The keto diet, which consists of high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates, has been found to have positive effects on the brain and may potentially alleviate depression. However, some individuals may initially experience adverse effects from this diet, which can affect their mood.
Studies on the keto diet have shown that it can alter intercellular communication in the brain, increase GABA neurotransmitter levels, improve mitochondrial function, regulate insulin, and reduce inflammation. These mechanisms may benefit individuals with depression, as mitochondrial dysfunction, excess insulin, chronic inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies are all linked to the development of this mental health condition.
While there is no evidence that the keto diet causes depression, early side effects such as the “keto flu” can negatively affect a person’s mood. Additionally, diets that restrict certain foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which can alter neurotransmitter production and contribute to depression symptoms. Therefore, those adhering to the keto diet should ensure that they are getting essential nutrients and may benefit from consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Long-term adherence to a restricted diet such as the keto diet can have negative physical and mental consequences, and therefore experts advise individuals to stick to the diet for up to twelve months and consult a physician before starting this meal plan. Overall, the keto diet may potentially alleviate depression, but further studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness. It is important to carefully consider whether this diet is right for you and to prioritize essential nutrients to support your mental and physical health.