Can Ketogenic Diet Relieve Depression?

It seems like every few years, there is a new diet fad to improve wellbeing and happiness. Today, let’s focus on a fad that has been talked about for the past decade, the Ketogenic diet, also known as ‘Keto diet’. Some health and fitness gurus use and praise Keto as a weight loss method, but more people are adopting this diet for its potential mental benefits. Keep reading to see what the science is saying on the connections between Keto diet and depression. 

What is a Ketogenic Diet? 

According to a research article published by PubMed, Keto diet is a high fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet that was originally developed in 1921 to treat childhood epilepsy. However in the past decade, less restricted Keto diet approaches were created to target more epilepsy patients, especially adult patients. 

Potential Physical and Mental Health Benefits From Keto 

Scientists and researchers are finding evidence that adopting to Keto diet can reduce migraine, seizure disorders, and even Alzheimer’s dementia. Even more so, there are also positive connections between Keto and relieving depression symptoms. However, most of these findings are based on animal research. Here are some chemicals Keto diet change that might result in relieving depression symptoms: 

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) 

GABA manages our stress, anxiety, and mood, and based on animal-based research, Keto diet increases GABA’s circulation in the body, which might help relieve depression symptoms. 


Mitochondria is found in cells and its main function is to create energy for the cell to perform its function. People with depression have an overall lower amount of energy in their cell, which means they might be experiencing mitochondria dysfunction. Scientists are pointing to potential links that Keto diet can increase the production of energy in cell, which might relieve depression symptoms. 


Stress is known to be a deadly factor for many diseases and health problems, and people who are diagnosed with depression have higher cellular damages caused by oxidative stress. According to some animal research, Keto diet seems to improve the body’s antioxidant level, which helps repair cellular damages caused by stress and also relieves depressive symptoms.


Insulin resistance is a known problem for those who have type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease, but more data are showing a connection between insulin resistance and depression too. And scientists are seeing positive results of using Keto diet to stabilize blood sugar level, which might help with insulin sensitivity.  

At the end of the day, it is a personal choice to take on a different diet and lifestyle. Check out these books on Keto diets and some Keto recipes: 

Can Ketogenic Diet Relieve Depression?

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