Advantages and disadvantages of keto


Advantages of a Ketogenic Diet:

  • Medical Relevance for Epilepsy: Originally shown to treat epilepsy, especially in children, by shifting brain metabolism to ketones, reducing seizures. Increased GABA transmission helps manage epilepsy, often making it an effective treatment 1.
  • Improves Mental Health: The ketogenic diet might benefit those with major depressive disorders unresponsive to classical antidepressants. It increases GABA, which can provide relief for depressive symptoms and potentially enhance the efficacy of other medications at lower dosages 1.
  • Reduced Blood Glucose: Has been shown in studies to decrease blood glucose considerably, which can be helpful for metabolic regulation 2.
  • Beneficial Shifts in Gut Microbiome: Shifts to a ketogenic diet affect the gut microbiome, which can potentially lead to mood and affect improvements 3.

    Ketogenic Diet Benefits

    Andrew discusses how the ketogenic diet can be beneficial for treating epilepsy by increasing GABA transmission in the brain. He also explains how it can have positive effects on people with major depressive disorders who don't respond to classic antidepressants.

    Huberman Lab

    Understanding & Conquering Depression | Huberman Lab Podcast #34

Disadvantages and Considerations:

  • Risk of Nutrient Deficiency: Personalized ketogenic plans are important as the diet may lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies if not managed properly by healthcare professionals, especially when used to treat serious disorders 4.
  • Thyroid Hormone Level Adjustments: Being on a ketogenic diet for long periods may adjust thyroid hormone levels, which might affect metabolism adversely when reintroducing carbohydrates into the diet 5.
  • Not Suitable for All: While the diet has been beneficial for some people with epilepsy or mental health issues, it does not work universally. About a third of patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy become seizure-free with the ketogenic diet, a third see a reduction in seizure frequency, and for the remaining third, it does not appear effective 6.

There are intricate details and nuances to how a ketogenic diet can impact individual health, and the effects can vary significantly from person to person. It's also noteworthy that the ketogenic diet is far more than just a weight-loss or cosmetic intervention; it has multifaceted impacts on one's brain health, metabolism, and more. It is essential to manage and personalize the diet with a healthcare professional, especially when treating serious mental disorders or conditions like epilepsy.

For more information on administering a ketogenic diet effectively, which could involve monitoring ketone levels in the context of mental health, one can refer to Dr. Chris Palmer's detailed discussion on the subject 7.