Self Help

Change Your Diet, Change Your Mind - Dr. Georgia Ede

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Matheus Puppe

· 71 min read

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  • The advice provided is not intended as a substitute for medical advice from a trained health professional.

  • One should consult their health care provider regarding matters relating to their health, especially those that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

  • The information presented should not replace seeking advice from a doctor or health care professional.

  • Medical issues, diagnosis, and treatment should be handled by a licensed medical professional, not based on non-professional advice.

In summary, the advice is not meant to replace the services of medical professionals. It advises consulting a healthcare provider, especially for matters relating to one’s health that may need diagnosis or medical care. The information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

The author, a psychiatrist, discusses how nutritional psychiatry offers an alternative to the limitations of medication-focused psychiatric care. Through personal experience improving her own health issues with diet changes, she became interested in the relationship between nutrition and mental health.

After extensive research, she found that much of the conventional wisdom around nutrition is not evidence-based and has been influenced by biases and agendas rather than science. Common recommendations like plant-based, Mediterranean, and high-fiber diets may not be optimal and can even pose health risks.

The book aims to replace confusion about nutrition with science-based principles. It argues dietary changes can help prevent, ease or even reverse many mental health issues, serving as an alternative or supplement to medication. Specific strategies discussed include customizing carbohydrate and food sensitivity issues.

The author’s goal is to empower readers to think critically about nutrition and find what works best for their individual needs and brain health. The book examines research methods in the field and offers a new perspective on dietary psychiatry grounded in scientific evidence rather than assumptions.

  • There is a global mental health crisis, with nearly 1 billion people suffering from mental health disorders. Rates of depression, anxiety, and other issues are rising steeply among both young people and successive generations.

  • Traditional explanations for mental illness like stress, childhood trauma, and chemical imbalances are incomplete and do not fully account for the rising rates and deteriorating mental health seen today.

  • In the past, mental illness was blamed on things like possession by demons, excess bodily fluids, or genetic weaknesses that made one unable to cope with stress. Psychiatry historically focused more on the mind than the brain.

  • The development of psychiatric medications in the 1950s marked a shift toward biological/chemical explanations for mental illness. However, medication alone does not seem to achieve full remission for serious mental health conditions.

  • The root causes of the current mental health crisis remain poorly understood. New factors related to modern lifestyles are likely contributing to rising stress levels and instability, but stress is an inevitable part of life and cultural changes also bring benefits.

  • To reverse deteriorating mental health trends, a better understanding of the underlying biological and environmental causes is needed, beyond traditional explanations that are incomplete on their own such as stress, childhood trauma, or genetic predisposition.

  • Early experimental treatments for mental illnesses like schizophrenia included horrific methods like insulin coma therapy, lobotomies, and crude electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). These interventions helped some people but seriously injured or killed many others.

  • The introduction of psychiatric medications in the 1950s was welcomed as a more humane alternative after the failures of previous methods. Early drugs included lithium and chlorpromazine (Thorazine), the first antipsychotic.

  • Chlorpromazine reduced agitation and helped manage symptoms for some schizophrenia patients. It gave psychiatrists an effective treatment option for the first time. Researchers believed it worked by blocking dopamine neurotransmitters.

  • This led to the popularization of the neurotransmitter theory of mental illness. Over subsequent decades, many new drugs targeted various neurotransmitter systems to treat conditions like depression, ADHD, anxiety, and more.

  • However, modern psychiatric medications and treatments still have significant limitations. They often only help about 50% of patients and the degree of improvement is modest. Many people remain “treatment resistant.” This suggests neurotransmitter imbalances alone do not fully explain mental illnesses.

  • While medication can be life-saving in crises, it also commonly causes side effects that impair quality of life and sometimes even longevity through increased health risks. The biological underpinnings of mental illnesses remain incompletely understood.

Neurotransmitters play important roles in regulating mood, memory, and concentration. Several factors can cause neurotransmitters to become unbalanced, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. A standard American diet high in ultra-processed foods promotes inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance throughout the body, including in the brain. This causes neurotransmitter imbalances and contributes to increased risk of mental health conditions like depression and schizophrenia.

Nutritional psychiatry focuses on improving diet to treat and prevent mental illness. Researchers recommend following a Mediterranean diet pattern, which emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil, and limits red meat and sweets. This diet has been shown to reduce inflammation and other biological factors linked to poor mental health. While genetics and environment also play roles, changing to a healthier diet may help correct neurotransmitter imbalances and support mental well-being. Further research is still needed, but diet quality appears to significantly impact brain chemistry and risk of mental illness.

  • The Mediterranean diet originated as more of a hypothesis than a rigorously tested diet plan. It was inspired by observations of Mediterranean populations but not designed based on nutrition science.

  • While various studies since have shown the Mediterranean diet to be healthier than the Standard American Diet (SAD), its exact benefits are unclear since it differs from the SAD in many ways.

  • A major limitation of the Mediterranean diet is its relatively high carbohydrate content, which can be problematic for people with insulin resistance and affect brain metabolism over time.

  • Metabolic health, particularly insulin resistance, is emerging as a key missing link in understanding mental health. High glucose and insulin levels can damage the brain and impair its ability to use glucose for energy.

  • The ketogenic diet, which is very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat, may be a powerful treatment approach as it helps produce ketones for the brain to use as fuel. Originally developed for epilepsy, ketogenic diets are showing promise for other neurological and psychiatric conditions.

  • In summary, while an improvement over the SAD, the Mediterranean diet may not be optimized for brain health due to its carbohydrate levels. The ketogenic diet holds promise as a metabolic therapy for the brain.

  • Most mainstream nutrition guidelines are not based on strong scientific evidence and methodology. They came from nutrition epidemiology studies rather than controlled experiments and observation.

  • Nutrition epidemiology is not a very reliable research method compared to other methods like controlled clinical trials. It looks at large populations and associations but cannot prove causation.

  • Early vitamin discoveries in the 1930s-40s, like vitamin C curing scurvy, were made possible by new laboratory techniques allowing isolation and study of nutrients. This was true scientific research.

  • In 1955, focus shifted away from micronutrients to macronutrients like fat and cholesterol due to heart disease fears. Research lost its way and relied more on weaker epidemiology rather than controlled experiments.

  • For a nutrition headline to be reliable, it’s important to understand what type of study was done - stronger evidence comes from controlled trials and observation rather than epidemiology studies looking at populations.

  • While all nutrition research methods have limitations, some like controlled trials are more scientifically valid than others like nutrition epidemiology studies.

  • The pyramid represents a hierarchy or ranking of types of scientific evidence, from lowest to highest.

  • Case reports and case series sit at the bottom as they report on single or small groups of patients without controls. They can inspire further research.

  • Epidemiological studies gather data from large populations but can only suggest associations, not prove causation.

  • Controlled trials introduce experimental and control groups but may not randomize participants, allowing for bias.

  • Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard as they randomly assign participants to minimize bias.

  • Meta-analyses at the top pool results from multiple RCTs to identify trends.

  • While RCTs aim to minimize confounding variables, diet RCTs pose challenges like blinding participants and isolating single variables given the complexity of human diets.

  • Animal studies can control for more variables but results may not translate to humans given species differences in diet and physiology.

So in summary, the pyramid shows the hierarchy of evidence reliability in nutrition science, with RCTs and meta-analyses considered strongest but all study types having limitations depending on context.

This passage discusses some key issues with using animal research and epidemiological studies to understand the relationship between nutrition and human health. Some key points:

  • Early experiments feeding rabbits high-cholesterol diets showed toxicity in rabbits, but did not demonstrate harmful effects on the human heart. Rabbits are a poor model for human nutrition research due to species differences.

  • Laboratory animals are stressed and fed artificial, species-inappropriate diets, affecting research validity. Genetic manipulation of disease models also limits relevance.

  • In vitro cell/tissue studies tell us little, as cells behave differently outside the body and many food compounds do not survive digestion/absorption.

  • While some animal research provides basic cell biology insights, results must be cautiously interpreted for human nutrition/disease.

  • Nutrition epidemiology is observational, not experimental. Diet is complex and self-reported data is unreliable. Unlike infectious diseases, chronic diseases have multiple causes.

  • Epidemiology lacks experimentation, so cannot validate hypotheses scientifically. Popular theories about nutrition and disease may be “bio-illogical” and standing without proper testing. Results must be interpreted carefully.

In summary, the passage criticizes reliance on animal and epidemiological studies to understand human nutrition, due to limitations of the models and lack of true experimentation in epidemiology. A cautious approach to interpreting such results is advocated.

Here is a summary of the key points about epidemiology studies on berries and dementia:

  • A large Harvard study of over 16,000 women found an association between eating 2+ servings of berries per week and slower rates of memory decline over time.

  • However, the study relied on food frequency questionnaires to assess berry intake, which are inherently inaccurate and subjective ways to measure diet. Human memory is fallible.

  • The questionnaires were only administered a few times over 15-20 years, making it impossible to reliably track diet over such a long period.

  • Modern diets are far more complex than the 130 foods assessed by the questionnaires.

  • Even well-designed epidemiology studies can only show associations, not prove causation. More evidence from different study designs would be needed to conclude berries prevent dementia.

  • Due to these limitations, the study could not truly determine the effect of berries on brain health or establish them as a cause of slower cognitive decline. More research would be needed.

In summary, while intriguing, the study had critical limitations that prevented it from conclusively linking berries to memory protection due to the imprecise methodology of epidemiology research.

  • The passage uses a hypothetical example of pretzels and alcoholism to illustrate how epidemiological studies can incorrectly imply a causal relationship from an observed association between two factors. Just because people who drink more alcohol also eat more pretzels does not necessarily mean pretzels cause alcoholism.

  • Sir Austin Bradford Hill established criteria for using observed associations to suggest causation, including that the association needs to be strong, with a relative risk of at least 2.0. However, most nutrition epidemiology studies report very weak associations below this threshold.

  • Even when studies are careful not to claim causation, their findings are often overstated or misreported in the media as implying causation. This influences public perceptions and policy decisions.

