Monday, September 26, 2022

Does Keto Help With Depression

The Ketogenic Diet For Depression And Anxiety

Does Keto Cause Depression?

This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. All opinions remain our own.

In todays fast-paced life, its not uncommon to come across many people suffering from depression.

Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression affect people in many different ways.

Work-related challenges, the ever-increasing family expectations, insufficient rest, and poor diet, are just some examples of these causes.

With this in mind, its obvious you need credible, easy to understand research-based information on the best remedy to treat depression and other mental illnesses.

Much research has been carried out and continues to help people deal with problems of mental health.

Numerous psychoactive drugs prescribed by doctors help treat mental disorders.

However, recent studies have revealed that these drugs present some dangers to the users.

Since the early 1920s, ketogenic diets have proven to be resourceful in treating epilepsy and other difficult neurological conditions.

The latest research also shows eating a low carb high-fat diet can help with the management of metabolic disorders such as types 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimers disease.

What is the relationship between keto and your emotional state, you may wonder?

Moreover, can the ketogenic diet positively affect your emotional state?

This article gives you links to findings from reputable clinical studies to help support our views.

Some Of The Common Causes Of Ed

It is no secret that ED is much more common in those living with diabetes, hypertension, and other vascular diseases . Obese people are also poor performers in the bed.

There are many preventable risk factors for ED, like tobacco use and alcohol abuse. Certain medications used to treat chronic conditions are bad for sexual health.

A high sugar diet and insulin resistance are particularly harmful to sexual life, as it may cause vascular diseases.

One should not underestimate the role of psychological risk factors. Thus, those living with depression, anxiety, stress is also at high risk .

What Is An Mthfr Gene Mutation And How To Get Tested

The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene has been in the spotlight for the past several years.

This common mutation, which causes MTHFR deficiency, can put you at a higher risk for several health conditions including coronary artery disease, depression, anxiety, and liver disease.

But its important to understand that genes are not destiny, and theres a lot you can do to support your body with diet and lifestyle if you have this mutation.

MTHFR may present with a few different genetic variants, so understanding which variant is affecting you is crucial if youre ready to work with your genetic blueprint.

Lets take a closer look at this genetic mutation and explore some diet and lifestyle options that can promote a healthier you if you have an MTHFR deficiency.

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How Does Keto Work

The keto diet gets its name from ketones. When you eat little to no carbohydrates, which are the bodys main source of fuel, it now must use another form of energy. It gets into the fat storage, breaking it down into ketone bodies. This doesnt happen when you eat carbs. Your fat stores are usually heavily-guarded by insulin. Every time you eat carbs, your increased blood sugar triggers the pancreas to produce insulin, which blocks the body from using fat. No carbs mean no insulin, which means the fat is free to go.

After a couple of days limiting your carb intake, you enter ketosis, in which the body has fully switched to burning fat for energy. This is the main reason why the keto diet benefits people who struggle with their weight. When the body has no choice but to burn only the stored fat, the pounds drop like flies.

That sounds fantastic but what does the keto diet, or ketones for that matter, have anything to do with the brain or mental disorders like depression and anxiety?

Final Thoughts On Keto Diet

Can The Keto Diet Cause Anxiety

Overall, the keto diet seems to have a plethora of benefits, both physical and mental. For depression and anxiety, keto can be a helpful alternative, especially if youre resistant to antidepressants. It can be effective for health, energy, cognitive abilities, and well-being.

It never hurts to try something that could vastly improve your life. But if you feel it isnt for you, the ketogenic diet is not your last resort. For many, keto can be restrictive and difficult to maintain. It can be even harder if you already struggle with everyday activities as a result of depression or anxiety.

The important takeaways from this are that you cant go wrong with clean-eating, or a diet rich in nourishing whole foods, it doesnt hurt to eat more healthy fats, and going easy on carbs from time to time can make a difference in your life.

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All Fats Aren’t Equal

When you’re feeling stress and want to turn to a quick sugar fix, know that certain types of fat can be converted quickly to ketones by the liver for a nearly instant ketones brain boost. Fats are made of triglycerides that have carbons bound together in chains. The shorter the carbon chain, the more quickly your liver can convert the fat to a ketone.

Short-chain fatty acids are found in small amounts in things like butter and cream . If you’ve ever felt like just sticking a pat of butter in your mouth sans the bread, just go ahead and do it. You’re welcome.

