Schizophrenia and keto diet

Schizophrenia and keto diet

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually sets in in the second or the third decade of life. The underlying reasons are not so well known and there is a plethora of hypotheses. In the past decades the most plausible hypotesis is laying the blame on the disregulation of ratio between two neurotransmitters: γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate.

The first-line medical treatment for schizophrenia are antipsychotic drugs, but many of the patients suffer from persistent positive or negative symptoms that cannot be fully treated with available medication.

One of the ways of helping schizophrenic patients is a diet regimen. This is obvious, since the research shows that approximately 75% of the patients are obese as a result of poor nutrition and poor nutrition choices. A higher intake of omega-3 could be beneficial, but a more holistic nutritional approach could be considered.

The magazine Medical Hypoteses has published the text of Polish researchers who believe that the ketogenic diet could help alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia, reducing the extent of inflammatory processes, inducing weight loss, but mostly improving the GABA and glutamate balance as a result of the ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which the body produces large amounts of ketone bodies which have been shown in epilepsy research to have a beneficial effect on the ratio between GABA and glutamate (Włodarczyk et al., 2018).

Schizophrenia and keto diet

WŁODARCZYK, A., WIGLUSZ, M.S. and CUBAŁA, W.J. 2018. Ketogenic diet for schizophrenia: nutritional approach to antipsychotic treatment. Medical Hypotheses. Available at:

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