Ketosis: Mood Elevating Effects?

A ketogenic diet is one that eliminates food sources of carbohydrate, forcing the body to adapt to the changes by producing ketones. When ketone production is accelerated a state of ketosis exists, and the purpose of ketones are to facilitate energy production in tissues that may normally rely on carbohydrate sources for energy, particularly the brain. That the brain can use ketones as a source of energy in the absence of carbohydrates, may suggest that the change in fuel source could lead to changes in mental state. In fact, ketosis is associated with elevations in nood, which may suggest that ketones are able to modulate mood in a beneficial way, or that carbohydrate foods are associated with low mood. In some individuals, ketones provide a more stable and consistent source of energy for brain tissue, and this may explain the mood elevating effects of ketones experienced by some individuals. One possibility is that ketones reduce intracellular sodium concentrations, something known to cause mood stabilisation. 

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El-Mallakh, R. S. and Paskitti, M. E. 2001. The ketogenic diet may have mood-stabilizing properties. Medical Hypotheses. 57(6): 724-726

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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