Posted on: January 23rd, 2023

An increasing body of evidence suggests that the dysregulation of specific brain systems may play a role in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Altered functions are present in many regions, including the extended amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain, which are relevant to people with general anxiety disorder (GAD).

The effects of nutritional ketosis through diet or supplementation are currently being researched.  for potential effects on GAD and other specific anxiety disorders. Ketone diets and exogenous ketone supplementation look to achieve a state of natural ketosis (NK). During a state of NK, certain ketone bodies replace carbohydrates as fuel for the brain and other organs. 

Potential Benefits of Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets feature high-fat, adequate-protein, and very low-carbohydrate foods and beverages that may have an alleviating effect on psychiatric disorders. Research has suggested bioenergetics and ketone metabolism are involved with neuronal activity, neurotransmitter balance, and inflammatory processes.  Whether manipulation of ketone metabolism via diet or supplementation can lead to changes in these functions is of interest to researchers. 

Achieving natural ketosis normally takes a prolonged period of dieting, and implementation of a ketogenic diet should be overseen by a medical and/or nutritional professionals. Exogenous ketones seek to eliminate dietary restrictions and help the body achieve natural ketosis without all the extensive dietary changes.

Natural ketosis has shown potential for improving athletic performance. Supplementation of ketones is under investigation as a quick way of achieving a state similar to natural ketosis without requiring dramatic alteration of a person’s lifestyle.

Ketones & Anxiety

Recent research has shown limited benefit of ketone supplementation in people with some psychiatric disorders. This has increased interest in further researching exogenous ketone supplements as a potential therapy for selected psychiatric disorders. 

A state of natural ketosis can be hard to achieve and regulate, however, making medical oversight a necessity in any therapeutic program. Research exploring the effects of exogenous ketones on the metabolic processes that underlie psychiatric disorders is ongoing. 

The current state of ketone research for both physiological and psychological use looks promising but is in its early stages.

Research at Biofortis

Biofortis is dedicated to protecting consumer health worldwide by delivering a wide range of testing and consultancy services to the food, supplement, and nutrition industries. Biofortis supports this mission in two ways—through clinical trials and sensory and consumer insights testing. We specialize in clinical research targeting foods, ingredients, and dietary supplements that affect body structures, function, and overall health. Contact us with any clinical trial or scientific consulting needs.

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