  • Major nutrition guidelines and reports like the US Dietary Guidelines and reports on red meat and cancer rely heavily on nutrition epidemiology studies despite their limitations.

  • When evaluating nutrition studies, signs that a study is based on epidemiology include words like “association”, long duration, large sample sizes, and simplistic headlines that overstate findings. Other types of evidence like clinical trials and case studies also have limitations and must be considered cautiously. Multiple types of evidence are needed to draw conclusions.

Here is a summary of key points from the provided text:

  • The brain is protected by bones, meninges layers, and the blood-brain barrier, which carefully controls what enters the brain. Macronutrients and micronutrients are transported across the barrier to nourish brain cells.

  • The cerebral cortex has deep folds to fit its large surface area inside the skull in humans. White matter connects gray matter hubs via myelinated cable-like structures. Other brain regions like the brainstem, cerebellum, hippocampus, and hypothalamus perform specialized functions.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid circulates through ventricles to deliver nutrients and flush toxins, helping wash the brain during REM sleep.

  • The brain contains approximately 170 billion cells, including neurons and glial cells.

  • Neurons conduct electricity for fast communication. They receive signals via dendritic spines and transmit via axons and synaptic neurotransmitters. This coordinated network allows for complex thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Neurotransmitters briefly attach to receptors on nearby cell dendrites to deliver messages. Then they are recycled and stored in sacs by the parent neuron to be released again during the next electrical wave.

The brain uses dozens of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, glutamate, and GABA. Medications target these neurotransmitters to treat mental health issues. For example, SSRIs like Prozac increase serotonin levels to treat depression.

Neurons control their firing by weighing inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter signals on their dendrites. An electrically primed neuron will fire if excitatory signals are strong enough to open sodium channels and trigger the release of neurotransmitters at synaptic terminals.

Surrounding glial cells support neurons. Oligodendrocytes insulate axons with myelin for fast signal transmission. Astrocytes supply nutrients to active synapses. Microglia patrol for threats and remove debris. Ependymal cells circulate cerebrospinal fluid.

The brain needs macronutrients like protein, fat, carbs, and cholesterol as building blocks and fuel. Protein is especially important as it contains nitrogen, and the body cannot survive long without sufficient protein intake.

  • Protein is an important macronutrient in our diet, not because we need the protein itself but because we need the amino acids it contains. Our bodies break down dietary proteins into individual amino acids and use them to build human proteins like hair, hormones, and muscles.

  • There are 22 amino acids, of which 9 are essential (can’t be made by the body), 8 are conditionally essential (can’t always be made in sufficient amounts), and 5 are nonessential (can be made by the body). We must consume all 9 essential and 8 conditionally essential amino acids regularly through our diet.

  • Fats are made of fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone to form triglycerides. There are saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that all play important roles in the body.

  • The brain contains a high amount of fat, around 50% by dry weight, largely due to the fatty membranes and myelin sheaths containing neurons. Brain fat consists of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids like DHA that are essential for brain functions.

  • Both proteins/amino acids and fats are important macronutrients that the body breaks down and uses to build tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters and other crucial components. Deficiencies can therefore impair brain and overall health.

  • The brain has a high energy demand, using about 20% of the body’s daily energy to power sodium-potassium pumps that maintain neuronal electrical potentials.

  • Micronutrients like B vitamins and iron play an outsized role in brain metabolism, activating enzymes, influencing genes, conducting electricity and performing other metabolic functions at every step.

  • Brain energy production begins in the gut, where foods are broken down into small molecules that can be used as fuel. The stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas work together to digest foods and transport fuel to the brain.

  • Understanding gut metabolism is important, as the systems of gut, liver and brain are interconnected - what you eat affects gut functioning which impacts the fuel available to the brain.

  • Brain metabolism involves numerous intersecting pathways that build and burn molecules. It relies on a steady supply of the right nutrients to power these complex processes and sustain high energy demands.

So in summary, the passage discusses how brain metabolism relies on proper gut functioning and nutrient availability to power its energy-intensive processes and maintain neuronal electrical potentials, which are key to brain functioning.

  • Insulin is a major hormone that regulates metabolism and helps control blood glucose levels. It determines whether the body shifts into energy storage/growth mode or fat-burning mode.

  • When insulin is high after a carbohydrate-containing meal, metabolism shifts to burning glucose for energy and storing excess calories as fat. Insulin allows glucose to enter cells and directs the storage of glucose as glycogen or conversion to fat.

  • When insulin is low during fasting or a ketogenic diet, metabolism shifts to burning fat for energy. Fat cells release fatty acids, and the liver produces ketones and glucose through gluconeogenesis to supply the brain and other organs.

  • Ketone bodies (acetoacetate, acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate) provide an alternative energy source to glucose for the brain and other organs. The brain typically uses both glucose and ketones.

  • Essential nutrients like B vitamins play important roles in metabolic pathways involved in energy production, fat burning, gluconeogenesis and other insulin-regulated processes.

The key point is that insulin is the major hormone that orchestrates metabolic functions and switches the body between energy storage and fat-burning modes depending on nutrient availability and insulin levels. Ketones provide backup energy for the brain and organs when glucose is low.

  • The higher your blood ketones, the higher your brain ketones. Neurons have receptors to absorb ketones for energy.

  • The brain cannot run on ketones alone and needs some glucose, so the liver continues producing glucose even when burning fat and ketones are high.

  • Ketone levels are usually low on high-carb diets due to high insulin levels suppressing ketone production. Ketones rise with fasting, exercise, calorie restriction or ketogenic diets when the body burns more fat.

  • When insulin is high, the brain runs mainly on glucose. When insulin falls and ketones rise, the brain uses more ketones and less glucose. The brain prefers using ketones over glucose when both are available.

  • A low glucose, high ketone state puts the brain in a “healing mode” that allows recovery and supports neuroplasticity through enhanced nutrient pathways.

  • Regularly shifting metabolism between carbohydrate and fat-based fuel through diet and lifestyle habits may help robust mental and physical health by keeping the system flexible.

  • The brain has two energy production systems, termed Engine G and Engine M, that work together to produce maximum energy from fuels like glucose and ketones.

  • Engine G partially breaks down glucose outside of the mitochondria. Engine M completely breaks down a variety of fuels like glucose and ketones inside the mitochondria. Engine G must chop glucose in half before Engine M can break it down fully.

  • Ketones can be used directly by Engine M, bypassing the 13 step process of Engine G. More electrons from ketones also take a shortcut into the electron transport chain. Ketone processing requires less insulin.

  • Both Engine G and Engine M are needed for optimal brain function. Engine G is useful for fast energy needs and in tight spaces, while Engine M produces more energy but requires oxygen.

  • Oxygen is both essential for energy production but can also cause oxidative stress if free radicals form and overwhelm antioxidant defenses. Burning ketones causes less oxidative stress than glucose.

  • In summary, the brain requires nutrients from whole foods to support its complex energy production systems and avoid issues like inflammation and oxidative stress that can negatively impact mental health.

  • Processed foods make up a large portion of modern diets in countries like Australia, the UK, and US. The term “ultra-processed” refers to foods that have undergone significant chemical processing and contain artificial flavors, colors, emulsifiers, and other additives.

  • Processing methods have changed over time from improving safety/preservation to focusing on convenience, palatability and profit. Ultra-processed foods are stripped of nutrients and loaded with toxic molecules that damage the brain.

  • Refined carbohydrates like flour and sugar are key ingredients in many ultra-processed foods. Sugar consumption increased dramatically with the industrial revolution and use of slaves on sugar plantations. Sugar is highly addictive.

  • Refined carbohydrates come from stripping whole foods like grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables down to sugars and starches. Refined sugars and starch-heavy processed foods cause blood sugar spikes and are linked to poor mental and physical health outcomes.

  • 7 of the 12 ingredients listed are various forms of refined sugars, including corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, fructose.

  • 2 of the remaining 5 ingredients are refined grains - enriched wheat flour and soluble corn fiber.

  • So in total, 9 out of the 12 ingredients (75%) are refined carbohydrates in the form of sugars or refined grains.

  • The food is highly processed and consists primarily of empty calories from refined carbohydrates with little nutritional value. Consuming such foods regularly could negatively impact blood sugar levels and overall health.

  • The test for AGEs measures how much sugar is stuck to proteins in red blood cells. Higher sugar levels in the blood means more attaches to proteins throughout the body, including in the blood.

  • Microglia cells in the brain patrol for disturbances like AGEs. When they detect AGEs, they initiate strategies to destroy them like releasing free radicals and inflammatory cytokines.

  • Cytokines act as signals to create inflammation and recruit other cells to help remove the AGEs. Repeated exposure to free radicals from constant AGE removal can lead to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.

  • Chronic brain inflammation is linked to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis and other conditions. Inflammation disrupts neurotransmitters and cytokines can induce sickness behaviors like fatigue.

  • Oxidative stress also plays a role in these conditions. The brain is vulnerable due to lower antioxidant production and high amounts of fatty acids prone to oxidative damage.

  • Refined vegetable oils like soybean and sunflower oil are now scrutinized for potential roles in declining mental and physical health. They became common in processing but require industrial extraction with hexane solvent.

  • Vegetable oils are high in linoleic acid which may contribute to inflammation when consumed in excess. Repeated consumption of refined oils could impede the brain’s ability to remove AGEs and recover from inflammation.

  • Most vegetable oils, which come from seeds, nuts, and legumes, are relatively high in linoleic acid. Common high linoleic acid oils include sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils.

  • Most fruit oils, which come from fleshy parts of plants like avocado and olive, are relatively low in linoleic acid.

  • Historically, linoleic acid made up 1-2% of calories in human diets prior to widespread vegetable oil consumption. Today it makes up over 7% of calories due to foods containing soybean, corn and other vegetable oils.

  • High linoleic acid intake can increase oxidative stress and inflammation if sufficient omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA are not also consumed. Modern diets tend to be high in omega-6 linoleic acid but low in protective omega-3s.

