Health High fat/low carb diet could combat schizophrenia

High fat/low carb diet could combat schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a devastating, chronic mental illness that affects nearly one per cent of people worldwide. There is no cure and medications used to alleviate it can produce side effects such as movement disorder, weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

Research by James Cook University (JCU) scientists has found a diet favoured by body-builders may be effective in treating the illness.

Associate Professor Zoltan Sarnyai and his research group from JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) have discovered that feeding mice a ketogenic diet, which is high on fat but very low on carbohydrates (sugars), leads to fewer animal behaviours that resemble schizophrenia.

Dr Sarnyai believes the diet may work by providing alternative energy sources in the form of so-called ketone bodies (products of fat breakdown) and by helping to circumvent abnormally functioning cellular energy pathways in the brains of schizophrenics.

The JCU researchers will now test their findings in other animal schizophrenia models as they explore a possible clinical trial.

Read more here: James Cook University.