Health

Eating the Atkins Way May Help Stem Depression

A new study finds that what you eat can affect your mental health

Could a diet make a difference when it comes to depression? New research suggests that eating a ketogenic diet, which is similar to the Atkins diet plan, could help in the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.

According to Michael Berk, a professor at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia, there's a strong link between "diet quality and mental health." A ketogenic diet, restricts carb intake and has also been shown to benefit those suffering from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer.

Doctors still aren't sure what the relationship is between diet and mental health. "There seems to be a clear link, but it's an association," said Rif El-Mallakh, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. "It doesn't tell you cause and effect. We don't know which is the chicken and which is the egg."

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According to one woman who tried the diet change, "I noticed within a day or two the marked difference in my head," she recalls. "It felt clear for the first time in years and years." Since adopting the diet, she says she's been symptom-free.

Doctors, though, are cautious about making a correlation and attributing too much to diet change. "We can't say [that] if we improve your diet, you'll feel better," Felice Jacka, International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research, said. "We have circumstantial evidence that suggests this could be true, but we can't say for sure." [Daily Mail]

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