  • The brain recycles linoleic acid differently than other fatty acids, often burning it for fuel instead of incorporating it into cell membranes. This may increase oxidative stress within the brain.

So in summary, most vegetable oils are higher in linoleic acid than fruit oils, and high linoleic acid intake without sufficient omega-3s can promote inflammation and oxidative stress, which may impact brain health and function.

  • Ultraprocessed foods are marketed by food companies as addictive through slogans like “bet you can’t eat just one.” However, food should nourish without leaving one feeling empty or out of control.

  • Tips to reduce inflammation include reading ingredient labels carefully, avoiding “health halos” of foods marketed based on what they don’t contain, and cooking at home to avoid restaurants that use vegetable oils.

  • Policymakers recommend 2-10% of calories from linoleic acid (an omega-6 fat), but this is misguided as it is not an essential fat. Even if it was, most people already have excess stored from modern diets.

  • A review found 71% of low-carb diet studies saw reduced inflammatory markers. Low-carb or avoiding refined carbs can make any diet less inflammatory.

  • Practicing whole food principles may seem difficult but mental health is worth the effort. Tools to make the transition will be discussed in a later chapter.

  • A Mexican-American postdoc was experiencing frequent panic attacks, irritability, constant food cravings, emotional eating, and sleepiness after meals.

  • Her original diet consisted of toast with peanut butter/Nutella, salads with bread, and pasta dishes for meals. Snacks were bananas and yogurt.

  • The doctor recommended a low-carb, whole foods diet instead: eggs and veggies for breakfast, meat and non-starchy veggies for lunch and dinner. Snacks were nuts and cheese.

  • After changing her diet, the patient reported a 90% reduction in her symptoms.

  • The original diet, while healthier than most, still contained too many refined carbs like bread, chocolate and pasta which can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, increasing stress hormones.

  • Spiking insulin levels throughout the day from frequent carb intake can disrupt other hormones like those regulating mood, appetite, sleep and more.

  • Monitoring blood glucose with a meter or CGM can help understand how foods impact metabolism and find a sustainable diet pattern. Red flags to watch for are high or unstable glucose levels.

  • Symptoms like anxiety or shakiness could be due to rapidly falling glucose even within a “normal” range, not just severely low blood sugar. Stable levels are important for health.

  • The body can experience symptoms like shaking, fast heart rate, etc. not because of low blood sugar, but because stress hormones are released to prevent low blood sugar from happening. This is similar to a parent pulling their toddler away from a hot stove to protect them.

  • These stress hormone reactions are common if someone’s diet contains too many refined carbohydrates or too much total carbohydrate for their metabolism to safely handle. Having something to eat can alleviate the symptoms in the short term.

  • But to prevent recurring issues, the person should consider changing their diet to reduce carb intake, especially refined carbs.

  • Home glucose monitoring can help identify if mental or physical symptoms are related to blood glucose levels fluctuating. Reducing carb intake can potentially cure long-term issues, as was the case for Dr. Figtree who discovered porridge spiked her glucose dangerously high.

  • Sugar can be addictive due to how it affects the brain’s reward pathways. Removing refined carbs is important for metabolic and mental health, but may be challenging for those with a sugar addiction they are unaware of. Questions are provided to help assess one’s relationship with addictive foods.

Insulin resistance comes with many health risks that often go unnoticed until serious issues emerge. It happens gradually as cells become resistant to insulin’s effects from frequent sugar crashes and insulin spikes. Initially blood sugar stays normal but insulin levels are high. Over time, even high insulin can’t control blood sugar, leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Insulin resistance underlies many chronic diseases by promoting fat storage, inflammation and cell growth issues. It increases risk of conditions like fatty liver, heart disease, obesity, some cancers and more. Left unaddressed, insulin resistance progresses silently and sets the stage for health crises down the road. However, understanding its effects allows people to monitor their metabolic health and make dietary changes to prevent insulin resistance from worsening. This empowering knowledge can help change lifestyles and potentially alter long term health trajectories.

  • Insulin resistance is linked to several health conditions like high blood pressure, acne, and high insulin levels promoting blood clots. About half of people with high blood pressure and 3/4 of people with acne have insulin resistance.

  • Insulin resistance itself is a dangerous metabolic disease even if diabetes does not develop, yet 80% of people with insulin resistance do not know they have it.

  • Testing insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglyceride levels can help determine if someone has insulin resistance. Higher fasting insulin and triglyceride levels and waist-to-height ratio indicate insulin resistance.

  • Insulin resistance is now understood to be a major driving force behind Alzheimer’s disease. Rates of Alzheimer’s were much lower before 1900, suggesting it is a modern disease. While aging and genetics are risk factors, 2/3 of people over 85 do not get Alzheimer’s, so it is likely preventable.

  • Previous drug trials costing billions have failed to treat or cure Alzheimer’s. New drugs provide minimal benefit and significant risks and costs. Understanding insulin resistance could help prevent Alzheimer’s for many people.

  • For decades, scientists searched for the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2005, Dr. Suzanne de la Monte proposed that Alzheimer’s is driven by insulin resistance and resembles type 2 diabetes, introducing the term “type 3 diabetes.” This theory has gained significant support.

  • Insulin resistance is strongly linked to Alzheimer’s risk. 81% of Alzheimer’s patients have insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. The younger a person develops type 2 diabetes, the greater their Alzheimer’s risk later in life.

  • With insulin resistance, brain insulin levels fall while blood insulin and glucose rise. This prevents brain cells from properly metabolizing glucose for energy. The hippocampus, important for memory, is especially vulnerable.

  • Hippocampal atrophy and dysfunction can explain early memory problems in Alzheimer’s. However, amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, while hallmarks, may not be the primary drivers of the disease. Insulin resistance may enable their formation.

  • Maintaining healthy brain insulin signaling may help prevent amyloid and tau pathology and protect against Alzheimer’s progression driven by metabolic dysfunction in the brain.

Based on the passage, insulin deficiency in the brain that helps set the stage for neurodegeneration and cell death is low brain insulin activity. Specifically, the passage states that low brain insulin activity helps pull the plug on acetylcholine-producing brain cells by reducing the supply of nerve growth factor, which these cells need to thrive.

Here is a summary of the main points regarding treatment options from the provided text:

  • Dr. Cynthia Calkin conducted a randomized controlled trial showing that reversing insulin resistance with the diabetes medication metformin substantially improved depression symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder who also had insulin resistance.

  • One patient in the study reported going from feeling suicidal and in constant despair to feeling a true sense of wellness for the first time after her insulin resistance was reversed.

  • Reversing insulin resistance through lifestyle changes like a ketogenic diet may provide similar benefits as metformin for bipolar disorder symptoms.

  • Dr. Albert Danan conducted a study where 31 treatment-resistant patients with mental health conditions tried a ketogenic diet. 28 patients improved metabolically and psychiatrically, with 12 achieving full remission and 18 being discharged on less medication than when admitted.

  • The ketogenic diet provided more positive results than standard psychiatric treatments these patients had previously failed to respond to, demonstrating promise as an effective treatment option, particularly for serious and treatment-resistant cases.

  • The ketogenic diet aims to induce ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. A meaningful level of ketosis is considered 0.5 mM or higher of ketones in the blood.

  • There is no single ketogenic diet plan as everyone’s metabolism is different. As long as ketosis is achieved, dietary patterns can vary from vegan to carnivore to everything in between.

  • Key aspects of most ketogenic diets are very low carbohydrate (around 20g per day), moderate protein, and high fat which provides the majority of calories. This lowers insulin levels.

  • Variations exist on a spectrum from relaxed diets like modified Atkins to very strict classic ketogenic diets. The less protein and carbohydrates allowed, the higher ketone levels tend to be.

  • The ketogenic diet may improve brain health by reducing inflammation, boosting antioxidants, bypassing mitochondrial defects, supporting neuroplasticity, balancing neurotransmitters, lowering glucose/insulin spikes, and providing an alternate fuel in ketones.

  • While differing from mainstream guidelines, the ketogenic diet can be safe if nutritious foods are chosen and medical conditions are monitored by a healthcare provider during the metabolic adaptation period.

  • Research on using the ketogenic diet for specific psychiatric conditions is emerging but promising based on case studies and anecdotes reported so far. Larger clinical trials are still needed.

  • The passage discusses how a ketogenic diet provided significant relief from bipolar disorder and depression for some individuals.

  • It shares the personal experience of Dr. Iain Campbell, who used a ketogenic diet to successfully put his own bipolar II disorder into long-term remission. He no longer experiences symptoms like severe depressive episodes as long as he remains in ketosis.

  • Studies have found that ketogenic diets may help conditions like bipolar disorder and depression by stabilizing brain energy metabolism and reducing inflammation. Maintaining ketosis seems important for continued mood benefits.

  • While ketosis has allowed Dr. Campbell an improved quality of life without medications, he acknowledges he needs to stay on the diet permanently to prevent symptoms from returning. The diet controls his condition but did not provide a “cure.”

  • More research is still needed, but ketogenic diets show promise as an alternative or adjunct treatment for certain mood disorders like bipolar disorder and depression according to these individual accounts and limited clinical research to date.

  • The person suffered from depression and obsessive anxiety since childhood. At age 40, he started running marathons which helped somewhat with his depression but the good feeling only lasted until bedtime.

  • At age 45 he saw a psychiatrist who provided counseling and prescribed Lexapro, which helped somewhat.

  • At age 55 after a job change, he experienced his deepest depression yet with suicidal thoughts for months. His weight rose to 205 pounds.

  • He tried various antidepressants over several years before finding some relief with Effexor, but it caused side effects. On the advice of a book, he tried a vegan diet and running which somewhat improved his mood but caused gastrointestinal issues.

  • At age 56, he started a low-carbohydrate diet and was able to taper off psychiatric medication. His health markers improved significantly and he remained symptom-free for over 6 years following the low-carb diet.

  • He feels this is a “miracle” and that the low-carb diet “100 percent fixed” his mental health issues, allowing him to feel better than he has his entire adult life.

