Research

Decades of rigorous scientific studies demonstrate that mental illness can arise from metabolic impairments affecting the brain.

Research

Decades of rigorous scientific studies demonstrate that mental illness can arise from metabolic impairments affecting the brain.

Research

Decades of rigorous scientific studies demonstrate that mental illness can arise from metabolic impairments affecting the brain.

Stanford Study Shows Promise of Keto

Stanford Study Shows Promise of Keto

Stanford Study Shows Promise of Keto

New findings of a pioneering Stanford pilot study published in Psychiatry Research show dramatic improvements in psychiatric and metabolic outcomes in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

New findings of a pioneering Stanford pilot study published in Psychiatry Research show dramatic improvements in psychiatric and metabolic outcomes in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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Century of Progress

Century of Progress

Century of Progress

A century of research and clinical experience has shown that restoring healthy brain metabolism with a metabolic intervention, like a ketogenic diet, can stop seizures in epilepsy.

A century of research and clinical experience has shown that restoring healthy brain metabolism with a metabolic intervention, like a ketogenic diet, can stop seizures in epilepsy.

A Mental or Metabolic Problem?

A Mental or Metabolic Problem?

A Mental or Metabolic Problem?

Growing scientific literature shows that, just like in seizure disorders, energy metabolism is impaired in those suffering from serious mental illness.

Growing scientific literature shows that, just like in seizure disorders, energy metabolism is impaired in those suffering from serious mental illness.

Growing scientific literature shows that, just like in seizure disorders, energy metabolism is impaired in those suffering from serious mental illness.

An Explosion in Research

An Explosion in Research

An Explosion in Research

Basic, translational and interventional clinical trials are underway around the world investigating the connection between brain metabolism, mitochondrial function and mental illness.

Basic, translational and interventional clinical trials are underway around the world investigating the connection between brain metabolism, mitochondrial function and mental illness.

Emerging Evidence

Emerging Evidence

Emerging Evidence

Accumulating scientific literature indicates that reversing metabolic dysfunction can help heal the brain in serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anorexia.

Accumulating scientific literature indicates that reversing metabolic dysfunction can help heal the brain in serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anorexia.

Accumulating scientific literature indicates that reversing metabolic dysfunction can help heal the brain in serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and anorexia.

Ketogenic Diet for Refractory Mental Illness:
A Retrospective Analysis of 31 Inpatients

Dr. Albert Danan showed that in a French cohort of treatment-resistant inpatients, all experienced weight loss and psychiatric symptom reduction, with nearly half no longer meeting criteria for mental illness after treatment.

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Complete Remission of Depression and Anxiety Using a Ketogenic Diet: Case Series

Dr. Lori Calabrese and colleagues present a case series of three adults who achieve complete remission of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

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Treating Insulin Resistance With Metformin as a Strategy to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression

Dr. Cynthia Calkin and colleagues demonstrate that improving insulin sensitivity in treatment-resistant bipolar depression led to remission after decades of illness.

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The Role of Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy on the Brain in Serious Mental Illness: A Review

Drs. Shebani Sethi and Judy Ford call for more clinical trials to address the potential beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet in people with serious mental illness.

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Ketogenic Therapy in Serious Mental Illness:
Emerging Evidence

In this commentary, Drs. Chris Palmer and Zoltan Sarnyai review the emerging evidence supporting the use of nutritional ketosis as a treatment for serious mental illness.

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Animal-Based Ketogenic Diet Puts Severe Anorexia Nervosa into Multi-Year Remission: A Case Series

Researchers at Harvard published this case series suggesting a ketogenic diet may be useful for some patients with anorexia nervosa.

Read More

Ketogenic Diet for Refractory Mental Illness:
A Retrospective Analysis of 31 Inpatients

Dr. Albert Danan showed that in a French cohort of treatment-resistant inpatients, all experienced weight loss and psychiatric symptom reduction, with nearly half no longer meeting criteria for mental illness after treatment.

Read More

Complete Remission of Depression and Anxiety Using a Ketogenic Diet: Case Series

Dr. Lori Calabrese and colleagues present a case series of three adults who achieve complete remission of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Read More

Treating Insulin Resistance With Metformin as a Strategy to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression

Dr. Cynthia Calkin and colleagues demonstrate that improving insulin sensitivity in treatment-resistant bipolar depression led to remission after decades of illness.

Read More

The Role of Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy on the Brain in Serious Mental Illness: A Review

Drs. Shebani Sethi and Judy Ford call for more clinical trials to address the potential beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet in people with serious mental illness.

