1266. Brain Boost: The Low-Carb Connection

Dr. Martin discusses an article about patients claiming that a keto diet helped with mental illness. Patients eating a low-carb diet said they saw major improvements in their mental health and researchers now want to understand why.

Join Dr. Martin as he unpacks the article and provides several examples of how food can directly affect our brains. He also discusses SSRIs and why diet should first be addressed before prescribing medication.



Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone. Welcome to another live this morning. Hope you're having a great start to your day. We certainly are, and we're looking forward to our little time together. Okay guys, I read an article yesterday, I think, yeah, yesterday it was an article that came out and it was at least where I saw it was National Public Radio. So it was actually written out, probably did an interview and they actually transcribed it. And I read that article. Here's the headline of the article, and then we'll sort of break this down a little bit. Talk about it today because it's so relevant. Here's what it says. Patients say keto, okay? So the keto diet patients say keto dieting, helping with mental illness. Science is racing to find out why.

So this morning I want to talk to you about that. I want to talk about mental illness. And remember there was some huge headlines. Not last summer, the summer before. It was just rapid. And it talked about Alzheimer's not being plaque orientated because that's all the medication that was coming out was to get rid of a plaque in the brain. And then they said, look, it's been a colossal failure. So they said they were on the wrong road, and then they said bipolar. What they knew about bipolar wasn't right. And then they talked about depression, and it really wasn't a neurotransmitter problem. So that should have turned medicine upside down. I mean, really with those headlines coming out on Alzheimer's, on bipolar and on depression, it should have really shook the tree of medicine and said, man, we're on the wrong path here.

So this article is talking about people, it's anecdotal to some extent because they're saying, look, I did the keto diet. Keto, by the way, guys is just low carb. Well, it's low enough really, if you're going into ketosis, okay? Remember, a lot of people get scared with that word, but it's because they don't understand it or they confuse it with ketoacidosis, which it isn't at all, okay? It's ketosis, meaning your body is burning fat as a fuel as opposed to carbs. And if you lower your carbs enough, your body will burn ketones. And patients are saying, I'm just quoting the article, patients are saying that going into ketosis is helping them mentally. People with previous mental health problems are finding that the diet, their change in the way they eat, laying off carbohydrates is helping them.

So let's unpack this a little bit today, okay? Why would it be helping them? SSRIs, okay, serotonin uptake medication, and this was again, go back and it talked about this being really not successful. They might work temporarily, but they don't always work, and they seem to have a shelf life. They have a shelf life, meaning that after a while, even though people stay on them for years, they really don't work very well. Their success rate. It's not like, man, one thing. It's like, let me give you an example. You're a diabetic. One thing about insulin as a medication, it can save your life. Now we're going to talk about that because this is connected, okay? This is connected, and I'm not against medication guys. If medications work, then take them. You know me and antibiotics. If you need an antibiotic, it could save your life, for heaven's sakes. I'm not against that. I'm all for it. But I'm a guy that likes to get at the root cause of things.

And so today, I am going to give you my 2 cents worth when it comes to mental health. And it's based on my experience. Based on my experience. So when someone suffers from mental health, again, if they're really upside down, SSRIs, look, if they temporarily help, but in the long run, they're not that effective. And the reason is because they're looking for love in all the wrong places. And I didn't say that. Science has said that they're not effective, really, and it's not getting at the root problem. And that's why they don't always work. And that's why often after a period of time, they're very ineffective. Well, as a matter of fact, I'll give you a study that came out a couple of years ago that talked about exercise. Just vitamin E, the real vitamin E exercise is better. They've shown this in studies better, more effective than SSRIs because in my opinion, we're looking at a metabolic problem, a metabolic problem.

And when someone is schizophrenic, bipolar, depression, severe depression, they have a metabolic disorder, it's just manifested in another way. So let's go back a little bit. Metabolic, you and I, I talk about it every day, metabolic syndrome, okay? What's the root cause of metabolic syndrome? What's the root cause? Insulin. Insulin resistance. It's primarily a food problem. So that's metabolic. It's how your body uses energy. And when people, their weakness, and we all have weaknesses, the canary in the coal mine for people that suffer with mental illness, schizo, bipolar, depression, severe anxiety, there's a big energy problem in my opinion. The brain is an energy hog. We've taught this many a time. It's only 2% of your body weight and yet it's headquarters. It's the central government, and it needs 25% of your energy.

And I've said this before, and I'll say it again. People that suffer with mental illness, including Alzheimer's, people suffering from mental illness, including Alzheimer's, they don't process food properly. They don't. Their energy up in the headquarters, they're swimming. It's like you're swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, yet you can't drink the water. Do you know what I mean? You can't drink that salt water. It'll kill you. You can't stay alive on that salt water yet you got an ocean full of it, but you can't take it. It's the same thing when you look at mental illness. I don't want to minimize mental illness at all. I'm not. I'm telling you that the newest research, and they're saying here, okay, let me give you the back part of the quote, science is racing to find out why. Why is going into ketosis effective in mental health? Why are patients saying that? You know what? Less brain fog, less depression, less bipolar. Look, that's what the article said.

