If you haven’t heard about Beth Zupec-Kania, then you’re in for a treat! Beth spent the last 27 years as a Registered Dietician helping many parents implement a keto diet for seizures. Through the Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies, Beth worked primarily with children using ketogenic therapy for epilepsy. Also the designer of the KetoDietCalculator, which has been around for 20+ years, Beth has been using keto long before it was a popular dietary approach. 

A pioneer in ketogenic therapy’s resurgence, Beth Zupec-Kania has been instrumental in spreading knowledge about the keto diet through the Charlie Foundation. She educates hospital staff and parents on how to implement ketogenic therapy all over the world, giving many families hope. So far, Beth and the Charlie Foundation have trained over 200 hospitals in ten countries! 

Founded in 1994 by Jim Abrahams, The Charlie Foundation came into existence because of Jim’s son Charlie, who found success with a keto diet for seizures. In 1993, when Charlie, a baby then, failed to respond to epilepsy medications, Jim wasn’t willing to take ‘good enough’ as an answer. Digging into the textbooks, he found a possibility in the ketogenic diet. Within a month, Charlie became seizure and drug free. Most important, now an adult, Charlie has never had a seizure again! 

Now in its 25th year, the Charlie Foundation is a non-profit organization. It provides information about ketogenic therapy for those with epilepsy, neurological disorders, and certain cancers. All donations are not only used directly for education but are matched by Jim Abrams. You can contact Beth through the Charlie Foundation Contact page for educational training. This is also a great resource for finding practitioners trained in the ketogenic diet for therapeutic use.

Note: Charlie Foundation’s Keto Ambassador series highlights stories of people who have found success using a ketogenic therapy for epilepsy. Gillian Szollos (featured on episode 23 of our podcast), is also a Keto Ambassador for the Charlie Foundation. She shares her story and favorite keto diet for seizures recipe here: http://bit.ly/GilliansStory

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • How Beth got started with the keto diet for seizures at the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Also how she came to learn about Jim Abrahams from The Charlie Foundation, becoming their lead nutritionist [5:00]
  • Jim Abrahams’ story as a Hollywood writer, movie producer, and father. How his youngest son Charlie developed epilepsy around age one [7:45]
  • How available drugs fail 30% of those with epilepsy [9:42]
  • Why ketogenic therapy is really effective for those that have been on two anti-seizure medications, yet are still having seizures [11:00]
  • That the diet works in at least 50% of those who try it with medical supervision when the meds don’t work or surgery isn’t an option [11:05]
  • How after Charlie started the keto diet all of his seizures went away [12:15]
  • How Jim found information on the ketogenic therapy for epilepsy buried in textbooks [13:50]
  • Why First Do No Harm, the movie Jim created about a boy’s story with epilepsy, is still a large reason that people hear about the keto diet. Hence, showing how underutilized the keto diet for seizures is still used today [17:41]
  • That trials in children and several in adults show repeatedly the same statistic, no matter what type of seizure. (At least 50% have at least 50% or more reduction in seizures. About 15 up to 25% get complete seizure freedom, depending on the unique circumstances.) [20:50]
  • About the prep that has to happen before implementing a keto diet for seizures. Also learn about the resources Beth has created for the transition [23:00]
  • How just removing gluten or sugar can provide relief for a lot of patients before going full keto [26:00]
  • Why knowing your biomarkers can help you to identify things that are triggering your seizures [29:45]
  • About the Charlie Foundation and how people can get started using the keto diet. (Used for everything from autism and brain cancer to Parkinson’s and migraines, plus more.) [38:00]
  • The education Beth has done, conducting trainings in 250 hospitals across the globe with patients/staff. How she teaches others how to implement the keto diet for seizures [40:45]


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