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Try This – A Diet for Mental Illness

Cases of mental illness are on the rise. 

In recent years, more and more young people have developed schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, two very challenging conditions that can rob the lives of those who suffer from them and the people who love them. 

Since the 1990s, there’s even been a 65 percent increase in cases of schizophrenia and a huge rise in hospital-related admissions due to bipolar disorder. 

So, what is going on? And what can we do about it? 

I’ve sat down with experts who treat mental illness and those who have been impacted by mental illness, and there’s ONE diet that they consistently tell me has either put folks who are suffering in remission or significantly improved their symptoms. 

Now, a new study is shedding light on the powerful benefits of this particular diet for treating mental illness, and I believe it’s going to be game-changing. 

If you or anyone you know struggles with a mental health disorder, you’re not going to want to miss this!

Let’s dive in…

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Are Mental Health Conditions Connected to Metabolic Dysfunction? 

For years we believed that whatever was happening in the brain was isolated to the brain. But now we know that there is a bidirectional relationship between our brains and our bodies, and they are constantly feeding information to each other. 

This means that mental illness can absolutely be influenced by our daily inputs, including the food that we eat. 

What I’ve learned from experts like Dr. Chris Palmer, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Harvard, as well as Dr. Georgia Ede, a Harvard-trained, board-certified psychiatrist, is that mental health disorders can stem from metabolic dysfunction of the brain. 

Yes, you read that right. Just like our bodies develop metabolic disease in the form of insulin resistance, increased visceral fat, increased blood pressure, and abnormal lipids, our brains can also develop metabolic dysfunction, contributing to things like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. 

As Dr. Palmer says, “It’s not a coincidence that as the rates of obesity are rising, so are the number of mental health disorders.” 

Dr. Georgia Ede explains that our brains need steady access to high-quality energy throughout the day. If there are interruptions in this energy source, our brains malfunction. When someone is eating a diet primarily of processed carbohydrates and refined sugars, their body is not getting high-quality energy, insulin starts to rise, and we starve our brain of the clean energy that it needs and develop insulin resistance of the brain. 

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. If mental health disorders can be driven by insulin resistance, we can reverse this problem in many cases…with a ketogenic diet! 

Powerful Study Shows the Power of the Ketogenic Diet for Mental Health Disorders

A new study led by Dr. Shebani Sethi, Founding Director of Stanford University’s Metabolic Psychiatry Clinic, is highlighting the power of the ketogenic diet for mental health disorders. 

In this four-month pilot study, 21 participants diagnosed with either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia were placed on a ketogenic, low-carb diet to see if the diet had any effects on their symptoms. 

The participants were between 18 and 75 years of age; other eligibility criteria included actively taking psychotropic medication, and participants either had to be overweight or have one sign of metabolic dysfunction such as insulin resistance, high triglycerides, high glucose, or abnormal lipids. 

They were then given detailed instructions and training on following a ketogenic diet and were monitored frequently by doctors and health coaches. Dietary instructions included eating one cup of veggies, two cups of salad, and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and drinking eight glasses of water daily. They also monitored their ketone levels to see if they were actually in nutritional ketosis. 

Not only did participants notice huge changes in their metabolic health, but there were also significant shifts in their mental health. 

  • Ninety-two percent of the participants who adhered to the diet 80–100 percent of the time had marked improvement in symptoms defined by the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Fifty percent of those who were semi-adherent also saw improvement. 

  • Seventy-five percent of participants were defined as “in recovery” at the end of the study according to the Clinical Mood Monitoring Scale. 

  • One hundred percent of participants who were fully adherent to the diet were considered recovered by the end of the study! 

  • Those who had metabolic syndrome at the start of the study no longer had it by the end of the study. 

  • There were also improvements in insulin, weight, triglycerides, and BMI. 

Here are some highlights of the study from the Baszucki ReTHINK Bipolar program, which was one of the study’s donors. 

This is monumental! The results of this study showcase the power of this diet to reverse metabolic syndrome and treat mental health disorders. 

I recently sat down with Hannah Brown, an incredible woman who used a ketogenic diet to put her bipolar disorder into remission. After I interviewed her, I heard from so many other folks who saw powerful shifts in their mental health using a ketogenic diet or modified ketogenic diet. I also heard from folks saying they felt hopeful about their condition or a loved one's condition after hearing Hannah’s story and the work of people like Dr. Christopher Palmer, Dr. Georgia Ede, and Dr. Shebani Sethi. 

Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are so devastating, and it can feel hopeless at times for those who are suffering. But this study gives us a powerful new tool that can radically shift the lives of many. 

Please share this with anyone you think will benefit from this life-changing information. 

Here’s to your health, 

Dhru Purohit