High-fat ketogenic diet may help people with bipolar schizophrenia, study says | Top Vip News

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New research shows that a ketogenic diet consisting of low-carbohydrate, high-fat foods can relieve symptoms of serious mental illnesses and reduce weight gain and other side effects of medications used to treat them.

TO clinical trialLed by Stanford Medicine researchers, it recruited 23 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and instructed them to follow a diet that consisted of 10 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and about 60 percent fat.

Medications prescribed to treat serious mental illness can cause “significant metabolic side effects” such as insulin resistance and weight gain, researchers say, and all patients studied had at least one of these conditions.

After four months of the ketogenic diet, 79 percent of participants showed “clinically significant improvement” in psychiatric symptoms.

The study was small and relatively short, so more research is needed to determine whether dietary changes can have a significant long-term impact on patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But the findings are part of a growing body of research that suggests a powerful link between brain health and diet. The ketogenic diet has also been studied in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Researchers theorize that the diet may improve psychiatric symptoms by correcting metabolic problems.

“The working theory is that we are providing energy to the brain that prevents these metabolic deficits,” he said. Shebani Sethiclinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine and senior author of the study.

Sethi said researchers know that a ketogenic diet can benefit the brain, but the extent to which the diet can help schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, in particular, is “really just emerging.”

  • Patients were asked to reduce their carbohydrate intake to 20 grams per day; eat one cup of vegetables a day and two cups of salad a day; and drink eight glasses of water a day. Sethi said she encouraged patients to use avocado, coconut and olive oils, and not to be afraid of butter. They were not told to count calories. Patients continued taking their prescribed medications and were assigned a health coach.
  • To determine how well they followed the diet, patients were monitored with weekly blood tests. Fourteen of the participants followed the diet and six were “semi-adherent.” One person did not comply and two more dropped out of the study.
  • Participants improved an average of 31 percent on a psychiatric assessment of the severity of mental illness, a score called the Clinical Global Impression scale.
  • Those who followed the ketogenic diet lost, on average, 12 percent of their body weight, reduced their waist circumference by 13 percent, and their visceral adipose tissue (the fat around the organs) was reduced by 36 percent. hundred.
  • Before starting the diet, 29 percent of the participants had at least three of the five markers of metabolic syndrome, a set of conditions that together raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. After four months of dieting, none of the participants had metabolic syndrome.

Uma NaidooNutritional psychiatrist and author of “This is Your Brain on Food,” said the clinical trial findings are “promising,” but it is also a small cohort of participants and the results need to be replicated in larger studies.

“It is not a one-size-fits-all method. “Just because it worked in a small clinical trial for these individuals, based on what appears to be well-thought-out science, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone,” Naidoo said. “Nutritional psychiatry is an emerging field that people should pay attention to, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take medication if their doctor suggests it.”

Drew Ramsey, a nutritional psychiatrist and author of “Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety,” said in an email that the pilot study is a “thoughtful and well-documented trial,” but that there is no control group or randomization, “which needs to moderate our enthusiasm.”

“The big questions about the ketogenic diet and patients with serious mental illnesses have to do with compliance, sustainability, and potential negative metabolic effects,” Ramsey wrote in an email.

A high-fat diet causes your body to burn fat for energy, instead of glucose. This process leads to the production of ketones, an acid that is produced when the body breaks down fat. Ketones don’t rely on the same “metabolic machinery” that the body uses to convert glucose into energy, Sethi said.

Doctors used ketogenic (or ketogenic) diets more than A century ago to treat epilepsy. The restrictive diet, which avoids bread, pasta and starchy fruits and vegetables, has gained broader appeal in the last decade, especially on TikTok and Instagram, as advocates claim it can lead to weight loss.

But some experts say there is widespread misinformation about the benefits of the diet, and the American Heart Association said the diet can often cause an increase in LDL cholesterol levels.

Common side effects of switching to a ketogenic diet include headaches, fatigue, and constipation. Researchers say some participants experienced these side effects in the first three weeks of the diet.

Research into how a ketogenic diet may affect psychiatric illnesses is “in its early stages,” researchers say. The ketogenic diet has already been studied for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and epilepsy. According to the researchers who conducted the clinical trial, “several studies” have shown that the ketogenic diet can treat epilepsy, especially in children, and some patients “achieve long-term seizure freedom.”

“The way we think it works to reduce seizures in the brain is that it stabilizes neuronal membranes and reduces inflammation,” Sethi said. “It also provides an alternative fuel to glucose because we burn glucose or we burn ketones for energy.”

Funding for the pilot study came from the Baszucki Group Research Fund (co-founded by Roblox founder David Baszucki and his wife, Jan Ellison Baszucki), the Kuen Lau Fund, and the Obesity Treatment Foundation.

The next step is to conduct randomized controlled trials with more participants, Sethi said. Some randomized trials are already underway, including one at the University of California, San Francisco.

Sethi said she is also interested in studying whether the ketogenic diet could affect people with bulimia or binge eating disorder.

Sethi said that a ketogenic diet “is not for everyone” and that a person should only start a ketogenic diet “under the supervision of a doctor.”

“I have a personalized approach to who I would prescribe it to and for what reasons,” he said.

Do you have any questions about healthy eating? Email EatingLab@washpost.com And we may answer your question in a future column.

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