  • One study on a ketogenic diet for Alzheimer’s disease found that patients achieved higher average ketone levels than in other studies, just under 1.0 mM (millimolar).

  • Higher ketone levels may have led to better outcomes in terms of cognitive test scores, but Alzheimer’s disease causes significant neurodegenerative damage so some cognitive impairment may not be reversible.

  • It is important to identify and address metabolic dysfunction associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s as early as possible for ketogenic diets to have the best effect.

  • In summary, this section discussed a clinical trial on ketogenic diets for Alzheimer’s patients where ketone levels exceeded 1.0 mM on average, but cognitive test scores did not significantly improve, possibly because neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s may not be fully reversible even with metabolic interventions like ketogenic diets. Early intervention is suggested to achieve better results.

  • The human brain evolved to require animal-source foods like meat. Meat provides important nutrients, proteins, fats and cholesterol that support brain development and function.

  • Popular arguments that claim meat is harmful for health can be dismissed as not supported by science. However, the industrial production of meat raises ethical and environmental concerns that need to be addressed.

  • All animals contain some amount of “red meat” due to their need for heme iron, which carries oxygen in blood and muscles. The color and amount varies between different muscles and animals.

  • Human ancestors began consuming meat over 2 million years ago, which allowed our digestive tracts and brains to evolve. Meat provided dense nutrients easily digestible by humans.

  • Meat is highly nutritious, containing high quality protein and fat, including omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains vitamins, minerals and cholesterol that are important for human health and difficult to obtain from plants alone due to their poor absorption.

  • While meat is an important part of a healthy human diet, the way industrial meat is produced today raises problems that require solutions to make the system more sustainable and humane.

  • Animal foods contain important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B12, D, and K2 that are difficult or impossible to get from plants. They provide nutrients in highly bioavailable forms.

  • Calcium is the most challenging nutrient to get from non-dairy animal foods since it’s concentrated in bones and other parts usually not consumed.

  • Plant foods can contain antinutrients that interfere with absorption of iron, calcium, zinc, and other nutrients from food.

  • Only animal foods contain EPA, DHA, and arachidonic acid long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for brain and body function.

  • Our brains evolved requiring meat consumption, and our digestive system is well-suited to processing meat. However, spiritual and ethical concerns about eating animals, especially mammals, are understandable.

  • Industrialized animal agriculture raises welfare and environmental issues but does not inherently make meat unhealthy to eat. Vegetarian diets predate industrialization for various religious and spiritual reasons.

  • Early anti-meat arguments originated from religious groups for moral reasons rather than science, though health concerns were later cited to influence broader populations.

  • Epidemiological studies linking red meat to heart disease show very small risks that are not necessarily causal, and randomized trials found inconsistent effects on cholesterol. No trials directly link red meat to heart disease incidence or outcomes.

  • Studies have not conclusively demonstrated a link between red meat and heart disease. The hypothesis that saturated fat in red meat causes heart disease has been refuted.

  • A new hypothesis suggests carnitine in red meat is converted by gut bacteria to TMAO, which may lead to heart disease. However, evidence for this “carnitine hypothesis” remains speculative and unproven.

  • The WHO classified processed meat as carcinogenic and red meat as “probably carcinogenic” based mainly on epidemiological studies. But these studies had inconsistent results.

  • Experimental studies on rats, which were given carcinogens and deficient diets, did not find red or processed meat alone caused cancer. Human studies showed no increased cancer risk from red meat.

  • In summary, while some epidemiological research points weakly to potential links between red meat and disease, experimental and clinical evidence is lacking. No definitive causal relationship has been established. More research is still needed to clarify the picture, as current results point in different directions.

  • In one study, volunteers ate three diets for 10 days each: vegetarian, low-fiber meat, high-fiber meat. Following the low-fiber meat diet, biomarkers for colon cell mutations called O6-CMG were higher.

  • However, the low-fiber meat diet also included refined carbs instead of fiber and any weight-losing volunteers got extra treats. So it’s unclear if red meat, lack of fiber, or refined carbs caused the increased mutations.

  • It was later found that enzymes can repair O6-CMG mutations, so they may not be reliable cancer risk markers.

  • Researchers often change multiple dietary variables when comparing meat diets to non-meat diets, making it hard to isolate the effects of meat itself. Yet they still tend to conclude meat was the culprit for any negative outcomes.

  • Many common perceived associations between red meat and health issues like cancer, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and gout are not supported by strong evidence from observational studies or randomized controlled trials. Potential confounding factors are often not adequately controlled for.

  • Recently it has become clear that gout, like many chronic diseases, is rooted in insulin resistance, which impairs the body’s ability to eliminate uric acid.

  • Molecules in red meat, such as saturated fat, arachidonic acid, heme iron, and neu5GC have been accused of causing inflammation. However, a meta-analysis found red meat does not affect blood markers of inflammation, while hyperglycemia is well established to cause inflammation.

  • Meat production causes real problems regarding animal welfare in intensive farming systems and environmental pollution. However, banning meat is not the solution, and meat can be an important part of a healthy sustainable diet when animals are raised ethically and fed species-appropriate diets.

  • Both eggs and dairy are designed by nature to nourish new life but contain unique molecules that can be problematic for humans. While high in saturated fat and cholesterol, fears around these nutrients in whole foods have been overblown and the food industry profits by removing and replacing nutrients in eggs and dairy.

  • In moderation as part of a nutritious diet, eggs and dairy can support growth and development when options are limited for meat consumption by some. Overall both foods are beneficial when choices are available from ethically raised and grass-fed animals.

  • Eggs are often described as nature’s most perfect food as they contain nearly all nutrients needed to develop a chicken embryo, except vitamin C which the embryo can produce itself.

  • While eggs provide excellent protein and nutrients, their iron absorption is low and a compound in egg yolks called phosvitin interferes with iron absorption from other foods.

  • For decades the medical community warned that dietary cholesterol leads to high blood cholesterol and heart disease risk. However, numerous studies have failed to prove this relationship.

  • In 2013 and 2015, the AHA and US dietary guidelines reversed their positions, stating there is no clear evidence linking dietary cholesterol to heart disease risk.

  • Yet some studies continue to both support and refute eggs’ effects on heart health, leading to ongoing public confusion about egg consumption guidelines.

  • The passage argues eggs are in fact safe to eat and among the most nutritious foods, despite arbitrary consumption limits still suggested in some dietary guidelines.

  • It provides more detail on how LDL cholesterol works in the body and challenges the idea that LDL itself is “bad,” explaining its important role in transporting fat and cholesterol.

  • VLDL particles carry triglycerides and cholesterol from the liver into the bloodstream. Their top priority is delivering fat molecules to cells for energy.

  • As VLDL circulates and loses triglycerides, it shrinks and becomes denser, transitioning into LDL particles. At this stage, the priority shifts to supplying cholesterol for cell maintenance and repair.

  • Cells need cholesterol for their membranes, so LDL delivers cholesterol wherever new or existing cells require it.

  • HDL particles collect excess or damaged cholesterol from cells and return it to the liver to be recycled or removed from the body.

  • This is the cholesterol and fat transportation system that ensures cells receive the lipids they need for energy and structural integrity. It involves VLDL, LDL, and HDL working together under liver regulation to distribute and remove cholesterol and fat molecules.

  • The only carbohydrate in milk is lactose, a disaccharide made of glucose and galactose. Babies produce lactase to digest lactose, but most adults lose this ability after weaning.

  • Certain groups that relied more on dairy developed lactase persistence as an adaptation. However, over 70% of the global population remains lactose intolerant to some degree. Prevalence varies greatly by ethnicity.

  • Lactose intolerant individuals cannot digest lactose in the colon, leading to bloating, pain and diarrhea. Risk varies by dairy product based on lactose content.

  • Milk also contains casein and whey proteins that some have difficulty digesting and may cause issues like constipation or inflammation. The A1 beta-casein variant in most cow’s milk is particularly implicated.

  • Casein is highly sticky and takes a long time to break down. Partially digested fragments can generate opioids called casomorphins that may slow digestion or trigger brain inflammation.

  • Some experience cravings or addictive-like behaviors towards dairy that may relate to hormones and chemicals it contains.

  • Whey protein raises insulin levels substantially like glucose despite being carb-free.

  • Dairy fat is not necessarily problematic on its own, and butter/ghee contain beneficial vitamins, but even these trigger issues for some due to residual proteins or other components.

  • Grains, beans, nuts, and seeds are all considered seed foods as they contain an embryo. They are the most nutritious part of plants as seeds need to provide nutrients for the embryo to develop.

  • Seed foods provide protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. However, they also contain antinutrients and toxins as defense mechanisms to protect the seed from predators.

  • The benefits of seed foods need to be weighed against these natural defenses, which can pose risks to human health.

  • Grains became a more prominent part of the human diet around 11,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture. Evidence shows early consumption of nuts, legumes, and sorghum as well.

  • Seed foods are heavily defended with tough shells, hulls, and chemical weapons like antinutrients and toxins. This poses processing challenges and health risks if consumed in large quantities.

  • Modern processing helps break down some defenses but also removes beneficial nutrients and fiber. Excessive consumption of certain seed foods, especially grains, may contribute to health issues.

So in summary, while seed foods are nutritious, their natural defenses also present risks that need to be considered, especially with highly processed versions lacking protective fiber and nutrients. Moderation and minimizing processing is advised.

  • Agriculture began about 11,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent region. Over the next 5,000 years, farming spread globally.

  • However, early agricultural societies tended to be worse off biologically compared to hunter-gatherers. Crop-based diets were correlated with shorter stature and signs of malnutrition.

  • While seeds contain protein, fat, and carbs as a “recipe for growth,” their macronutrient composition may not be optimal for humans. Seed proteins often lack a balanced amino acid profile and are difficult to digest.

  • Not all omega-3s are equal - ALA from plants must be converted into EPA/DHA, but conversion rates are extremely low. Animal foods contain pre-formed EPA/DHA.

  • Indigestible carbs like raffinose in seeds can cause digestive issues like gas and bloating as they ferment in the colon. Soaking, sprouting, and cooking seeds can help reduce raffinose.

