The growing number of people that are incorporating the Keto dieting concept in their lives, has started a huge discussion on the topic. Consequently so, a growing body of researches is focusing on the
Keto Diet’s Effects On Physical And Psychological Health
The mind-gut connection, or on a micro level, food nutrients –hormones bonding, is a well- fact that is undeniable. Therefore, a keto diet inevitably has its psychological effects on the person practising it. The good news is, scientists say, that Keto has very beneficial properties on psychological health. Moreover, it can help in fighting the symptoms of the common psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADHD.
What Is A Keto Diet?
A rather very old concept, Keto, as it is known today, is a low-carbohydrate diet. At the beginning of the 20th century, the low-carbohydrate diet was used for treating several serious conditions, including seizures, diabetes and obesity.
Keto diet restricts the carbohydrates daily intake to a minimum and increases the intake of healthy fats and proteins.Tweet
So How Does This Affect the Body?
- After intake, our body instantly converts carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose is the
primary source of energy used by the body.
- The restriction of carbohydrates leads our bodies to search for alternative sources of energy. Therefore, the body turns to the stored fats.
- The stored fat is converted to fatty-acids and afterward into ketones.
- Once our body starts using the ketones as a fuel, it is stated that it has entered in the so-called Ketosis state.
Does Keto Diet Affect the Brain?
Researches and studies have come across some interesting findings on how do ketones affect the brain. Moreover, it is stated that a human’s brain functions more cleanly and efficiently when a bigger portion of the energy comes from ketones instead of glucose. Theories abound that ketones can reduce inflammation, mitochondrial function and calm overactive and overly-reactive brain cells. Being in a state of ketosis has been shown to increase the production of a so-called GABA neurotransmitter in the brain. There is evidence that various psychological disorders are linked to dysfunctional GABA activity.
A good balance of GABA neurotransmitters results in:
· Better focus
· Reduced stress
· Reduced anxiety levels
· Providing a “feel good” effect
The Psychological Effects of a Ketogenic Diet
Research suggest that the use of the ketogenic diet leads to a good balance of GABA, that is very beneficial in restoring the symptoms of several mental disorders such as:
· Bipolar Disorder
Research results are promising, however, there is no strong evidence that Keto can cure the conditions listed above. However, it certainly is a fact that ketones are a better energy source than glucose for brain functioning.
It is believed that ketones have the ability to increase the number of energy factories (mitochondria) in brain cells. That results in high levels of energy in the cells. Moreover, it is the first reason why ketones might be very beneficial for mental health, as many mental disorders share the same problem – deficiency of energy in the brain cells.
Keto Diet and Bipolar Disorder
A study performed on therapy-resistant patients with bipolar disorder has shown that the diet was superior in mood-stabilization.
Keto Diet and Anxiety
People with anxiety issues report that adding keto supplements to diet results in reduced anxiety symptoms. Several studies performed assume that Keto diet is very beneficial for anxiety and panic disorders.
Keto Diet and Epilepsy
Epilepsy is closely related to other mental illnesses. A huge number of people that suffer from therapy-resistant mental illnesses may develop epilepsy. The positive effect of the ketogenic diet in preventing seizures is known from the beginning of the 20th century. Keto is proven to be effective in reducing seizures in patients with epilepsy.
Keto Diet and Depression
Several studies performed on animals showed that the ketogenic diet reduces depressive behaviour. The mechanism of action is still unclear. Scientists assume that keto diet can affect the brain in similar ways as conventional antidepressant drugs.