Read More

Ketogenic Therapy in Serious Mental Illness:
Emerging Evidence

In this commentary, Drs. Chris Palmer and Zoltan Sarnyai review the emerging evidence supporting the use of nutritional ketosis as a treatment for serious mental illness.

Read More

Animal-Based Ketogenic Diet Puts Severe Anorexia Nervosa into Multi-Year Remission: A Case Series

Researchers at Harvard published this case series suggesting a ketogenic diet may be useful for some patients with anorexia nervosa.

Read More

Ketogenic Diet for Refractory Mental Illness:
A Retrospective Analysis of 31 Inpatients

Dr. Albert Danan showed that in a French cohort of treatment-resistant inpatients, all experienced weight loss and psychiatric symptom reduction, with nearly half no longer meeting criteria for mental illness after treatment.

Read More

Complete Remission of Depression and Anxiety Using a Ketogenic Diet: Case Series

Dr. Lori Calabrese and colleagues present a case series of three adults who achieve complete remission of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Read More

Treating Insulin Resistance With Metformin as a Strategy to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Depression

Dr. Cynthia Calkin and colleagues demonstrate that improving insulin sensitivity in treatment-resistant bipolar depression led to remission after decades of illness.

Read More

The Role of Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy on the Brain in Serious Mental Illness: A Review

Drs. Shebani Sethi and Judy Ford call for more clinical trials to address the potential beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet in people with serious mental illness.

Read More

Ketogenic Therapy in Serious Mental Illness:
Emerging Evidence

In this commentary, Drs. Chris Palmer and Zoltan Sarnyai review the emerging evidence supporting the use of nutritional ketosis as a treatment for serious mental illness.

Read More

Animal-Based Ketogenic Diet Puts Severe Anorexia Nervosa into Multi-Year Remission: A Case Series

Researchers at Harvard published this case series suggesting a ketogenic diet may be useful for some patients with anorexia nervosa.

Read More

Learn About the Landmark Stanford Trial

Learn About the Landmark Stanford Trial

Learn About the Landmark Stanford Trial

A Stanford ketogenic therapy pilot trial led by Dr. Shebani Sethi showed dramatic improvements in psychiatric and metabolic symptoms.

Trailblazing Stanford Trial Shows Keto Improves Serious Mental Illness

Trailblazing Stanford Trial Shows Keto Improves Serious Mental Illness

Dr. Bret Scher interviews Shebani Sethi, MD, ABOM of Stanford University School of Medicine and Founding Director of the Stanford Metabolic Psychiatry Clinic to discuss the details of the first pilot to investigate ketogenic therapy in serious mental illness since 1965.

Stanford Keto Study is Revolutionizing Mental Health

Stanford Keto Study is Revolutionizing Mental Health

In this short video, Oxford PhD and Harvard medical student Nicholas Norwitz breaks down the pioneering Stanford University School of Medicine pilot study showing that the ketogenic diet can treat mental illness. As Nick points out in this video: "Metabolic health and mental health are inextricably linked."

Can a keto diet treat mental illness? | 90 Seconds w/ Lisa Kim

Can a keto diet treat mental illness? | 90 Seconds w/ Lisa Kim

Shebani Sethi, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford Medicine, shares the results of a pilot study showing that a ketogenic diet can alleviate the symptoms of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

More than a dozen clinical trials of ketogenic therapy for serious mental illness are now completed or underway for conditions that include major depression, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and anorexia.

Additional trials not listed here are in process for many other brain-based disorders, including anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol use disorder.

More than a dozen clinical trials of ketogenic therapy for serious mental illness are now completed or underway for conditions that include major depression, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and anorexia.

Additional trials not listed here are in process for many other brain-based disorders, including anxiety, Alzheimers, autism, PTSD, and alcohol use disorder.

More than a dozen clinical trials of ketogenic therapy for serious mental illness are now completed or underway for conditions that include major depression, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and anorexia.

Additional trials not listed here are in process for many other brain-based disorders, including anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol use disorder.

Completed Clinical Trials

Completed Clinical Trials

Results of the first completed clinical trials of a ketogenic diet in serious mental illness since the 1960’s are now emerging.

Results of the first completed clinical trials of a ketogenic diet in serious mental illness since the 1960’s are now emerging.

Results of the first completed clinical trials of a ketogenic diet in serious mental illness since the 1960’s are now emerging.