  • Seeds are relatively low in micronutrients. Phytate in seeds also inhibits mineral absorption from both the seeds and other foods consumed. So the listed mineral contents of seeds may not reflect what humans can actually access.

Ten people consumed corn tortillas with oysters, which are high in zinc. However, the study found that the people absorbed virtually none of the zinc from the oysters. This was because phytate, an antinutrient found in corn, strongly interferes with zinc absorption. Phytate binds to zinc in the gastrointestinal tract and prevents its absorption. This study demonstrated that even consuming zinc-rich foods like oysters provides little nutritional benefit if eaten with foods high in phytate like corn tortillas. The antinutrient phytate can significantly reduce the absorption of minerals like zinc from other foods eaten in the same meal.

  • Most seed lectins can be inactivated by soaking foods for 12 hours and boiling for at least 15 minutes. Dry heat is less effective than boiling.

  • Flaxseeds contain cyanide in the form of linamarin. Eating raw flaxseeds can release cyanide. However, the amount is small and the liver can detoxify small amounts. National guidelines on safe intake levels vary.

  • Gluten can pose risks to mental health, especially for susceptible individuals. It is associated with celiac disease and higher rates of psychiatric conditions. Even non-celiac individuals may have immune reactions to gluten.

  • Case studies show improvements in schizophrenia, autism and depression from gluten-free diets, though research is inconclusive. Removing gluten is a simple first step some may want to try.

  • Grains are not necessarily nutritionally essential. While containing some vitamins and minerals, these can be obtained from other foods. Recommending grain intake may be more about tradition than health needs. Whole grains appear healthier than refined, but studies don’t prove whole grains themselves are needed.

  • Fruits and vegetables are often grouped together but have important differences biologically and nutritionally.

  • Fruits contain seeds and evolved strategies to attract animals to eat and disperse their seeds, like making fruits sweet, colorful, and easy to digest. Most fruits are relatively nontoxic.

  • Vegetables do not contain seeds. Plants don’t want animals eating their non-fruit structures, so vegetables generally contain defensive compounds to deter animals. Only about 1/4 of wild plant species have edible parts.

  • While fruits and most above-ground vegetables can provide some nutrients, plants produce chemicals to protect themselves, some of which can impact human health depending on the individual and preparation methods.

  • Overall intake of fruits and vegetables should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis considering one’s nutritional needs, health conditions, and how foods are prepared and combined. Simply maximizing intake may not be the healthiest approach for everyone.

  • Our primate ancestors evolved as frugivores that ate mostly fruit and some vegetables, based on evidence from chimp diets. This suggests humans have been plant-eaters for 7-9 million years.

  • Plants have had hundreds of millions of years to develop chemical defenses, resulting in over 50,000 identified plant compounds. Our ancestors had to learn through experience which parts were edible.

  • Our bodies have evolved defenses against toxins in plants, including aversion to bitterness, an intestinal lining that filters substances, and the liver which filters the blood. But these defenses can be overwhelmed by eating too many problem foods.

  • Fruits and vegetables provide some micronutrients but are generally high in carbs and low in protein/fat. The carbs are mostly sugars and starches.

  • Carbs from fruits/veggies may cause issues for people with insulin resistance or diabetes due to blood sugar/insulin spikes.

  • Many plant carbs are indigestible fiber that feeds gut bacteria, but can cause IBS symptoms like bloating and diarrhea due to fermentation.

  • Fiber is often misunderstood - insoluble fiber just passes through undigested while soluble fiber feeds gut bacteria, but both types contain beneficial and problematic compounds.

  • The colon (large intestine) does not necessarily need fiber or help keeping itself clean. The muscles that surround the intestines are constantly moving and propelling digestive contents toward the exit. The lining of the intestines also completely replaces itself every 2 weeks.

  • Soluble fiber is often recommended because it can lower cholesterol by trapping it, slow blood sugar spikes by slowing digestion, and aid in weight loss by making you feel fuller. However, cholesterol is a nutrient, not a toxin, and fiber is not needed to manage blood sugar or lose weight if diet is modified appropriately.

  • The gut microbiome feeds on fiber, but it can also feed on other foods like amino acids. Ketones from ketosis also nourish and protect colon cells without fiber. More research is needed on how diet affects the microbiome and relationship between microbiome and brain health.

  • Nightshade foods like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, which are neurotoxins that can potentially harm mental and physical health, especially in sensitive individuals. Glycoalkaloid levels vary among nightshades and with ripening. Peeling potatoes and choosing less bitter varieties can lower exposure.

So in summary, the colon may not strictly need fiber and soluble fiber’s benefits can sometimes be achieved through other dietary means. Nightshades in particular warrant caution due to their neurotoxic glycoalkaloid content.

  • Nightshades like tomatoes and peppers contain glycoalkaloids and lectins, which can be neurotoxic if consumed in large quantities over time. Peeling tomatoes removes some glycoalkaloids but not those in the flesh.

  • Peppers contain capsaicinoids like capsaicin, which can cause burning pain, nausea, and heart issues in large doses. Reasonable amounts are generally non-toxic.

  • Cassava root produces cyanide when damaged, and even sweet cassava contains higher cyanide than deemed safe by WHO. Processing doesn’t fully remove it.

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale contain goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function, especially if consumed raw in large amounts. Cooking reduces the effects.

  • Other toxins and antinutrients in some fruits and vegetables include oxalates, tannins, coumarins, salicylates, saponins, and cucurbitacins, which can cause issues like kidney stones, digestive irritation, and bleeding if consumed in excess.

The key tips are to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables for nutrients, but be mindful of potential toxins or antinutrients in nightshades, cassava, and crucifers especially if sensitive. Processing like peeling, cooking or limiting quantities can help reduce the impacts.

  • While fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients, their potential health benefits beyond basic nutrition are still mostly hypothetical and based on weak evidence. Clinical trials of antioxidant vitamins like A, C, and E have failed to show meaningful effects on diseases.

  • Phytochemicals in plants are not nutrients and the body treats them as foreign compounds to eliminate, not welcome like essential nutrients. We lack receptors for phytochemicals and they have poor absorption. Their biological roles are still unknown.

  • The belief that eating a variety of plant foods protects health led to the idea of identifying “superfoods” with special disease-fighting abilities from their antioxidants or phytochemicals. However, tests of antioxidant capacity don’t correlate with in vivo effects in humans.

  • Popular brain superfoods like blueberries, dark chocolate, and red wine were marketed based on antioxidant properties but evidence for direct benefits is still lacking. Their past promotion relied more on hypothetical properties than solid evidence from clinical trials.

  • In summary, while fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and fiber, the evidence that phytochemicals directly influence diseases is still ambiguous and clinical trials of antioxidants did not pan out as hypothesized. Claims of superfood benefits outstrip scientific understanding.

  • Blueberries rose to popularity as a “superfood” in the 1990s due to savvy marketing promoting their supposed health benefits. However, research on their actual health impacts has been mixed. While blueberries are nutritious, there is no evidence they offer unique benefits compared to other fruits.

  • Similarly, dark chocolate was promoted as a superfood in the 1990s after studies found the Kuna people, who consumed high levels of cocoa, had lower rates of disease. However, most studies use cocoa extracts rather than real chocolate, and it’s unclear if the benefits transfer to actual chocolate consumption.

  • Red wine was believed to provide benefits due to its resveratrol content. Early mouse studies showed resveratrol had cancer-fighting effects. But later clinical trials found no clear cognitive benefits from resveratrol supplements in people with Alzheimer’s, and the resveratrol levels in wine alone would require drinking unsafe amounts.

  • While moderate alcohol intake may not be directly harmful, alcohol is processed as a toxin by the liver and brain and has been linked to over 200 health conditions. The evidence that light to moderate wine drinking specifically prevents dementia is weak.

So in summary, these “superfoods” rose to popularity based on early promising research, but later studies often failed to confirm clear health benefits from normal consumption levels.

  • The assumption that red wine contributes to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet has never been scientifically tested in human clinical trials. This misleading notion has influenced scientists, policymakers, and the public for over 30 years.

  • Sulforaphane is a chemical produced by broccoli that is toxic to cells, including broccoli cells. When broccoli is cut or chewed, sulforaphane is produced as a defensive chemical. Studies show sulforaphane has potential benefits for mental health conditions, but the human body rapidly eliminates sulforaphane as it views it as a toxin.

  • While sulforaphane extracts may help treat conditions, there is no evidence regular broccoli consumption prevents or treats mental health issues. Sulforaphane should be considered a potential medicine, not assumed part of a healthy diet.

  • The concept of “food as medicine” needs reconsidering. Food nourishes the body, medicine interferes with normal functions and should only be used for illnesses. Blurring this line fuels wishful thinking about “superfoods.”

  • Health claims about plant foods rescuing people from modern diseases enable ignoring lifestyle factors like diet quality that are true drivers of disease. Superfood beliefs may allow continuing unhealthy habits while thinking they are being countered.

  • The passage discusses various dietary patterns like vegetarianism, veganism, and plant-based diets. It emphasizes the distinction between vegetarian diets that include dairy/eggs and vegan diets that exclude all animal foods.

  • Only about 5% of the global population chooses to be vegetarian for religious/ethical reasons, while most do so due to lack of affordable meat. Vegetarianism and veganism are growing in popularity in Western countries.

  • Popular plant-based diets promoted by physicians like Ornish, Esselstyn, and Barnard showed benefits for conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, these studies did not isolate animal food removal but also restricted fat/oils, carbs, added other lifestyle changes.

  • No studies have conclusively shown health benefits from simply removing animal foods without changing other dietary aspects. Low-carb diets have been shown to effectively treat and put diabetes into remission.

  • Whole foods, not just plant-based, diets are likely responsible for the health advantages seen in studies. Processed “vegan” diets are common among students and may not provide benefits.

  • The author observed that many young vegan adults were enduring poor mental and physical health, despite avoiding animal foods, due to deficiencies from their diet.

