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Girl fights epilepsy with high-fat diet

A diet that is nearly 80% fat is helping a young schoolgirl from Devon control her severe epilepsy.

Nine-year-old Lucy Murphy, who was forced to take emergency medication and make several hospital trips due to the severity of her condition, is said to be making good progress after starting on her high-fat diet.

In a ketogenic diet the source of energy for the brain is not carbohydrate, but fat which produces ketones that control seizures.

Doctors have recommended that Lucy consume fatty foods like cream and restrict her carbohydrate intake to no more than 20 g a day. She is helped by a specialist dietitian supported by the charity Daisy Garland.

Lucy's mother, Denise Murphy, says the prescription is giving her daughter something near a normal life.

The 47-year-old teacher said: "She has cream with everything. It has given her back some sort of life.

"She can now participate in activities and loves going to Brownies, ballet and music lessons."

Typically for her breakfast Mrs Murphy makes Lucy's favourite pancakes containing a special Ketocal supplement and spread liberally with butter.

Her tea also contains helpings of cream instead of milk and she eats aubergines to absorb the fat.

Despite the pots of cream she eats, Lucy has managed to maintain a health body weight, her mother said.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

The Daisy Garland

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