Impact of a Ketogenic Diet on Metabolic and Psychiatric Health in Bipolar or Schizophrenia Illness

Dr. Shebani Sethi’s 4-month clinical trial at Stanford of ketogenic diet for serious mental illness showed promising preliminary results indicating remission of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in participants who adhered to the diet, as well as reversal of metabolic syndrome for those with the diagnosis.

Dr. Shebani Sethi’s 4-month clinical trial at Stanford of ketogenic diet for serious mental illness showed promising preliminary results indicating remission of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in participants who adhered to the diet, as well as reversal of metabolic syndrome for those with the diagnosis.

Dr. Shebani Sethi’s 4-month clinical trial at Stanford of ketogenic diet for serious mental illness showed promising preliminary results indicating remission of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in participants who adhered to the diet, as well as reversal of metabolic syndrome for those with the diagnosis.

Diagnosis

Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder

Principal Investigator

Shebani Sethi, MD

Institution

Stanford University

Location

Stanford, California

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Modified Ketogenic Diet and Ketamine for Anorexia Nervosa

A small pilot trial demonstrated safety and efficacy for adults with chronic psychopathology and supports specific neurobiological mechanisms that can be normalized using therapeutic ketogenic diet and ketamine.

A small pilot trial demonstrated safety and efficacy for adults with chronic psychopathology and supports specific neurobiological mechanisms that can be normalized using therapeutic ketogenic diet and ketamine.

A small pilot trial demonstrated safety and efficacy for adults with chronic psychopathology and supports specific neurobiological mechanisms that can be normalized using therapeutic ketogenic diet and ketamine.

Diagnosis

Anorexia Nervosa

Principal Investigator

Lori Calabrese, MD

Institution

N/A

Location

South Windsor, Connecticut

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Pilot Study for Phase 2 Clinical Trial and Mechanistic Study of Ketogenic Diet in Bipolar Disorder

In this study, Drs. Daniel Smith, Nicole Needham, Iain Campbell and colleagues at University of Edinburgh demonstrated the safety and efficacy of using ketogenic therapy in bipolar disorder.

In this study, Drs. Daniel Smith, Nicole Needham, Iain Campbell and colleagues at University of Edinburgh demonstrated the safety and efficacy of using ketogenic therapy in bipolar disorder.

In this study, Drs. Daniel Smith, Nicole Needham, Iain Campbell and colleagues at University of Edinburgh demonstrated the safety and efficacy of using ketogenic therapy in bipolar disorder.

Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder

Principal Investigator

Daniel Smith, MD

Institution

University of Edinburgh

Location

Scotland

Read More

Active Clinical Trials

Active Clinical Trials

Active Clinical Trials

Please reach out to the study coordinators for information on participating in a clinical trial.

Please reach out to the study coordinators for information on participating in a clinical trial.

Please reach out to the study coordinators for information on participating in a clinical trial.

Ketogenic and Nutritional Interventions for First Episode Bipolar Disorder

Early intervention is important in the recovery process after the first episode of psychosis. This study examines the effects of a ketogenic intervention on energy metabolism and psychiatric symptoms in individuals with first episode bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.

Early intervention is important in the recovery process after the first episode of psychosis. This study examines the effects of a ketogenic intervention on energy metabolism and psychiatric symptoms in individuals with first episode bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder.

Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder, Schizoaffective disorder

Principal Investigator

Virginie-Anne Chouinard, MD & Dost Öngür, MD, PhD

Institution

McLean Hospital

Location

Belmont, Massachusetts

Can Neural Network Instability in Schizophrenia be Improved With a Very Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet?

Those with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and/or bipolar disorder may have a harder time using glucose for brain energy. This study investigates if a ketogenic diet improves neural network stability and cognitive functioning.

Those with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and/or bipolar disorder may have a harder time using glucose for brain energy. This study investigates if a ketogenic diet improves neural network stability and cognitive functioning.

Diagnosis

Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder, Bipolar disorder

Principal Investigator

Judith Ford, PhD

Institution

University of California at San Francisco (UCSF)

Location

San Francisco, California

Ketogenic Diet for Psychotic Disorders (PsyDiet)

Some people diagnosed with psychotic disorders have trouble using sugar as energy for their brain. This study investigates the impact of a ketogenic diet on depression and anxiety and psychotic symptoms such as delusions. Additionally, the study investigates the feasibility of a ketogenic diet in an inpatient setting.

Some people diagnosed with psychotic disorders have trouble using sugar as energy for their brain. This study investigates the impact of a ketogenic diet on depression and anxiety and psychotic symptoms such as delusions. Additionally, the study investigates the feasibility of a ketogenic diet in an inpatient setting.