  • A vegan diet can be missing or low in several important nutrients beyond just vitamin B12, such as iron, zinc, DHA/EPA, and iodine. Deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to various mental health issues like depression, ADHD, and psychosis.

  • Plant foods contain nutrients in forms not readily usable by the human body and also contain antinutrients that interfere with absorption. Conversion and supplementation may be needed.

  • The risks of nutritional deficiencies on a vegan diet are higher for certain groups like pregnant/breastfeeding women, children, elderly, and those with illnesses.

  • Careful meal planning and supplementation, especially of B12, is needed to attempt to make a vegan diet safe and prevent potential brain damage from deficiencies.

  • But the author does not recommend a vegan diet for young children or during the critical first 1000 days of development from conception to age 2 when optimal nutrition is most important for brain growth.

  • A healthy diet for both mothers and babies is important to support brain development. Animal foods are a key source of many important nutrients that are difficult to obtain from plant-based diets alone.

  • Key nutrients needed in high amounts during pregnancy and infant development include choline, vitamin D, DHA, EPA, folate, iodine, iron. Vegans/vegetarians are at risk of deficiencies in vitamin B12, DHA, EPA, and taurine as well.

  • These nutrients play crucial roles in brain development from the first weeks of pregnancy through childhood. Deficiencies can lead to neural tube defects, lowered IQ, intellectual disabilities, autism, schizophrenia, and other cognitive issues.

  • DHA, choline, iron and vitamin D are especially important for brain development in the third trimester and early childhood. Plant-based diets do not provide adequate amounts of these nutrients. Studies find lower levels in vegan/vegetarian mothers and babies.

  • Given the risks of nutritional deficiencies, some health organizations advise against vegan/vegetarian diets during pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood, stating it is difficult to meet nutritional needs through plant foods alone and supplementation may not be sufficient.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially among vegans and vegetarians, increasing their risk of osteoporosis. Evidence suggests vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may increase autism risk, likely due to vitamin D’s role in brain development.

  • We can produce vitamin D from sun exposure, but modern indoor lifestyles limit this. Infants’ vitamin D levels also drop after birth when they are no longer receiving maternal vitamin D levels.

  • Insulin resistance may contribute to vitamin D deficiency, as insulin resistance interferes with vitamin D activation and response in the body. This relationship was previously thought to go the other way.

  • Prenatal vitamins are recommended for pregnancy, but quality varies and most don’t contain all necessary nutrients. Following conventional prenatal nutrition advice may lead to a nutrient-deficient diet.

  • For a vegetarian or vegan pregnancy, consulting an expert in this area is recommended for personalized supplementation and dietary advice, as well as clinical monitoring.

  • If vegetarian/vegan and non-pregnant, optimizing protein intake from eggs, nuts, tofu; healthy fats from avocados, olive oil; and limiting carbs, especially for those with insulin resistance, can support better brain health.

  • A comprehensive resource for proper prenatal nutrition regardless of diet is the book “Real Food for Pregnancy” by Lily Nichols.

  • The paleo diet aims to mimic the diet of our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors by emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods like meat, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds while avoiding grains, dairy, legumes and processed foods.

  • While paleo can provide health benefits, it may not be suitable for all due to gut issues, food sensitivities or blood sugar/insulin concerns. Standard paleo has no limits on fruits/veggies which can be too high carb.

  • The Quiet Diet approach modifies paleo, keto and carnivore diets to be gentler on metabolism, gut, immune system by using a more restricted list of fruits/veggies, limiting carbs and excluding common food sensitivity triggers.

  • Quiet Paleo limits fruits/veggies to easier to digest options and restricts carb intake from them. This helps support lower, more stable blood sugar and insulin levels compared to standard paleo.

  • The ketogenic diet aims to induce ketosis through a very low carb, moderate protein, high fat intake. Quiet Keto further modifies keto to be gentler on the body by using higher quality fats and gut-supporting foods.

  • Ketogenic diets can vary in quality and nutritional value depending on the specific food choices. While all keto diets induce ketosis, not all provide proper nourishment or protect brain health.

  • Common dairy products used in keto for their fat content can be inflammatory and raise appetite/insulin. Processed foods like oil-based dressings or nut flour treats also undermine health goals.

  • The Quiet Keto plan excludes dairy, ultraprocessed foods, alcohol, and inflammatory plants to make keto more nutritious and supportive of overall health and well-being.

  • For some with gut/immune issues, Quiet Keto may not be restrictive enough. The Quiet Carnivore diet allows only meat, seafood, poultry and broths for an even simpler elimination approach.

  • A roadmap is provided starting with Quiet Paleo, then Quiet Keto, and possibly Quiet Carnivore depending on individual results. Reintroducing foods one at a time helps identify personal limits.

  • The goal is finding the least restrictive diet that supports mental and physical health, whether that be continuing a step in the process or expanding choices carefully within brain-healthy paleo guidelines.

The chapter discusses preparing for adopting a personalized paleo diet to improve mental health. It recommends measuring one’s current mental health using questionnaires and metabolic health using medical tests to track progress later. It suggests identifying motivations and goals using the GRIN method - setting Goals, identifying Resources, breaking changes into small Increments, and noticing Successes.

Key points:

  • Measure baseline mental health with questionnaires and metabolic health with tests like waist circumference, blood pressure, blood labs.

  • Identify “your why” - how you feel now and goals for improvement in mental and physical health.

  • Use GRIN method to turn goals into realities - set specific, attainable Goals, leverage available Resources, make changes in small Increments, and Notice successes along the way.

  • Don’t go it alone - engage medical and social support for accountability and adjustments along the journey.

The chapter provides a framework for thoughtfully planning and preparing to adopt a personalized paleo diet with the aim of accurately assessing current health, setting clear goals and expectations, and setting up support for success and monitoring progress.

  • The passage provides a food list for the Quiet Paleo diet, which aims to improve overall health and reduce inflammation and sensitivity for some people.

  • The list includes high-quality proteins like meat, seafood and eggs. It also includes healthy fats and lower-glycemic fruits and vegetables.

  • Some foods are limited or require cooking to reduce potential issues like histamine, FODMAPs or other compounds. These include aged/processed meats, cruciferous veggies, nightshades and potatoes.

  • The passage then provides guidelines for estimating daily macronutrients based on factors like ideal body weight. Protein is prioritized at 0.6g per pound of IBW. Carbs are suggested to start at 90g per day from the approved list, spread across meals.

  • Appendix B is referenced for finding medical or emotional support if needed to succeed on the diet. Overall the passage outlines an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense yet flexible food list and eating guidelines for the Quiet Paleo approach.

Here is a summary of the key points about adopting a quiet keto diet from the passage:

  • Quiet keto involves restricting carbohydrates enough to induce a state of ketosis, which can improve mood, mental clarity and resilience.

  • It’s recommended to follow quiet paleo for at least 2 weeks first to gradually lower glucose/insulin before starting quiet keto.

  • Medical and psychiatric supervision is recommended when transitioning to quiet keto due to potential changes in blood sugar, blood pressure, medication adjustments needed.

  • Certain groups should not adopt a quiet keto diet like those under 18, underweight, pregnant/breastfeeding, or with certain medical conditions.

  • It’s important to consult healthcare providers if taking any medications or having conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease etc.

  • The goal of consultation is to ensure safety and get support from providers knowledgeable about ketogenic diets for mental health goals.

  • Alternatives like a dietitian, nutritionist, keto coach can help if primary care providers are unwilling to support or learn about a ketogenic approach.

Here is a summary of the key points about estimating macros for a ketogenic diet:

  • Prioritize meeting your daily protein needs based on your lean body mass. Protein intake does not need to be higher on keto.

  • Start limiting carbs to around 20g per day to achieve ketosis for most people. Some may need less, others can tolerate more depending on activity level and individual metabolism.

  • Fruits and starchy veggies are restricted to keep carbs very low. Non-starchy veggies are allowed but portion sizes are limited.

  • The rest of your calories should come from fat. No need to intentionally track fat calories as appetite is regulated in ketosis.

  • Examples are provided for calculating macros based on protein, carb and fat intake. Protein and carbs provide 4 calories per gram, fat provides 9 calories per gram.

  • Ketone monitoring through blood, urine or breath is recommended to understand how food intake impacts ketosis, but not required. It helps optimize the diet especially at first.

  • Blood testing for ketone levels is the most accurate way to monitor ketosis, but it requires buying a blood meter. Urine and breath tests are less expensive options but provide less detailed data. Some people use a combination of tests.

  • If only testing once per day, do it in the morning while fasting before the first meal. This provides a baseline reading and accounts for ketone level fluctuations throughout the day.

  • The target range for blood ketone levels is 1.0-3.0 mM. For breath meters it’s 10-40 PPM. For urine strips, aim for moderate to large ketones.

  • It can take 3-6 weeks to fully adapt to a ketogenic diet due to the body switching its fuel source. This transition period may cause “keto flu” symptoms which eating electrolytes can help alleviate.

  • Electrolyte needs increase during adaptation - aim for 5000mg sodium, 4000mg potassium, and 400mg magnesium daily. Homemade electrolyte drinks can provide this.

  • Most symptoms resolve within 2 weeks, but full benefits may not be seen until 6 weeks as the body fully keto-adapts. Managing medications may also require adjustment during this period.

  • Managing psychiatric medications while following a ketogenic diet can be complicated. More research and experience is still needed to develop clear guidelines.

  • Most challenges relate to how medications interact with the diet/body’s metabolic states, not issues with the diet itself. Medications are designed to interfere with normal biology.

  • It may take some time adjusting to the diet for appetite, ketone levels, etc. to stabilize depending on medications. Sticking with it for a few weeks allows the body chemistry to adjust.

  • Medical supervision is strongly recommended for anyone taking psychiatric medications who wants to modify their medication plan while following the diet. Medications must be carefully tapered, not stopped abruptly.

  • The diet may help some reduce medications, but is not a guarantee. Even without reducing meds, the diet could counteract side effects and improve quality of life.

  • Supplements like MCT oil or ketone salts may help raise ketones during adaptation but are typically unnecessary long-term once adapted. Diet is key to controlling glucose/insulin.

