5 EYEWITNESS NEWS preview: Pompe disease

May 22, 2019 10:30 AM

It's a possible medical breakthrough, cooked up in the kitchen of a West St. Paul home.

When 2-year-old Leo St. Martin was just four months old, he was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Pompe disease, which affects the way his body processes food and complex sugars. The disease can lead to organ failure.


Leo is on a standard, weekly therapy for his disease, but it was really when his parents started experimenting with his diet that they notice major improvements.

Leo is on a strict version of a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and fiber and low in sugar and carbohydrates. For example, when 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS met Leo at his house, he was having a lunch of sausage, an egg friend in butter and a scoop of peanut butter.

Though the ketogenic diet is the same diet trend many individuals are following to lose weight, Leo's parents say they believe the diet is doing much more for him. Now, his parents and his doctors at the Mayo Clinic say they believe this diet could possibly help other patients like Leo.

Mayo Clinic doctors are launching a pilot study later this year based on Leo's diet. They hope to determine how much of a role Leo's diet is playing in his improvement and how it could help other patients.

Ellen Galles has the full report on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

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