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Neurochem Res. 2003 Dec;28(12):1793-7.

Ketogenic diet increases glutathione peroxidase activity in rat hippocampus.

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Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo, RS, Brazil.


Ketogenic diets have been used in the treatment of refractory childhood epilepsy for almost 80 years; however, we know little about the underlying biochemical basis of their action. In this study, we evaluate oxidative stress in different brain regions from Wistar rats fed a ketogenic diet. Cerebral cortex appears to have not been affected by this diet, and cerebellum presented a decrease in antioxidant capacity measured by a luminol oxidation assay without changes in antioxidant enzyme activities--glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. In the hippocampus, however, we observed an increase in antioxidant activity accompanied by an increase of glutathione peroxidase (about 4 times) and no changes in lipoperoxidation levels. We suggest that the higher activity of this enzyme induced by ketogenic diet in hippocampus might contribute to protect this structure from neurodegenerative sequelae of convulsive disorders.

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