  • Consistency is important - sticking with ketosis for 6 full weeks allows the body to fully adapt. Fluctuating in and out makes the process longer. Factors like stress, illness, medications can lower ketones temporarily.

  • A carnivore diet excludes all plant foods and consists exclusively of animal foods like meat, eggs and dairy. It aims to eliminate culprits like grains, legumes, sugar, starch, fiber and plant toxins/antinutrients.

  • For some people, especially those with compromised digestion or food sensitivities, a carnivore diet may offer unique therapeutic benefits by completely avoiding plant foods that are hard to tolerate.

  • Historical examples like Inuit cultures show that humans can thrive on meat-only diets where plants are scarce. Some advocates view animal foods as the most nutritious option.

  • Limited clinical research so far shows carnivore diets may help with weight loss, food cravings, energy, mental clarity, focus and sleep based on self-reported surveys. But more rigorous studies are still needed.

  • A short-term carnivore diet may help identify food sensitivities and resolve gut issues like IBS for some individuals. The simplicity is also appealing for mental health or those starting a ketogenic diet.

So in summary, while unconventional, a carnivore diet aims to minimize antinutrients and may offer healing benefits, especially for digestive issues - though more research is still needed.

  • Dr. Csaba Tóth and Dr. Zsófia Clemens from Hungary prescribe all-meat diets for advanced medical conditions like cancer and autoimmune diseases. Their protocol starts with an exclusive meat and fat diet that can later include select plants. They believe chronic diseases stem from intestinal permeability and their diet can heal this. They’ve published case studies showing positive results.

  • Nutrition writer Amber O’Hearn writes that while plant-free diets miss some key nutrients, it is possible to meet nutrient requirements with animal foods, especially liver. Liver is rich in important nutrients like Vitamin A, folate, and calcium. Small amounts of Vitamin C in meat can also meet requirements if not overcooked. Monitoring nutrient levels is still recommended on a long-term carnivore diet.

  • The “Quiet Carnivore” diet is a version of the carnivore diet that further simplifies and excludes dairy, eggs, and processed/aged meats to minimize intolerances. It aims to identify any food sensitivities causing mental or physical health issues.

  • A case example is provided of a woman whose debilitating panic attacks were traced to an egg white sensitivity, demonstrating how unidentified food intolerances can negatively impact mental health.

  • The diet emphasizes freshness to limit histamine, as aging/processing causes histamine and other biogenic amines to accumulate, which can cause unpleasant symptoms in sensitive individuals.

  • Many “gourmet” foods like aged meats can be high in histamine, which can cause symptoms if histamine intolerance is present.

  • The healthy gut normally breaks down histamine, but factors like gut damage, medications, stress, and certain nutrient deficiencies can weaken this ability.

  • Histamine interacts with receptors throughout the body and can cause a wide range of unpredictable symptoms.

  • There is no simple diagnostic test for histamine intolerance, so a low-histamine diet is recommended to see if symptoms improve.

  • Animal foods tend to accumulate more histamine as they age, so the freshest meats, seafood and poultry possible should be consumed. Aged or processed meats can be high in histamine.

  • Tips are provided for selecting fresher meats and managing leftovers to reduce histamine exposure. Supplements may also help neutralize histamine.

  • Carnivore diets require getting adequate protein and fat. Protein needs may be a bit higher than standard keto, usually 0.8-1.2g per pound of ideal body weight. Fat intake should exceed protein to maintain ketosis.

  • Challenges of strict carnivore diets include larger portion sizes, restrictions in social/restaurant settings, and potential boredom from limiting foods. Adjustments over time may be needed.

Here are the key points from the passages:

  • Otics, environmental pollutants, stress, lack of sun, improper diet, and unnatural diets based on grains and vegetable oils are listed as potential root causes of mental health conditions.

  • The fat in most pork and chicken sold in the US is high in linoleic acid, so the author advises using tallow or duck fat instead of lard or chicken fat.

  • If Quiet Paleo, Quiet Keto, and Quiet Carnivore diets don’t help symptoms, it may be worth consulting a psychiatrist who specializes in functional medicine or integrative psychiatry to explore other causes.

  • The author provides practical tips for following a Quiet diet, such as detoxifying the kitchen by removing unhealthy ingredients and restocking with approved whole foods. Intermittent fasting is discussed as an optional strategy.

  • Convenience foods, most snacks, and artificial sweeteners are not recommended according to the Quiet Diet principles of focusing on fresh whole foods. Natural sweeteners like allulose, erythritol and monk fruit are better choices if needed.

  • Scientific studies don’t tell us how artificial sweeteners affect insulin and appetite levels on a ketogenic diet. The best way to test this is to check ketone levels before and 1 hour after consuming a beverage with a sweetener to see if it causes ketones to significantly drop.

  • Interest in sweets often decreases on keto, and some find they enjoy subtle natural sweetness in foods like cucumbers, broccoli, etc. Small portions of berries can be incorporated if following “Quiet Keto”.

  • Caffeine stimulates stress hormones and metabolism but can interfere with sleep and appetite. It’s common to build up tolerance and dependence on caffeine over time.

  • Tips for managing social gatherings, restaurants, and travel while following a ketogenic diet are provided.

  • “Cheat days” may be difficult to return from for some. Staying paleo is safer than indulging in highly processed junk foods.

  • Eating healthy whole foods can actually save money compared to processed foods due to reducing hunger, med costs, etc.

  • Addictive eating behaviors around highly processed foods and refined carbs may be a real phenomenon for some people. Keto can help curb cravings but lifelong management may still be needed.

  • The chapter provides 7-day meal plans and recipes for Quiet Paleo, Quiet Keto, and Quiet Carnivore diets. The plans are designed to be nutritious while avoiding problematic foods.

  • Recipes include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Sample breakfast recipes include veggie omelettes, meatballs with salsa, and duck in broth.

  • The plans are based on 2,000 calories per day and about 75g of protein. Recipes note how to adjust protein levels as needed.

  • Instructions are given to “plan ahead” by cooking ingredients in advance for future meals.

  • Nutrition facts are provided for each recipe, showing macronutrient breakdowns. Variations show how to modify recipes for different diets.

  • The meal plans and recipes are meant to provide concrete examples for how to implement the Quiet Diet guidelines in tasty, practical ways.

Here is a summary of the Mango Salsa recipe:

  • 1/2 cup mango, cubed
  • 1 heaping tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Mix the mango with chopped cilantro and lime juice.

The recipe is very simple, with just three ingredients - mango, cilantro, and lime juice. They are simply mixed together to make a fresh, fruity salsa.

Here is a summary of the pped recipe:

  • 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 10 leaves fresh basil or lemon balm, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered


  1. Fry trout in duck fat for 3-4 minutes, then cut into 6 pieces and keep warm.

  2. Chop or rice cauliflower. Add to pan with onions, mushrooms, spinach, and herbs. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

  3. Add trout back to pan and cook another 5 minutes.

  4. Serve with quartered eggs on top.

The nutrition facts provided are for one serving containing 53g fat, 37g protein, 20g carbs, 680 calories, with 69% fat, 22% protein and 9% carbs.

A keto variation is also provided swapping cauliflower for broccoli and omitting onion.

Here is a summary of the recipes:

Summarized Carnivore Variation: Shredded Chicken

  • 3 tbsp duck fat
  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • Salt to taste
  • Nutrition per serving: 60g fat, 53g protein, 0g carbs, 760 calories, 72% fat, 28% protein, 0% carbs

Herb Pizza with Chermoula

  • 9 oz ground lamb
  • Various toppings
  • Chermoula sauce (garlic, herbs, olive oil)
  • Nutrition per serving: 53g fat, 27g protein, 21g carbs, 660 calories, 72% fat, 17% protein, 11% carbs

Keto variation increases mushrooms and replaces onion with artichokes.

Lickety Split Lamb Stir-Fry

  • 2 tbsp tallow, 1oz bone broth, 10oz lamb steak
  • Nutrition per serving: 58g fat, 58g protein, 0g carbs, 750 calories, 72% fat, 28% protein, 0% carbs

Creamy Salmon Vegetable Soup

  • Salmon, vegetables, bone broth
  • Nutrition per serving: 45g fat, 32g protein, 29g carbs, 630 calories, 63% fat, 22% protein, 15% carbs

Keto variation replaces parsnip with celery.


  • 10oz ribeye steak, 2 tbsp tallow, salt
  • Nutrition per serving: 75g fat, 50g protein, 0g carbs, 875 calories, 77% fat, 23% protein, 0% carbs

Salmon-Stuffed Portobellos

  • Canned salmon mixture stuffed into mushrooms
  • Nutrition per serving: 55g fat, 31g protein, 18g carbs, 680 calories, 72% fat, 18% protein, 10% carbs

Keto variation replaces sweet potato with avocado.

Salmon Muffins

  • Canned salmon, 4 tbsp duck fat, salt
  • Nutrition per serving: 63g fat, 60g protein, 0g carbs, 800 calories, 71% fat, 29% protein, 0% carbs

Lemony Chicken with Green Olives and Mixed Leafy Salad

  • Chicken thighs stewed with onions, broth, olives, lemon
  • Mixed green salad with vinaigrette

Here is a summary of ce and beets:

  • Ce stands for estimate, as in a cost estimate. It is often used in construction estimates and budgets.

  • Beets are a type of root vegetable. They are red or purple in color with a sweet, earthy flavor. Beets contain antioxidants and are a source of folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.

  • Common ways to prepare and eat beets include roasting them whole and eating them hot or cold, adding sliced or diced beets to salads, or using beet juice or pickled beets. They are often used as a vegetable side dish.

  • In the recipe context provided, beets are listed as an ingredient in a bolognese sauce recipe, where chopped beet is blended into the sauce along with bone broth and mushrooms to add flavor, color and nutrients. The recipe provides an option to omit the beet if desired for a keto version.

So in summary, ce relates to cost estimates in construction, while beets are a root vegetable used as an ingredient, typically for their nutritional and flavor qualities. The context here involves beets being used in an herby red meat sauce recipe.

