How the Ketogenic Diet Helps Schizophrenia

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In this video I discuss the ketogenic diet, what is ketosis and how is it different from ketoacidosis. I also talk about how the ketogenic diet affects brain metabolism and how this improves schizophrenia.

In the previous video, I talk about the Mediterranean diet being shown to improve depression. The ketogenic diet and Mediterranean couldn’t be more different. But they are addressing different problems. Which then leads to the question what is it about schizophrenia that makes this specific diet more helpful? We don’t have a clear understanding of what causes schizophrenia. The fact that that this diet helps and how it helps gives us more information about what goes wrong in the brain that causes schizophrenia. I explained schizophrenia in this video that you can watch it after this one.

Here’s what we understand so far about what happens in the brain with schizophrenia. We believe it’s related to three things:
1. Abnormal energy metabolism in the neurons,
2. abnormal function of the mitochondria –
mitochondria is an organelle inside of the cell, that acts like the power station
and the third contributor is oxidative stress.
3. Oxidative stress is damage to the cells at the gene level from free radicals. Lots of things we do, eat and are exposed to create excess free radicals that cause oxidative stress. This is where consuming antioxidants are helpful.

Your brain relies very heavily on glucose to function, but with schizophrenia, the neurons don’t process glucose properly. Then you get abnormal communication between the neurons. We call this impaired synaptic activity. The synapse is the gap between the cells. Think of the cells as an engine that choking because it doesn’t have enough fuel.

Because the ketogenic diet provides another source of fuel for the brain, it restores the metabolic activity of the cells so that they function the way they’re supposed to. In our analogy, the engine stops choking and runs smoothly.

Video links
Schizophrenia Explained
Mediterranean Diet for Depression

Want to know more about mental health and self-improvement? On this channel I discuss topics such as bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), relationships and personal development/self-improvement. I upload weekly. If you don’t want to miss a video, click here to subscribe.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this channel is for educational purposes and not intended to be specific/personal medical advice from me to you. Watching the videos or getting answers to comments/question, does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you have your own doctor, perhaps these videos can help prepare you for your discussion with your doctor.

73 Comments on “How the Ketogenic Diet Helps Schizophrenia”

  1. It’s still amaze me just how some people have no clue about Custokebon Secrets (just google search it) despite the fact that lots of people lost a ton of weight using it. Thanks to my personal mate who told me about this. I have lost lots of weight.

  2. What is Custokebon Secrets? Does it work? I hear many people lost their fat with this popular fat burn secrets.

  3. cool Dr Marks as aschizophrenic I’m starting to explain on my YouTube channel how to come of medication using diet

  4. I’ve been looking for the final push to go full keto.. I’m gonna start next month. Hoping this will help with my manic episodes 😅

  5. This is fascinating… I’ve been diagnosed bipolar, and the ketogenic diet has helped me tremendously…

  6. All mental health problems are caused by severe calcium deficiency. This begins in the womb or in infancy. The human body can assimilate calcium only from fresh, natural, uncooked foods – especially leafy greens and grasses, wheatgrass. Artificial supplements do not work. The best way to get the calcium from greens is through green smoothies.

    Brain chemical imbalances have never been proved.

    One of the reasons why mental health problems generally develop or manifest in late adolescence is because of the body’s need for tremendous amounts of calcium due to the sudden spurt in physical growth.

    Calcium is needed for proper neurotransmitter function.

    It is also important to minimise chronic cellular inflammation by avoiding white sugar, refined carbs and oils and fats that increase cellular inflammation.

    Cellular inflammation prevents the absorption of nutrients – vitamins and minerals.

  7. The ketogenic diet should be prescribed along with exercise for anxiety and depression instead of pharmaceutical medication because it’s a game changer and changed my life no more brain fog, stress, worry struggling to sleep you just feel happy relaxed and cognitively alert but unfortunately their is no profit to big pharma in healthy people, so everyone give a go

  8. thank you and respect u for this!… bec most psychiatrist is not open to diet they just want to push medication

  9. I have multiple sclerosis. I was put onto this diet over 2 years ago by my general practioner. I have never looked back. Studies are showing it is good for many conditions for the brain like brain trauma/injury, Alzheimers, Parkinsons and other conditions, and it has been a way to tret epilepsy since the 1920, and migraines (not sure when this was impletmented for migraines). The reason I love it the most is it blasts that fatigue. Ketosis is a fabulous source of energy. The weight loss is a bonus!

