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8 Reasons to Try Low-Carb for Mental Health

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  • JusstSaraJusstSara Posts: 6Member Member Posts: 6Member Member
    I've been LCHF for a few months now and haven't really noticed a difference in my mental health. It was good before, when I was eating a high carb diet, and it's still good now eating zero-20 carbs. I have had several physical improvements from lowering carbs but they've been related to digestion, weight, energy levles, mouth health etc.
    edited August 2
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Posts: 9,898Member Member Posts: 9,898Member Member
    Actually, there is a lot of science behind low carb and intermittent fasting helping with longevity and dementia along with issues like bipolar and depression. Highly recommended for people who have the Alzheimer’s APOE gene. Check out researcher Dr. Valter Longo and read about autophagy.

    No. Not eating enough whole grains and fiber increases your risk of cancer.

    I see 3 people don't follow the news or read medical journals.

    4 people
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Posts: 977Member Member Posts: 977Member Member
    As a Psych major (only undergrad) and a keen interest in the Microbiome, I pay attention to advancements in the industry and as a Science Oriented "headhunter" that works with startups, I also keep up with potential innovations/breakthroughs that might come to market.

    I have seen three or four teams of researchers keenly interested in the correlation between one particular bacteria in the Microbiome that seems to be ridiculously correlated with depression. If you don't have it, you tend to be much more susceptible to depression. Feed this bacteria GABA and it increases in volume dramatically. Not as simple as feeding it oral GABA (from my very layman's understanding). You actually have to increase it through adding in a form of E Coli (E Coli Nissle 1917), which was discovered back in WW I and named after the researcher that discovered it in the gut of one soldier that never got sick from diarrhea/dysentery. This form of E Coli actually produces, I gathered, GABA, which is then directly taken in by the lacking bacteria which in turn grows dramatically in number.

    So why not just feed those depressed E Coli Nissle 1917? Well, for one, it's illegal in the US. Secondly, in certain individuals with already compromised Microbiomes, it can become invasive/out of control -- similar to what spore based antibiotics can in sick individuals.

    But just wanted to point out that I do think researchers aren't that far off from coming up with real solutions to depression and it seems that the makeup of your Microbiome is certainly a piece. It's just not that simple, even with diet, to change that makeup quickly in order to make it a therapeutic product for quick results. There are quite a few startups working on this in stealth mode currently. BTW, I'm not giving up any industry secrets. It's you can just put the puzzle pieces together around Linkedin with what teams are put together and what their PhD research was based upon.

    http://staging-rise.s3.amazonaws.com/410/3/947/zf7aumcodrqmxhfneush.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIZD5HUIXRXZ4FWDA&Expires=1742865941&Signature=6ODWZE4CmPjHi6Oyu7T8jC6ZMjQ=
    edited August 14
  • rickclarke1093rickclarke1093 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    This was a very interesting article and the comments were very informative. Thank you
  • ClairinClairin Posts: 68Member Member Posts: 68Member Member
    I'm a psychotherapist and this idea is new to me. Protein intake and sugar intake is linked with mental health yes. Carbs? First I heard this.
  • knightreaderknightreader Posts: 804Member Member Posts: 804Member Member
    Interesting. I've been doing keto since September but dealing with depression and anxiety for much much longer. Interested to see how this develops and as I've just finally started some meds, will discuss with my Dr. on Friday. Thanks for everyone's input here.
  • youngmomtazyoungmomtaz Posts: 920Member Member Posts: 920Member Member
    I keto for migraine relief. My mild depression levels have also dropped and I feel great! So, getting rid of migraines reduced my depression? Or getting rid of carbs? Will never know as every time I injest carbs I feel low, and am hit with a migraine within 2-3 days.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,744Member Member Posts: 19,744Member Member
    Just to add the other side, I believe I'm not the only one on these boards who's had personal experience with my depression worsening on low carb. It's n=1 and no one likes to talk about it and I think I've only seen a couple of people say their experience was the same and we tend to get brushed aside in keto threads, but I do think carbohydrate levels can have an effect on mood and mental health and I do think it's important to watch out for both positives and negatives when trying out different macro splits

    @diannethegeek Lyle McDonald talks about depression worsening on low carb here:

    https://bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/carbohydrate-intake-and-depression-qa.html/
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Posts: 14,831Member Member Posts: 14,831Member Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Just to add the other side, I believe I'm not the only one on these boards who's had personal experience with my depression worsening on low carb. It's n=1 and no one likes to talk about it and I think I've only seen a couple of people say their experience was the same and we tend to get brushed aside in keto threads, but I do think carbohydrate levels can have an effect on mood and mental health and I do think it's important to watch out for both positives and negatives when trying out different macro splits

    diannethegeek Lyle McDonald talks about depression worsening on low carb here:

    https://bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/carbohydrate-intake-and-depression-qa.html/

    Thanks
  • gatamadrizgatamadriz Posts: 61Member Member Posts: 61Member Member
    I have been on low carb and off low carb and I haven’t experienced it dealing with anxiety or depression. However, I had a wonderful nutritionist in Spain and when I was feeling depressed and anxious, he would give me a week where I ate a lot of roasted turkey, pumpkin, squashes. The tryptophan from all this brightened me up amazingly. So, as he said, when you are feeling depressed, make yourself turkey!
  • HoneyBadger155HoneyBadger155 Posts: 1,292Member Member Posts: 1,292Member Member
    I would think it's quite a stretch to say that certain diets could or could not affect mental health in terms of psychiatric issues.

    The fact that low-carb does have an effect on the brain is pretty well proven in my research - it has been used to help treat epilepsy in some people for a rather long time (long before "keto" was a buzz term). There also seems to be backing to show that it can help reduce or minimize issues from TBI/RHI.

    I'll have to dig back for my sources, but I tried to stick to actual scientific and medical studies, not just random doctors or bro-science articles.

    So, it may have potential for helping with certain other mental issues, but many of those are so individual, I think it would be very difficult to ever make a blanket statement about it - and I could see it only causing more problems for some people.

    I have TBI/RHI issues (minor, but they do annoy me), and am transitioning to a lower carb diet to see if it helps - I won't go strict keto (the grumpy hangries from that would NOT be worth it LOL), but more along a "paleo-ish" diet. For me, I'm not out much if it doesn't help, and if it does, awesome.
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