Diagnosis

Psychotic symptoms

Principal Investigator

Anu Ruusunen, PhD

Institution

Kuopio University Hospital

Location

Kuopio, Finland

Ketogenic Diet in People With Schizophrenia

A ketogenic diet shows promise for treating schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. This study will evaluate the effects of a ketogenic diet on schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in an inpatient setting.

A ketogenic diet shows promise for treating schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. This study will evaluate the effects of a ketogenic diet on schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in an inpatient setting.

Diagnosis

Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder

Principal Investigator

Deanna Kelly, PharmD

Institution

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Location

Cantonsville, Maryland

The Effects of Diet on Metabolic and Mental Health Outcome Measures in Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

This study looks at the impact of dietary intervention alongside treatment in patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

This study looks at the impact of dietary intervention alongside treatment in patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

Diagnosis

Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder

Principal Investigator

Calogero Longhitano, MD & Zoltan Sarnyai, MD, PhD

Institution

James Cook University

Location

Queensland, Australia

Ketogenic Diet Therapy Major Depressive Disorder (KETOMDD)

Some people do not respond to first-line medications for depression such as SSRIs. This study investigates the effectiveness and feasibility of a ketogenic diet for individuals with depression.

Some people do not respond to first-line medications for depression such as SSRIs. This study investigates the effectiveness and feasibility of a ketogenic diet for individuals with depression.

Diagnosis

Depression

Principal Investigator

Elisa Brietzke, MD, PhD

Institution

Queen's University

Location

Ontario, Canada

Ketogenic Intervention in Depression (KIND)

In recent years, there has been an increase in major depression in young adults, particularly on college campuses. This study aims to examine if a ketogenic diet can be implemented in a university counseling setting and its impact on affected individuals.

In recent years, there has been an increase in major depression in young adults, particularly on college campuses. This study aims to examine if a ketogenic diet can be implemented in a university counseling setting and its impact on affected individuals.

Diagnosis

Depression

Principal Investigator

Jeff Volek, PhD

Institution

The Ohio State University

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet in Anorexia Nervosa

In a previous study, patients with anorexia nervosa showed improvements on a ketogenic diet. This study investigates the impact of a therapeutic ketogenic diet on individuals with anorexia nervosa who have been weight normalized.

In a previous study, patients with anorexia nervosa showed improvements on a ketogenic diet. This study investigates the impact of a therapeutic ketogenic diet on individuals with anorexia nervosa who have been weight normalized.

Diagnosis

Anorexia Nervosa

Principal Investigator

Guido Frank, MD

Institution

University of California at San Diego (UCSD)

Location

San Diego, California

Examining Neurobiological Mechanisms Underlying the Therapeutic Effect of the Ketogenic Diet in Bipolar Disorder (BD)

People with bipolar disorder often experience mania/hypomania. This study examines the impact of a ketogenic diet on periods of mania/hypomania in individuals with bipolar disorder.

People with bipolar disorder often experience mania/hypomania. This study examines the impact of a ketogenic diet on periods of mania/hypomania in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder

Principal Investigator

Mary Phillips, MD

Institution

University of Pittsburgh

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Ketogenic Diet for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Dietary Interventions for Mental Health Study

1 in 6 adults in the UK live with depression, and current treatments and medications aren't working for everyone. This study investigates the use of a ketogenic diet as an additional intervention for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

1 in 6 adults in the UK live with depression, and current treatments and medications aren't working for everyone. This study investigates the use of a ketogenic diet as an additional intervention for individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

Diagnosis

Depression

Principal Investigator

Megan Kirk Chang, PhD, Min Gao, PhD

Institution

University of Oxford

Location

Oxford, United Kingdom

Ketogenic Diet for Depression (KETO-MOOD)

With depression affecting 300 million people globally and long-term recovery proving difficult, this study explores whether a ketogenic diet can alleviate depressive symptoms compared to a standard diet.

With depression affecting 300 million people globally and long-term recovery proving difficult, this study explores whether a ketogenic diet can alleviate depressive symptoms compared to a standard diet.

Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder, Depression

Principal Investigator

Timur Liwinski, MD

Institution

University Psychiatric Clinics Basel

Location

Basel, Switzerland

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Research Videos

Hosted by Dr. Bret Scher, your go-to resource for up-to-date science and news in metabolic psychiatry.

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Research Videos

Hosted by Dr. Bret Scher, your go-to resource for up-to-date science and news in metabolic psychiatry.

Metabolic Mind YouTube Channel

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