  10. This diet is supposed to be good for bipolar disorder as well. How come she doesnt talk about that?

  11. I’ve been trying it and I don’t have schizophrenia but it definitely something about it has a calming effect I guess? Idk I actually don’t enjoy it all that much taste wise but I feel toned down or run down which sounds shitty but it’s sort of relaxing

  12. Bullshit, I’ve been on keto for years it doesn’t affect psychosis.btw your first video and crazy looking photo doesn’t help the stigma either.

  13. Yay for the keto diet! I am on keto, trying to STAY on keto, because I find that it helps my depression. I have been diagnosed with bipolar 2 as well as BPD, PTSD, and anxiety.

  14. Keto and the Med diet actually aren’t super different. They can overlap quite a bit. Thomas DeLauer has a great video about it.

  15. Awesome! video Dr. Tracey Marks, I am Schizoaffective and I have noticed a decline in symptoms after eating foods high in vitamins B1,B6,B12 I used to take supplements and I have found that whole foods is more effective for me. Eggs,Milk,Butter,Cheese,Meats I know may be very high in fat but for me work very well with my symptoms.

  16. Keto diet helps to have a healthy gut, inflammation and chronic disease as well. I was very ill without energy and a lot of pain in my body. I changed my carbohydrates diet to keto diet and I am healthy now. I wonder if It can be the best diet for humans?

  17. Could you use exogenous ketones and get the same effect or is there a need for glucose deprivation to make it work?

  18. Because of a life time of calorie restriction abuse

    This leads to caffeine abuse as carbohydrate calories are not provided for feeling energised

  19. Hello Dr.Tracey I’m having a serious anxiety problem.I could not sleep due to racing thoughts or just can’t sleep at all.Can you help me out a lil bit pliz…..

  20. I have permanent impotence even after stopping antidepressants almost 10 years ago. This has been evaluated and recognised by the European Medicines Agency (the EMA) recently and will go on the information leaflets now. Can you please do a video and research on this condition called Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) please?

  21. The videos of this channel are so educational and well made. 👍 Wouldn’t it be interesting to make a video about homosexuality and how it was treated by psychiatrists through the decades?

  22. Dr. Marks, I was wondering if you were interested in making a video about Asperger’s/ASD and how there can be overlaps with mood & personality disorders that can cause confusion/conflation and misdiagnosis. Also, keto is generally great for brain health (very beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases) and overall health. I could go on a long tangent about that, but I will refrain 🙂

  23. > The ketogenic diet and the Mediterranean diet couldn’t be more different.
    Actually, there is a substantial similarity between the ModiMedDiet and a long-term-sustainable ketogenic diet, and this common ground is potentially more interesting than the ketosis aspect for depression, etc. (except schizophrenia’s neuron metabolism problem – ketosis is definitely still very relevant there)
    Both diets have higher-than-average fat content, a focus on oils, salad greens and dietary fibre from fresh vegetables, and an avoidance of high-glycemic-index carbohydrates. Fat increases satiation from food, removing high-GI carbs reduces impulsive cravings, and increasing fibre ensures regular bowel movements.
    Together, these changes minimize the stress that our eating causes on the body, so it’s no wonder many people see significant improvements from these diets.

  24. Hello, Dr. Marks. Currently, I am 23, and I previously suffered from 8 years of verbal/physical bullying from the age of 10 to 18 years old, mostly from my peers at school as well as family. This traumatic experience has affected almost every aspect of my life, including relationships, confidence, and success. I was wondering if you could make a video about how childhood bullying can dramatically affect the victim into their adulthood? Also, how the saying, ” Everyone gets bullied, get over it and move on,” only makes the person bury down the pain causing the recovery process to be complicated.
    Thank you

  25. I have panic disorder agoraphobia and health anxiety, along with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m so stuck because I can’t fix one without the other stopping it (ex. I want to get my body checked out so I can work on stopping health anxiety, but I can’t get out of the house because of agoraphobia). And I can’t go to therapy anymore because I’m too scared to leave my house. What should I do???

