pre-treatment levels.Almost half of the children (54 out of 110) were diagnosed with selenium deficiency, defined as selenium levels lower than 48 micrograms per litre, and treated with selenium supplements.“The decline of the serum selenium concentrations after 6 and 12 months of ketogenic diet suggests that patients on this highly prescriptive dietary treatment need close monitoring of this trace element,” the authors wrote.Author: Dr Özge ÖzkayaClick here for more news articles about epilepsy in children.