Medium-chain fatty acids are also quickly absorbed to provide an energy boost for the body and brain. Coconut oil, butter and MCT oil are ideal sources. Slow-burning saturated fats and long-chain triglycerides will make up most of your diet, though, as these are the fats found in keto-friendly meat, above-ground vegetables, nuts, seeds and eggs.

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Does Keto Diet Work For Treating Depression And Anxiety

The ketogenic diet has taken the health and fitness world by storm over the past few years. Personal trainers, doctors, and devoted followers testify to all sorts of health successes resulting from the diet. Its touted to aid neurological conditions, weight loss, and even mental illness like depression and anxiety.

Meaningful Symptoms Are Still Symptoms

Can keto help with depression?

2012: A case study of two women with bipolar II disorder who ate a ketogenic diet found that the diet was superior to the anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer lamotrigine in management of symptoms. Ketosis was documented using urine test strips.

Ketogenic Diets and Schizophrenia

A 3-week mouse study showed that a ketogenic diet normalized pathological behaviors.

1965: A 2-week study of 10 women with treatment-refractory schizophrenia found a significant decrease in symptoms when a ketogenic diet was added to their ongoing standard treatments . Ketone monitoring was not reported.

2009: A 12-month case study details the experience of a 70-year old overweight woman with chronic schizophrenia who was prescribed a diet limited to 20 grams of carbohydrate per day. She noted significant improvement in severe symptoms beginning only eight days after starting the diet, which consisted of beef, poultry, ham, fish, green beans, tomatoes, diet drinks, and water. She reported complete resolution of auditory and visual hallucinations–with which shed suffered since age seven. Ketone levels were not monitored.

Ketogenic Diets and Anxiety

A rat study found that adding ketone supplements to a standard high-carbohydrate diet reduced anxious behavior.

Ketogenic Diets and Depression

A rat study found that a ketogenic diet reduced depressive behaviors.

A mouse study found that feeding pregnant animals a ketogenic diet reduced offspring susceptibility to depressed behaviors.

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How The Keto Diet May Cause Depression

Not everybody adjusts well into ketosis. Sometimes, your body may experience symptoms that are difficult to manage, including headaches, sleep disturbances, cramping, and fatigue. Although this may resolve by increasing your fluid intake, dealing with such symptoms can lead to depression.

Other issues caused by a keto diet. Although the keto diet has many potential benefits, it may cause problems like nutrient deficiencies, kidney problems, liver issues, constipation, and mood swings. Try to eat many different varieties of fruits and vegetables to avoid some of the issues that come with being on a keto diet.

Tips to Consider

Since other weight loss methods exist, you should discontinue keto if you notice new feelings of depression. However, if you’re using the diet to manage your blood sugar or epilepsy, then consult your doctor for further guidance. Some of the strategies that you can consider if you want to continue with the diet include:

If you’re unsure if your depression was caused or worsened by the keto diet, consider getting help from a qualified mental health professional. Currently, there is insufficient evidence for the use of the diet in mental disorders, and it is not a recommended treatment option.

This diet may not be for everyone, especially those with preexisting health conditions. Please speak with your doctor before starting any new diet plan.

Keto: A Medical Approach To Wellness

The ketogenic diet has a lot of fansand a lot of naysayers. Some argue it works very well, delivering on its promises and providing expected results. Others argue the diet can result in health risks, especially from a cardiac perspective. This polar spectrum of support and opposition has made keto more controversial than other diets that have come and gone.

There is a tremendous amount of informationand misinformationout there on the keto diet, Palmer said.

Weve been using the ketogenic diet since the early 1900s to treat seizures, Palmer said. In psychiatry, the use of seizure treatment is common, so its not farfetched to be thinking about an effective, evidence-based seizure treatment alongside the treatment of psychiatric disorders, Palmer explained.

Dr. Russell Wilder officially named this newer approach the ketogenic diet or keto, which Palmer explained is the original fasting-mimicking diet, developed to imitate the benefits of a fasting state. R.T. Woodyatt confirmed that ketones caused by fasting could be triggered by a high-fat, low-carb diet. By using fats as fuel instead of carbohydrates, the body creates ketones and doesnt need to fast to achieve the same result.

Dr. Chris Palmer talks about supporting your mental health through diet and sleep

Its surprising to most people to learn that we actually have a lot of scientific evidence of the effects of the ketogenic diet on the brain, said Palmer.

