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8 Reasons to Try Low-Carb for Mental Health

Phirrgus
Phirrgus Posts: 1,904 Member
Thread title is from the blog, not mine. I'm simply posting this for discussion and (at this time) neither support nor deny the material presented. :)
I just don't recall seeing a discussion on this particular topic and thought it interesting.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/diagnosis-diet/201906/8-reasons-try-low-carb-mental-health
Interest in low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets continues to rise as people discover their potential to help with stubborn physical health problems such as obesity and type two diabetes—but could this same strategy help with mental health problems as well?

Low-carbohydrate diets have tremendous potential in the prevention and management of psychiatric disorders. The field of nutritional psychiatry is admittedly in its infancy, and rigorous clinical trials exploring the effect of dietary changes on mental health are few and far between, but a tremendous amount of science already exists detailing how high-sugar diets jeopardize brain health and how low-carbohydrate diets support brain health.
The author presents 8 bullet points with supporting links. There's too much to C&P into this post, so I'll just list the bullet points.
1. Improve blood glucose control.
2. Lower blood insulin levels.
3. Reduce inflammation.
4. Boost antioxidant defenses.
5. Energize mitochondria.
6. Stabilize stress hormones and appetite.
7. Rebalance neurotransmitters.
8. Raise BDNF levels.
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Replies

  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,904 Member
    Most of the points dont even relate to mental health.

    1 and 2 are good outcomes of low carb diets for those for whom this matters - ie diabetics and those with impaired glucose tolerance.

    But how is that a mental health issue
    ???

    The best I could come up with was that losing weight makes you feel better about yourself?? I didn't see the connection either, and as this type of topic comes up in my feed pretty regularly it seems to be getting pushed pretty hard these days..

    I don't know, just thought if there were anything here it would be a decent discussion...
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,660 Member
    edited July 2019
    There's this (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30075165), although it's just the abstract. I read something about it possibly helping with mood disorders and that's partially why I tried it last year. I didn't perceive any effects for myself.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,494 Member
    I'm really not seeing how this could help with mental health issues. Mind you, my depression is pretty complex and intractable, but I'm just not seeing it.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,034 Member
    I read that article, thanks for linking that - it's interesting. I find a lot of relief from mental-health issues by staying away from sugar so the article validates my experience.

    I like how she ends each section of the bullet points by saying, "Protect your nervous system from attack," in clever ways.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,695 Member
    Most of the points dont even relate to mental health.

    1 and 2 are good outcomes of low carb diets for those for whom this matters - ie diabetics and those with impaired glucose tolerance.

    But how is that a mental health issue???
    Type 2 diabetic here - good glucose control greatly impacts the risk of dementia for diabetics. The brain uses a LOT of glucose to operate and insulin resistance can have a profound effect on cognition, especially long term. Not to mention that diabetics are at heightened risk of strokes which are pretty bad for your brain.

    For those without insulin resistance, as you say, I don’t see a link.

    It is true that cortisol can fluctuate in response to blood sugar, even in normal people, and not going hog wild on the carbs would probably help to stabilize blood sugar and lower cortisol levels. I doubt keto would be necessary to see an effect. Just maybe don’t binge on entire boxes of Twinkies. Is there any actual research backing these claims?
  • phred_52
    phred_52 Posts: 194 Member
    Low-carbohydrate diets have tremendous potential in the prevention and management of psychiatric disorders.

    I just wanted to comment on this part, being I'm diagnosed with Bipolar, Depression and Anxiety, which I take Meds for...since 2005. That part is just..like I joke about Myself..."Wacky" The bullet points I can't comment on being I have no idea, and I'm too lazy to look up what they are. :)