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High Fat Low Carb Diet Beneficial in Schizophrenia

Susanna Sisson's picture
Salmon Diet

Fat in the diet has been maligned for years, but new evidence shows that fat is actually beneficial for the brain and neurological function and may be useful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia is thought to be a disorder linked to abnormal glucose and energy metabolism and affects approximately 1% of the population. Medications used to manage it can have a variety of unwanted side effects, including movement disorders and the weight gain which would make management through diet an attractive strategy.

Ketogenic diets have been popular for decades and aver very effective for weight loss.

A recent study from researchers at James Cook University (JCU) in Queensland, Australia have shown that a high fat, low carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet) when fed to mice changed behaviors that are similar to those in people suffering from the disease.

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The mice that received the ketogenic diet showed marked improvement in temperament, psychomotor hyperactivity, social withdrawal, and memory deficits. In addition, these mice had improved glucose metabolism and weight loss.

While this study is promising and previous studies as well as clinical findings have demonstrated efficacy in using a ketogenic diet to treat other neurological disorders such as epilepsy, further testing is needed.

The study was published at Elsevier.com

1. JCU