  26. Hello Dr. Marks, I’m new subscriber to your channel. I’ve been battling depression for decades. I’ve been on a wide range of anti-depressants – all of which ultimately stop working. Two years ago I went on the Keto diet and I had fantastic results. Not only was I depression free, I had never felt so mentally sharp in my life. At the time I thought I had finally defeated my long battle with depression and, since it was due to a diet as opposed to medication, I thought it was permanent. I experienced this euphoria for three months, and then – it returned. By the fifth month on the Keto diet all of my symptoms had returned; first in the form of acute anxiety, followed by a devastating depression. Last summer I attempted the diet again. This time I tried to be more mindful of my eating habits; counting my macros and doing bi-weekly fasts. Once again I was depression free for a month, and then – boom – anxiety returned, quickly followed by depression. I’ve been severely depressed since and I seem to be drug resistant. I’m totally perplexed as to why the diet failed and nobody seems to have an answer. When I read the comments on YouTube posts about the positive effects of Keto on depression, everyone raves about it and I never come across a person in which it failed. It’s been so frustrating. It reminds me of the patients in the film, “Awakenings.” Can you shed any light on to why this might of happened?

  27. Dr.Marks, first thank you for your time and energy helping those of us who need this information. I want to state that I am currently under Psychiatric care and am not asking for specific information about my treatment. I am very curious about the studies that have been conducted so far. Would hou be able to direct me to some of them so I can have a conversation with my Doctor. Thank you again, I have recommended your videos to my therapist as well as my Psychtrist as reference points for other clients of theirs.

  28. According to the medical doctors of Plant Based News, the weight loss from a ketogenic diet is short term. I am vegan for health reasons as a whole food plant based diet can reverse diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. I have gained about 70 pounds from taking Seroquel for schizoaffective disorder. My current psychiatrist is tapering me off from Seroquel and adding Lamotrigine. Does Lamotrigine cause weight gain?? I have lost inches and weight from consuming a whole food plant based vegan diet. Go Vegan!!!

  29. Dr Tracey, I love this! I have bipolar 1 and I’ve been psychotic once. I’m eating keto now and I’m very hopeful. I would hope the keto diet can shorten my manic episodes and make them less frequent.

  30. Dr Marks I appreciate your videos and will add that Ketogenic diet is helpful because it appears to feed the body the nutrients in an order that calms the body. the diet is rich in nutrients and is low in sugars, starches, fats, and sodium. I am trying to test my will and only eat thid diet for 90 days and see what other healthy changes occur in my body.

  31. Hi Dr Tracy
    Thank you for the very informative video. Just got to tell you that I went on a protein diet 3 weeks ago and shed 7.8 kg. Unfortunately I wanted to do it too quickly and thus ate too little. Less than a week into the diet I noticed that I was getting depressed, but I persistet. 10 days into the diet I was literally shaking. After eventually determing that it was probably due to hunger I ate some and immediately felt the depression lift.
    Lowering your intake too much can be detrimental to your health.

  32. There is so much more to study on how foods affect mental disabilities. I’m always curious to find out what new theories and studies come up with.

