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High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Be Effective In Treating Schizophrenia

December 31, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A diet effective in treating epilepsy may also work in controlling symptoms associated with schizophrenia, Australian researchers report. The ketogenic diet – high in fats, low in carbs – has also become a weight-loss regimen for bodybuilders. The researchers believe the diet works by providing alternative energy sources (ketone bodies) formed when the body breaks down fat. The ketones help to circumvent abnormally functioning cellular energy pathways in the brains of schizophrenics. The diet has so far been tested only in mice, whose schizophrenic behaviors were mitigated by the high-fat regimen. In humans, the diet would comprise butter, cheese, salmon, etc., and would supplement medication in a clinical setting where a patient's diet could be controlled. The researchers are planning a clinical study to test their hypothesis.
Ann Katrin Kraeuter et al., "Ketogenic diet reverses behavioral abnormalities in an acute NMDA receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia. ", Schizophrenia Research, December 31, 2015
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