the ketogenic diet help people with schizophrenia regain a normal life? It is the hope that gives rise to an Australian study published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.
This diet is to drastically reduce all carbohydrates and replacing them with fatty foods and fats such as coconut oil. It was developed in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy and schizophrenia, first in children and in adults.
Zoltan Sarnyai Australian James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland) and colleagues conducted a behavioral study in mice to explore the effects of this scheme in an experimental model of schizophrenia.
They caused a drastic reduction of brain receptors operation, the NMDA receptors. These receptors are involved in memory and adaptability; they are activated by two amino acids, glutamate and glycine. We indeed think that schizophrenia, marked in particular by social withdrawal, the result of a hypo-glutamatergic state. The treated mice showed symptoms suggestive of schizophrenia.
For 3 weeks, they received either a conventional power supply, or ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet has helped to standardize the behavior of these animals.
“The ketogenic diet gives the brain an alternative source of energy through fat. And as it is low in carbohydrates, almost all of the energy comes from the uptake of fatty acids and not glucose. This will bypass traditional pathways of glucose, defeated by the disease, “said Dr. Zoltan Sarnyai.
This study confirms another advantage of the ketogenic diet: the mice that were followed were leaner and had lower blood sugar than others. “The ketogenic diet prevents weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular problems,” says the researcher. “Now this is classic side effects of medication that is given in schizophrenia. “