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How Keto Might Help

While you dont get an MTHFR deficiency from your diet, there are diet and lifestyle factors that can help you manage this gene variant.

A keto diet can help lessen inflammation, boost heart health, and balance blood sugar all of which is necessary with an MTHFR mutation.

Here are some other ways a ketogenic diet may help:

Manage Your Mental Health

Keto 101: The Wrong and Right Way to do Keto Diet

An MTHFR mutation can cause anxiety and depression due to decreased neurotransmitter synthesis. If you struggle with anxiety or depression, there are several lifestyle factors you can adopt to help manage your mental health.

Physical activity is an excellent way to manage your emotions. Several studies have shown that movement can help alleviate symptoms of depression. This is especially true if you combine exercise with other health-promoting lifestyle changes.

Meditation is another great tool that can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Practicing daily meditation, even just a few minutes a day, may ease stress and enhance general health.

Mindfulness meditation, where you aim to stay in the present moment, may have specific mental health benefits.

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May Regulate Insulin Function

Insulin, a hormone that helps manage your blood sugar levels, may also play a role in depression and mood.

Some people, especially those who eat a diet thats high in sugar and refined starch, can develop insulin resistance which is when their body doesnt respond to insulin as well as it should .

Insulin resistance is not only linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease but also depression (

24 ).

There may also be a social isolation component, especially if many of your social gatherings revolve around food. If youre cooking at home more often to stick to your keto diet, you may experience some depressive episodes if youre more socially isolated as a result.


Keto can be restrictive and potentially socially isolating, and some of the symptoms especially when you first start the diet can be difficult to manage. This may cause you to feel depressed.

Can Ketogenic Diet Relieve Depression

It seems like every few years, there is a new diet fad to improve wellbeing and happiness. Today, lets focus on a fad that has been talked about for the past decade, the Ketogenic diet, also known as Keto diet. Some health and fitness gurus use and praise Keto as a weight loss method, but more people are adopting this diet for its potential mental benefits. Keep reading to see what the science is saying on the connections between Keto diet and depression.

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Some Symptoms Of Anxiety Include:

  • muscle tension
  • thoughts of suicide
  • changes in appetite and digestive issues

While more research is needed in order to allow doctors to start prescribing the keto diet as a type of treatment for psychiatric disorders, it may be sooner than we think.

Several studies have been conducted showing that while the ketogenic diet was initially used for weight loss, subjects reported dramatic cognitive improvements. 30063-4/abstract” rel=”nofollow”> 3)

The ketogenic diet has been thought to help reduce fatigue by simply controlling levels of blood sugar, but thats not all. One review noted that there were improvements in disorders including anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

This may be due to the changes in the different neurotransmitters while on the diet.

Another paper called The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry published in Frontiers of Psychiatry reviewed particular case studies where the keto diet showed improvements in the subjects cognitive health.

While this review isnt enough to consider the keto diet as a proven treatment for mental disorders, it does include some significant results.

One study mentioned a schizophrenic woman in her 70s who saw her hallucinations completely disappear.

Two other women who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder saw a significant increase in stability of overall mood. They even found the diets more effective in reducing their symptoms than prescribed psychiatric drugs.

Depression And Keto: What The Science Says

Does Keto Diet Cause Depression and Anxiety?

The keto diet has been around a long time. It was first introduced in the 1920s to treat people with epilepsy. Researchers found that higher levels of blood ketones led to fewer epileptic seizures in patients, demonstrating that keto can impact and change the chemistry of the brain.

Since depression and the brain are so closely linked, researchers have explored the possibility of using keto as a treatment for depression. The results are limited to animal studies. Heres what we know so far:

In one study, rats that were put on a keto diet moved around more compared to a control group . The researchers concluded that rats on the keto diet, like rats treated with antidepressants, were less likely to show what they called behavioral despair.

In another study, 8-week-old mice who were exposed to the keto diet in the womb, but who ate a standard diet once born, were less likely to be depressed or anxious. They were more physically active than mice who were fed a standard diet in utero and postnatally. The brain volume of mice that had been on keto also differed from that of the mice fed a standard diet. The findings suggest that the keto diet can alter the size of the mouse brain, at least before birth.

Other studies also show that keto influences the brain structure of rats. In one report, keto increased the density of blood vessels in the brain. Another study showed that ketones protect brain cells from injury.

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