  33. I heard an interesting fact you may already know: that the keto diet is used for some people who have epilepsy. It’s interesting to know about another use for it for a central nervous system issue. I’m thankful I have neither issues, though: whole food-plant based for life, now. 🙂

  34. Dr. Marks, I’ve heard that the Keto diet is causing heart disease, I’m confusing about this

  35. Not that i hate my meds.. I hope u scientists find direct solution that ENDS mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar. I wanna know how it feels like to be in full remission :

  36. Dr Marks,
    I’ve been on a keto diet for the past several years I simply maintain my weight. There’s one thing you’re not discussing and that’s good fats saturated fat versus mono unsaturated fat you had bacon for breakfast with eggs eggs are good but they’re high in cholesterol the yolk so the best thing in the morning is a protein shake with an avocado 🥑. Skip the bacon 🥓. If anybody’s interested in the ketogenic diet a.k.a. keto check out Dr. Berg here on YouTube .
    General repair

  37. If the keto diet was proven to work, i wonder how it could be applied in the real world. People with schizophrenia often live in very deprived circumstances, homeless and in poverty. They may have very limited access to the right types of food. This would be one of the challenges facing front line health care workers. Unfortunately, there are seldom easy answers to these types of complex problems.

  38. Hi Dr Tracey. I already did this diet and I noticed that my mood (I have bipolar 2 disorder) kept too elevated. I stayed away from depression for months, but stayed in hypomania and slept 3 or 5 hours a day. Is this diet recommended for people with bipolar disorder?

  39. Great video Dr. Marks! I suppose that the cute answer to a BP diet is to shoot for the middle between Mediterranean and Keto diet 😁😀😁. GOD BLESS

  40. wow very interesting. i love that our society is starting to look at other approaches to treat mental illness instead of relying so heavily on JUST pharmaceuticals. gonna look more into this thanks for keeping us updated doc!

  41. of schizophrenics, as well as bipolars, and autistics as well, it is said by some sources that they “do not bear an accurate vision of reality”, I guess so, because if I ever have the sense that some social issues are just too big for me to do something about, and I feel powerless to totally answer the needs of those I care about, even while I am able-bodied with a strong will to be positive, it’s because my ability to understand what is happening is just fractional Dr.?

  42. I find it harmful when doctors say diets with a high amount of meat and dairy can be helpful. Meat & dairy kills us. I hope if they do keto they try a vegan keto diet.

  43. Fat is the original fuel … hunting and gathering mankind was first and the genetic selection mechanism from which humans arose … carbohydrates are a synthetic man made source of energy that arose from sedentary farming based food sourcing .. the diet that is not normal the USA diet based on carbohydrates

  44. Thank you very much doctor marks! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard the mitochondria aspect of schizophrenia. I have heard it a couple of times in explanations of treatments with supplements for autism and bipolar. And I have noticed massive improvements in my depressive, schizophrenic and bipolar symptoms and a little bit in the ADHD symptoms just by eating healthier and taking regular vitamins and supplements. Sugar has always seemed to help quite a bit in regulating my system so I definitely see a connection as far as the glucose which Works in line with some of the autoimmune stuff I think I have that doctors don’t seem to recognize or be able to test for. I am very glad the research is finally starting to figure some of this stuff out.

  45. Madam…. how you give emojis like face expressions ??in every video’s cover.
    Do you have training of acting?

  46. Mrs. Doctor, your clients and listeners, and their common dilemma, do they ever speak of the mentally ill feature as feeling good? I was a youngster who was too spacey for studies, maybe some intelligent raw material, when at age 14, after sustaining some amount of injury and isolation among classmates, my outlook chose deathly ideas, it was an emotional turn not a choice, my I.Q. progress I was barely aware of and this new psychiatric item put a choice in front of my eyes, and the mentally ill side had it’s ways of easing my wounds.  sensitive intelligent youth in troubled situations may go over to the side of craziness because it provides an invigorating escape

  47. This is far better alternative than antipsychotic’s diabetogenic effect. Does it work in acute psychosis?

  48. Wow, this is uncanny! I just went to see a nutritional psychiatrist speak last night on this very topic, with a guest speaker with a lived experience of schizophrenia who had a ketogenic diet intervention!

  49. Hi doctor tracy mark thank you for the great videos you post……….since wellbutrin is a great antidepressant you once mentioned it doesn’t do well for anxious depression so i want to ask whether it is appropriate to take wellbutrin along with antianxiety drug such as buspirone for someone with anxious depression to prevent wellbutrin from causing anxiety problems for someone with anxious depression

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