For those who suffer from mental issues, a ketogenic diet could be just what they are looking for as this diet has been linked with the treatment of mental health conditions. Some of the conditions that this diet may be useful for include bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, and schizophrenia, just to mention a few. In this guide, we will discuss the theory behind the ketogenic diet as a treatment method for these conditions and how your mood can be stabilized when you operate on ketones. Keep in mind that the benefits are unproven, despite the evidence that this diet works to help with these mental health conditions.
So, how does this diet aid in improving mental health? A ketogenic diet seems to positively impact the brain in a number of ways, such as boosting brain power, giving the individual following the diet a “feel good” effect, giving the body antioxidants, and powering up the neurotransmitters that make us feel good. One such neurotransmitter that is shown to be boosted when an individual is in a state of ketosis is called GABA. Evidently, many anxiety disorders are a result of GABA activity that is not where it should be. Studies completed when it comes to the ketogenic diet and seizure disorders, as an example, show evidence that when GABA is in a state of balance reduced stress and anxiety is a result, as is a clearer mental focus.
As mentioned previously, evidence shows that the ketogenic diet can boost brain function. Studies have shown that ketones produced from fat can fuel the brain as an alternative to glucose. In fact, research has found that ketone bodies may even be a more efficient fuel for the brain than glucose.
There is sufficient evidence to support the belief that ketones increase mitochondria in brain cells, which gives an energy boost to said cells according to specialists. Why is this important? Well, many mental health disorders share a common negative – not enough production of energy.
Another way that the ketogenic diet can assist mental health is the strong antioxidant effects given by the diet. Oxidants can cause stress as well as inflammation in the brain, and antioxidants work to combat this. It is believed by researchers that when inflammation of this kind is lowered and ketones are fueling the brain, brain function is raised. One way that the diet can help those who suffer from seizures could, in fact, be by increasing levels of glutathione, an antioxidant.
What does science have to say about the correlation between the ketogenic diet and mental health? While the number of studies has not been terribly robust, science says that there could be a connection between the diet and the treatment of a vast many of mental health conditions.
Recent studies with animals have given us a lot to think about when it comes to the ketogenic diet and depression. While it is unclear exactly how the diet can aid with depression, it is certainly good news for those who are looking for a way to ease their depression. The diet has been compared to many antidepressants on the market today, although we do need more studies to confirm what evidence is strongly pointing to.