Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diets Offer Significant Benefits for Mental Health: A Research Review

Ketogenic Diets for Psychiatric Disorders: A New 2017 Review

Where the science stands, and what it means for you.

The linked article (below) is a summary by Dr Georgia Ede on a recent review article The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry by researchers at the University of Tasmania in Australia [Bostock et al 2017 Front Psychiatry 20(8)]  that updates the status on research of ketogenic diets and mental health.
Quoted here is Dr Ede’s definition of a ketogenic diet: “Definitions vary, but what all ketogenic diets have in common is that they are very low in carbohydrate (typically 20 grams per day or less) and relatively high in fat. The goal is to lower blood sugar and insulin levels; when these are nice and low, the body naturally turns to fat (instead of sugar) as its primary source of energy. Most ketogenic diets also limit protein (to no more than the body requires), because excess protein can raise blood sugar and insulin levels to some extent. Body fat and fat from the diet then break down into ketones, which travel through the bloodstream and can be burned by various cells throughout the body, including most brain cells. Ketone levels rise in the blood, urine and breath within days, and can be measured using various home test methods, but it can take weeks for the body to become efficient at burning fat for energy, and for full benefits to be realized.”

Dr Ede, adds: ”Ketogenic diets have been around for about 100 years, and have proved to be invaluable tools in the treatment of stubborn neurological conditions, most notably epilepsy. They have also shown promise in the management of other brain-based disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, and chronic headaches, as well as in metabolic disorders like obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

But where does the science currently stand on the ketogenic diet and psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorderschizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s Disease?”

The review of research suggests benefits to a number of psychological conditions, in addition to the extensive research on epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, MS, chronic headaches, obesity, cancer & Type 2 diabetes. Whilst, in many cases further research needs to be done to make these findings more definitive, these additional conditions include:

  1. Bipolar Disorder
  2. Schizophrenia
  3. Anxiety
  4. Depression
  5. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  6. ADHD
  7. Alzheimer’s Disease.

I have used controlled ketogenic diets in clinic for over 15 years and have found them extremely effective for weight loss, raising energy levels, regulating and lowering blood sugar levels, improving sleep quality, and reducing inflammation and chronic pain.

If you are interested in investigating ketogenic diets further for your general health or health condition, or would like to book in to start a program, please email me at tim@timaltman.com.au or call 0425 739 918.

 

Barrel Sauna

Research: Frequent Sauna Bathing May Protect Men Against Dementia, Finnish Study Suggests

Another great article in Science Daily featuring research on the benefits of sauna therapy. Again, I’ve included the whole article and the link below.

“Frequent sauna bathing can reduce the risk of dementia, according to a recent study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. In a 20-year follow-up, men taking a sauna 4-7 times a week were 66% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those taking a sauna once a week. The association between sauna bathing and dementia risk has not been previously investigated.

The effects of sauna bathing on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia were studied in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), involving more than 2,000 middle-aged men living in the eastern part of Finland. Based on their sauna-bathing habits, the study participants were divided into three groups: those taking a sauna once a week, those taking a sauna 2-3 times a week, and those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week.

The more frequently saunas were taken, the lower was the risk of dementia. Among those taking a sauna 4-7 times a week, the risk of any form of dementia was 66% lower and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease 65% lower than among those taking a sauna just once a week. The findings were published recently in the Age and Ageing journal.

Previous results from the KIHD study have shown that frequent sauna bathing also significantly reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death, the risk of death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as overall mortality. According to Professor Jari Laukkanen, the study leader, sauna bathing may protect both the heart and memory to some extent via similar, still poorly known mechanisms. “However, it is known that cardiovascular health affects the brain as well. The sense of well-being and relaxation experienced during sauna bathing may also play a role.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161216114143.htm


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tanjaniina Laukkanen, Setor Kunutsor, Jussi Kauhanen, Jari Antero Laukkanen. Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age and Ageing, December 2016 DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw212

Cite This Page:

University of Eastern Finland. “Frequent sauna bathing may protect men against dementia, Finnish study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161216114143.htm>.

 

What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital

Linked is an article with a very interesting, and in my view, wonderful, perspective on mental illness.
I especially like these paragraphs:

“In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born”.

“One of the things Dr. Somé encountered when he first came to the United States in 1980 for graduate study was how this country deals with mental illness. When a fellow student was sent to a mental institute due to “nervous depression,” Dr. Somé went to visit him”.

“I was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Somé was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted.”

“Those who develop so-called mental disorders are those who are sensitive, which is viewed in Western culture as oversensitivity. Indigenous cultures don’t see it that way and, as a result, sensitive people don’t experience themselves as overly sensitive. In the West, “it is the overload of the culture they’re in that is just wrecking them,” observes Dr. Somé. The frenetic pace, the bombardment of the senses, and the violent energy that characterize Western culture can overwhelm sensitive people”.

This resonated with me so much as the approach of Mickel Therapy views chronic illnesses (including anxiety, depression, CFS, fibromyalgia and IBS) similarly. Whilst Mickel Therapy does not focus on spiritual energies or spiritual crises, it does identify that symptoms (and therefore chronic illness), rather than being pathology as such that needs to be eradicated, are messages or signals from the body that that there is an internal stress, or something internally is out of alignment (or is in discord) and it needs to be interpreted and acted upon to rectify it. The Mickel Therapy approach suggests that this internal stress or discord, results from a break down between the harmonious working relationship between the emotional brain centres (our primal internal intelligence that is designed to keep us happy, healthy, safe and comfortable with regard to our environment) and our thinking brain (which, ideally, serves purely as a data control system). The emotional brain, or body mind, sends messages to the body via primary emotional signals that exist prior to thought, which, when working harmoniously, the thinking brain (mind) then interprets and acts upon. Ultimately resolving the stress or discord. And homeostasis or balance is maintained.

When the working relationship between the emotional brain centres and thinking brain breaks down, the original source of the stress is not resolved and the energy of this stress is re-diverted to our hypothalamus, which is a gland in our brains that regulates the function of many, or most of our internal functions – our autonomic nervous system, sleep cycles, cognitive function, all of our endocrine glands, our nervous system, immune system and digestion. Just to name a few.

This causes our hypothalamus to go into overdrive and results in symptoms. And, potentially, if the stress remains unresolved, chronic illness and syndromes.

And what causes this breakdown between our two internal intelligences (the emotional brain centres and the thinking brain)? Just as the article says. It is our fast paced Western culture which overloads the senses, overburdens us with expectations and stereotypes, exposes us to  disproportionate amounts of violence, and dis-encourages emotional awareness or sensitivity.  We have created a mismatch between our modern culture and the way our body’s have adapted to function harmoniously, because technology has advanced over the last few thousand years far more rapidly than the pace at which  we evolve, or our ability to adapt to our environment.

And, again, similar to what is suggested by the article, we find in Mickel Therapy, that it is more often the emotionally sensitive (or intuitive) people who develop chronic illnesses. Perhaps, instead of viewing the symptoms of illness as pathology that needs to be silenced, we could understand that underlying these symptoms are a message from the person’s internal intelligence (beyond the mind) that could further their emotional (and even spiritual) growth. And therefore, perhaps have more to offer the world.

In doing that, we resolve the symptoms anyway. And the person then has a gift to offer the world, rather than becoming dependent on artificial medications designed to mask symptoms and being isolated or institutionalised.

 

http://themindunleashed.org/2014/08/shaman-sees-mental-hospital.html