Here is a summary of the temperature guidelines mentioned in the recipe instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F for recipes like Ultramoist Salmon Parcels and Roasted Pork Belly with Stir-Fry.

  • Roast pork belly at 475°F for 40-50 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 300°F and cook for another 2-4 hours.

  • Bake liver cakes at 325°F for 15-25 minutes.

  • Brown chicken using the slow cooker’s “fry” function or in a frying pan, then slow cook overnight for 6-8 hours on low heat.

So in summary, the recipes call for baking/roasting temperatures ranging from 300°F to 475°F, with most items cooked between 325°F and 375°F. The slow cooker is used on the low heat setting. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

The author thanks numerous people who have contributed to their work in various ways. This includes researchers and clinicians who pioneered non-conventional approaches to health, clinicians who collaborate with patients in an open-minded way, and metabolic/nutritional psychiatry pioneers.

They also thank mental health professionals who implement metabolic strategies, nutrition coaches who teach people to apply dietary strategies, conference organizers who spread these ideas, and individuals who shared their personal stories.

Publishing professionals who helped bring the book to life are acknowledged. Friends and family who provided support through the challenging writing process are deeply appreciated. Colleagues who reviewed chapters and provided counsel are mentioned.

The author’s sister who tested recipes and assisted in many ways, their mother who has always believed in them, and partner who worked tremendously on the book are given special recognition for their contributions.

In summary, the author expresses deep gratitude to a wide range of individuals who directly or indirectly supported the creation of this work through their expertise, encouragement, assistance and partnership at various stages of the process.

  • An elevated MMA (above 370 nmol/l) suggests B12 deficiency. If B12 is low despite eating nutritious animal foods, consult a healthcare practitioner as absorption issues may be interfering.

  • Serum ferritin should be at least 100 ng/ml to avoid iron deficiency. Levels above normal can indicate insulin resistance or hemochromatosis.

  • Thyroid function tests like TSH, T3, T4 can be complex - consult a doctor if abnormal. Low T3 on keto diets is normal and not cause for concern usually.

  • CRP below 1.0 mg/ml is ideal for inflammation.

  • CBC checks for anemia, inflammation, immune issues.

  • Fasting B6 above 30 nmol/l ensures adequate status.

  • High homocysteine (above 15 μmol/l) warrants doctor consultation due to various potential causes.

  • Low carnitine means trouble burning fat for energy.

  • Celiac screening if not done in past 3 years.

  • Check medication levels if on lithium, clozapine, antidepressants or mood stabilizers before changing diets severely like keto or carnivore due to interactions.

  • Fill out mental health questionnaires before and after diet changes to assess impacts.

  • Consider additional tests depending on individual health circumstances. Consult doctor for recommendations.

Here is a summary of the key points from the appendix:

  • Micronutrients are essential building blocks and cofactors for brain metabolism and the many biochemical pathways that support brain function.

  • Vitamins A, B1-B12, C, D, E, and K as well as minerals like calcium, chloride, copper, and choline all play important roles in processes like energy production, membrane function, neurotransmitter synthesis, antioxidant defense, and myelin formation.

  • B vitamins act as coenzymes assisting many metabolic reactions. Their roles include carrying groups between molecules, accepting/donating electrons, and activating other vitamins. Deficiencies can impair energy production and neurotransmitter synthesis.

  • Vitamins D, K2, B12 and folate are especially important for brain development, neuroplasticity, membrane synthesis, and myelination. Deficiencies increase risks for conditions like autism and anemia.

  • Minerals like calcium are vital signaling messengers within neurons, while chloride helps maintain electrical gradients. Choline is essential for membrane synthesis and acetylcholine. Copper assists mitochondrial energy production.

  • Overall these micronutrients ensure the myriad biochemical processes underlying brain structure, function, development and maintenance can occur properly. Deficiencies may compromise mental health through impaired metabolism and signaling.

  • Iodine is essential for thyroid hormone production and brain development. Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism and lead to cognitive deficits and intellectual disabilities, especially in developing babies. Iodine deficiency affects billions of people worldwide.

  • Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency, affecting over 25% of the global population. It can cause irreversible effects on intelligence, memory and attention if it occurs during pregnancy.

  • Magnesium plays a key role in many chemical reactions that generate energy, build proteins and stabilize genes. It regulates glutamate receptor activity which is important for learning, memory and circadian rhythm.

  • Manganese and molybdenum are required for important antioxidant enzymes and detoxification processes in the brain.

  • Phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur are essential components of cell membranes, neurotransmitter activity, energy production and antioxidant defense.

  • Selenium contains antioxidant enzymes that protect the brain from oxidative stress.

  • Zinc allows proteins to fold properly, assists enzymes, regulates neurotransmitter activity, supports neuroplasticity and is involved in autophagy - the destruction of damaged cell components.

So in summary, these minerals play vital roles in brain development, metabolism, chemical reactions, antioxidant defense and many other processes required for optimal brain health and function. Deficiencies can lead to cognitive, neurological and mental health issues.

Here is a summary of the key points from the articles:

  • Jain (2015) discusses the relationship between obesity, oxidative stress, adipose tissue dysfunction, and health risks. It presents obesity as a pro-inflammatory state that increases oxidative stress and causes adipose tissue dysfunction, leading to insulin resistance and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.

  • Ceriello and Motz (2004) examine the “common soil hypothesis” that oxidative stress is the pathogenic mechanism underlying insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. They review evidence suggesting oxidative stress caused by hyperglycemia is involved in the development and progression of insulin resistance and diabetic complications.

  • Both articles discuss the role of oxidative stress in connecting obesity/adipose tissue dysfunction and insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes based on the concept that increased oxidative stress is a pathogenic mechanism contributing to these chronic health conditions. The second article specifically explores the “common soil hypothesis” that oxidative stress underlies the development of metabolic syndrome components like insulin resistance and diabetes.

Here is a summary of the 2018 IARC monograph on red and processed meat and carcinogenicity:

  • The monograph evaluates the carcinogenicity of consumption of red meat and processed meat.
  • In 2015, the IARC classified red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A) based on limited evidence that consumption of red meat is associated with colorectal cancer. Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) based on sufficient evidence that consumption is associated with colorectal cancer.
  • The 2018 monograph provides a comprehensive review of the evidence from epidemiological studies on the association of red and processed meat consumption with cancer sites other than colorectal.
  • For red meat, the evidence is limited regarding associations with pancreatic cancer and limited regarding prostate cancer. For other cancer sites, the evidence is inadequate to evaluate an association.
  • For processed meat, the evidence is sufficient to support conclusions about positive associations with stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. The evidence is limited regarding associations with pancreatic cancer and inadequate regarding other cancer sites.
  • The mechanisms through which red and processed meat might cause cancer include compounds formed during meat processing and cooking that could damage DNA or alter gene expression. Components of red meat might also alter hormone or immune systems in the body.
  • Based on the totality of evidence, the IARC maintains the classification of processed meat as carcinogenic to humans and classifies the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans.

In summary, the monograph provides a comprehensive updated review of the evidence supporting the IARC classifications of red and processed meat as being carcinogenic or probably carcinogenic based on stomach and colorectal cancer associations.

This research article compares the effects of low-carbohydrate diets versus low-fat diets on weight loss and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Some key points:

  • It reviews evidence from randomized controlled trials comparing low-carb (<130g/day) and low-fat (<30% total calories from fat) diets.

  • Studies lasted 6-12 months and involved overweight/obese adults.

  • Low-carb diets were found to result in greater reductions in body weight, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides compared to low-fat diets.

  • Reductions in HDL cholesterol were smaller with low-carb diets.

  • Both diets resulted in reductions in blood pressure, fasting glucose and CRP (marker of inflammation).

  • Adherence tended to be better with low-carb diets based on self-reports.

  • Low-carb diets pose risks if calorie restricted without sufficient intake of protein, fiber and micronutrients. Proper medical supervision is recommended.

In conclusion, the review found that low-carb diets resulted in greater improvements in weight loss and cardiometabolic risk factors compared to low-fat diets, though both improved health. Key is calorie control and ensuring nutrition adequacy with any reduced-carb approach.

Here is a summary of the key points from the systematic review and meta-analysis article “Adverse Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials,” JAMA Psychiatry 71, no. 12 (2014): 1381–91:

  • The study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials to assess adverse effects from antidepressant medications.

  • They analyzed data from over 30,000 participants across 74 studies. The most common adverse effects evaluated were sexual dysfunction, insomnia, nausea, fatigue, headache, and anxiety.

  • They found significant risks for several common adverse effects compared to placebo. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other classes of antidepressants were associated with greater risks of sexual dysfunction, insomnia, nausea, fatigue and anxiety.

  • SSRIs were associated with the highest risk for sexual dysfunction and Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) were associated with higher risks of all five common side effects.

  • The findings suggest that antidepressant medications significantly increase risks of certain common adverse effects compared to placebo and that risks vary depending on the class of antidepressant. This large meta-analysis provides evidence on the safety profiles of different antidepressant classes.

Here is a summary of the key points from the passage “tes-definition-diagnostic-criteria-and-management”:

  • Type 2 diabetes (T2D) results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin and is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It usually starts with insulin resistance.

  • The diagnostic criteria for T2D are defined by the WHO and include elevated fasting plasma glucose, elevated 2-hour plasma glucose during an oral glucose tolerance test, or HbA1c levels of 6.5% or higher.

  • Risk factors for developing T2D include obesity, family history, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, history of gestational diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

  • Management of T2D focuses on lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, weight loss, and medication to control blood glucose levels. The main medications are metformin, insulin sensitizers, insulin secretagogues, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, incretin mimetics, and insulin.

  • T2D is associated with many complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye problems, dental disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Better control of blood glucose and risk factors can help reduce complications.

  • Insulin resistance is regarded as the main pathophysiological link between T2D and many chronic diseases and conditions. Maintaining normal insulin sensitivity through lifestyle is important for prevention and treatment.

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