Metabolic Mind: Using Metabolic Strategies to Support Mental Health
How discussing metabolic and ketogenic therapies can help manage symptoms of mental illness.
At Metabolic Mind, we’re helping change the treatment of mental illness by discussing the role of metabolic and ketogenic therapies.
But what is Metabolic Mind in the first place?
Metabolic Mind is a non-profit started by Roblox Founder David Baszucki and his wife, Jan, after they helped their son, Matt, send his psychiatric symptoms into remission using a metabolic intervention called nutritional ketosis. Our goal is to educate families about this approach to treating mental disorders and offer a message of hope: that freedom from the burden of mental illness is possible.
If you or someone you love lives with a mental disorder (including bipolar, schizophrenia, major depression, or other psychiatric conditions), knowing about ketogenic therapy and lifestyle changes can offer new strategies that may manage your symptoms, optimize your quality of life, and possibly even send your disorder into remission.
Many people are surprised to learn that numerous studies indicate that those with poor metabolic health, such as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes, have a significantly increased risk of serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia.
And it appears the correlation holds in the opposite direction as well. Those with serious mental illness have a higher likelihood of having metabolic dysfunction. While this doesn’t prove causation by itself, it’s certainly worthy of attention and should make us curious if metabolic therapies might improve the symptoms of mental illness.
Clinical experience and emerging evidence say that yes, it can. And that’s what we aim to explore here at Metabolic Mind.
Why Should You Trust Metabolic Mind?
But you’re probably wondering: why should you trust what we say? Everyone knows the internet is full of questionable advice, and knowing where to turn for trustworthy recommendations can be confusing.
At Metabolic Mind, we’re a team of doctors, patients, and n=1 experimenters focusing on how ketogenic therapy and metabolic lifestyle interventions can improve mental health. Our director is Dr. Bret Scher, who you might also know as the previous medical director at dietdoctor.com, where he used his 20+ years of experience in the medical field to inform suggestions around the ketogenic diet. Dr. Scher’s primary focus has been using ketogenic and low-carb diets as effective interventions for those looking to improve their metabolic health and live healthier lives. He’s brought that knowledge here to Metabolic Mind. Our team’s primary goal is to provide scientifically accurate information about metabolic psychiatry that’s practical, actionable and helps change lives for the better.
But we aren’t just making suggestions based on our own whims and biases. We at Metabolic Mind believe that the strength of our recommendations should match the strength of the evidence. Whenever we make a suggestion, we aim to be clear about how strong the evidence is at every step. As a result, we aim to be fully transparent about any studies we discuss, focusing on whether a study’s design and its results are strong or less strong.
A Note on Anecdotes
While we value peer-reviewed, published studies, much of what we discuss here will be based on lived or clinical experience. These individual experiences are called “anecdotes.” Anecdotes are any stories or observations that have been made but have not been officially researched and published in peer-reviewed journals. While they aren’t the strongest evidence, anecdotes are valuable as long as we are clear on the degree of published evidence they have around them.
Wrapping It Up
In this blog, we’ll bring you interviews with scientists and clinicians who are pioneering metabolic therapies for mental illness and who have seen transformations in their patients’ health with their own eyes.
We’ll look into metabolic health, metabolic therapies, and nutritional ketosis. We’ll explore how these ideas all relate to each other and how addressing them may impact mental illnesses.
All this said, it’s important to remember that this blog is for informational purposes only. We are not providing individual or group medical or healthcare advice or establishing a provider-patient relationship. Many of the interventions we discuss can have dramatic or potentially dangerous effects if done without proper supervision. Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your lifestyle or medications.
- Calkin, Cynthia V., et al. “Insulin Resistance and Outcome in Bipolar Disorder.” British Journal of Psychiatry. (2015).
- Deschênes, Sonya S., et al. “Prediabetes, Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Community-Based Cohort Study.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research. (2016)
- Ducat, Lee, et al. “The Mental Health Comorbidities of Diabetes.” JAMA. (2014).
- Garrett, Chris & Doherty, Anne. “Diabetes and Mental Health.” Clinical Medicine. (2014).
- Penninx, Brenda W. & Sjors M. Lange. “Metabolic Syndrome in Psychiatric Patients: Overview, Mechanisms, and Implications.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. (2018).