Parkinson’s Disease and the Ketogenic Diet

According to a study published in Motor Disorders: The Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society, the keto diet can be beneficial for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Researchers published a 2018 study in which they revealed how the keto diet improved the lives of participants with Parkinson’s Disease. Those who followed the keto diet demonstrated a significant improvement with their motor symptoms.

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease that affects the nervous system. The disease starts gradually, but as it progresses it has a significant impact on a person’s movements. The disease may start with just a small tremor in the hand, but eventually, the tremors progress. Symptoms include slow movements, stiffness, loss of balance, difficulty standing up, and other uncontrollable movements.

The problems with the movements occur because of changes in the brain. Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, which means that the brain is affected – specifically, the dopamine-producing neurons (also referred to as “dopaminergic” neurons) in a particular region of the brain called the substantia nigra. In other words, as the dopamine-producing cells deteriorate, the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease grow worse.

Early identification of the disease can lead to more interventions and treatments – such as the implementation of the keto diet.

This is just another example of how the keto diet can do more for the human body that just helps shed pounds. Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease are two more neurological disorders that show benefits from keto. That’s because the brain does well when it’s fueled by ketones.


Phillips, Matthew C L, et al. “Low-Fat versus Ketogenic Diet in Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.” Movement Disorders : Official Journal of the Movement Disorder Society, John Wiley and Sons Inc., Aug. 2018.