A small French study looked at the impact the ketogenic diet had on mental (and physical) health in subjects with serious mental illness.
Psychiatrist Dr. Albert Danan led this study at the University of Toulouse with patients suffering from chronic mental illness and in many cases also type-2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Dr. Danan hatched the idea for the study after noticing a family member significantly improve in autism behaviors and seizures after trying keto.
His study involved 31 subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar or major depression who were admitted to a facility and put on a keto diet along with standard care. In this case, the nutrition program involved 20g of carbs max each day (based on previous research by Duke University).
According to Dr. Danan, he’s never seen improvements like these in such a short time:
“Introducing nutritional measures, particularly the ketogenic diet, helped me considerably to improve the results of therapy… I observed real improvements in their psychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and mood instability.”
What’s the takeaway?
Those who love keto will cheer it on and those who hate it will try to pick it apart.
No doubt this is a small study. And this wasn’t a controlled trial.
So much more research on this front needs to be done (And studies like this can reveal glimmers of where to continue searching for answers).
However, what’s interesting about this study is the food-mood connection.
This is something that is gaining more and more traction. What you eat impacts your mood. And if you’ve been following gut health research, you’ve seen just how much gut health affects mood.
Unfortunately, many people are still operating off the food = fuel mentality.
But food is much more than just fuel, and studies like this are shedding light that what we eat can in fact affect our emotions and mental health, which has a huge effect on our life.
Food for thought (no pun intended).
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