Epilepsy

Also indexed as:Convulsions, Falling Sickness, Seizure Disorders
A sudden seizure is the most clear and common sign of this brain disorder. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

Supplement Amount Why
Fish Oil
3.25 grams daily of omega-3 fatty acids 2 stars [2 stars]
In one study, supplementing with a mixture of omega-3 fatty acids (primarily EPA and DHA, found in fish oil) reduced the frequency of seizures in some epileptic patients.
Magnesium
252 mg one to four times per day 2 stars [2 stars]
In a retrospective chart review of patients with epilepsy, magnesium supplementation reduced seizure frequency by an average of 49% during follow-up periods of 3 to 12 months.
Sho-Saiko-To (Bupleurum, Peony, Pinellia, Cassia, Ginger, Jujube, Asian Ginseng, Asian Scullcap, and Licorice)
2.5 grams a day of sho-saiko-to or saiko-keishi-to in tea or capsules 2 stars [2 stars]
The Chinese herb bupleurum is included in two herbal formulas, sho-saiko-to and saiko-keishi-to. Both have been shown to be helpful for epilepsy.
Vitamin D
Refer to label instructions 2 stars [2 stars]
In a preliminary study, correcting vitamin D deficiency resulted in a decrease in the number of seizures in patients with epilepsy who had failed to respond adequately to medications.
Bacopa
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
One preliminary trial in India found that an extract of bacopa, an Ayurvedic herb, reduced the frequency of epileptic seizures in a small group of people.
Folic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Folic acid may help reduce epileptic seizure frequency, people taking anticonvulsant medications should talk to their doctor before deciding whether to use folic acid.
Melatonin
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
A small, preliminary trial found that melatonin improved sleep and improved seizure symptoms among children with one of two rare seizure disorders.
Taurine
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Taurine, an amino acid that is thought to play a role in the brain’s electrical activity, appears to temporarily reduce epileptic seizures in some people.
Vitamin B6
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Vitamin B6 has helped children with seizures related to a genetic enzyme defect. However, it is not known whether supplementation would benefit people with epilepsy.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.