The Current Status of the Ketogenic Diet in Psychiatry

Here’s when it’s important to measure your ketones (Bostock et al., 2017). Actually, this is one of the cooler aspects of keto: you don’t need to rely on FFQ’s or diet diaries or other unreliable methods to determine adherence. You just measure ketones directly — if they’re there, you’re adhering to the diet. And while this isn’t really important for body recompositioning purposes, it may matter for neuropsychiatric applications where the ketones themselves may be part of the MOA directly.

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Major limitations in the published studies on this: NOT MEASURING KETONES. If keto didn’t work and they didn’t report ketones, it’s hard to know if keto really didn’t work or adherence failure.

One more point before diving into the studies: rigid, strict adherence is very important here. One study showed efficacy in mild cognitive impairment, but adherence worsened with disease severity. In other words, the people who potentially stood to benefit the most were the least able to stick to the diet. This is why I’m open to coconut oil or medium chain triglyceride-supplemented low(ish) carb diets or even ketone supplements.

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