And there are doctors now that are really looking into metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can affect your liver, it can affect your heart, obviously. It can affect your joints, it can affect your skin, it can affect you name it. One of the places that it affects is the brain. What do we call Alzheimer's? What was it called in 2005?Type three diabetes. Diabetes of the brain. Some people get an overall diabetes, but some people remember, what we constantly bring home is we tell people the last thing that's going to happen to a person is diabetes. It's not first thing to happen. It's the last thing to happen where they can actually take their blood sugar and they got elevated blood sugar. It's the last thing because everything in your body fights high blood sugar because it's so destructive.

But in the meantime, changes occur. When your body is using insulin over and over again and your body develops insulin resistance. That can affect people in different ways. Lack of energy and obesity and look, but the brain is headquarters guys. And when you don't process glucose properly, when you don't process it properly because of insulin resistance, a couple of things happen in the brain. One, you create an inflammatory response in the brain, high insulin, insulin resistance, inflammation of the brain. It's silent. You don't know what's happening. And different strokes for different folks, people react to that differently in the long run, Alzheimer's.

I remember, let me see if I can find it. Schizophrenia, I remember reading this. I looked at it recently and I'll see if I can find it in my notes here. Okay, connection between diabetes and depression, okay? Schizophrenia, three times more likely to develop diabetes. You know what I say? They're already diabetic. It's just that they don't know it yet. Heart disease. If someone is depressed, the risk of a heart attack goes up 50%. What's the connection? Bipolar and schizo. 53% more likely to have premature heart disease. What's the connection? Inflammation. Inflammation. What's the connection to diabetes? Insulin resistance leads to inflammation. It can affect a person in different places.

And because medicine, look, God loved them, but listen, when it comes to mental health, they really, I don't want to reign on the parade of psychiatrists or psychologist or whatever, but really we have more depression today than ever before. It's an energy issue. It's headquarters. Energy, big, big problem. It can't metabolize properly and it can manifest itself in different ways. That's why people that have tried the keto, that's why people who have tried the reset. When they lower their insulin resistance, a lot of people have said, it really has helped me with my depression. It's really helped with my bipolar. Makes sense, doesn't it? It makes sense.

So we're trying to connect the dots and one of the things that they've found, especially with elevated insulin, the brain doesn't go into autophagy like it usually does. You know about autophagy, the self-cleaning oven of your brain, and it won't work if you're not sleeping. You got to get your sleep. And I'm going to talk about that a little bit more in a second because I want to talk to you about a second factor. One of the factors for sure is insulin. When your insulin's elevated, even your autophagy of the brain won't work as well. The self-cleaning oven. Okay, now let me get into, so one of them is food, okay? And more research needs to be done, but I'm convinced that there's a huge connection between carbohydrates and crappy carbs and those crappy oils, the middle aisles of the grocery store and the amount of depression that we're seeing today.

So the best thing that could happen is that they would change their food, change their fuel. You know me in changing fuel, change your fuel. The wood stove, what's better? Paper and twigs? You want to heat your home with a wood stove? Nah, you better have some logs. That's eggs, meat and cheese. Logs are eggs, meat and cheese. That's why I'm so big on it. And then you will be burning ketones, fat as fuel, best fuel in the world, 99% octane. Okay, got it? Okay. Now the second factor I want to talk about this too is cortisol. Okay? Cortisol. And it used to be, think of cortisol, okay? It used to be run Forrest, run. Remember Forrest Gump? Run, run. What are you doing? Running, run Forrest, run. So cortisol is the flight or fight, okay?

So think about it. Cortisol is used to when you're like that. But you see today, we don't do that. We don't run. We don't use the fight or flight unless someone is, you're out in the back alley late at night and you hear footsteps and you say, I'm running, man, you're taking off. But today, our world has changed. I probably don't talk about this enough because I talk about the fight or flight being like this. You're just uptight. The fight or flight. Cortisol elevate your adrenaline and your body is into a hyper state in order to protect yourself. It's God-given. The problem is if that doesn't get turned off. Now think about this for a minute, okay? Think about this. Today, what happens? We don't run. It's not run Forrest run. We get angry, we get overwhelmed. We're full of fear. It's unreal the amount of fear and anxiety today.

So go back, it was always around. But today, because we don't move very much, we are a sedentary people compared to what we used to, you could almost, with cortisol, you could work it off. But today we don't. So we keep it inside. And a lot of people do this. They're angry. Like my mom used to say, their blood's boiling. It's just sort of seeping there, ready to explode. And we're overwhelmed. You know how many people I've talked to, they're just overwhelmed with life. And the amount of fears that people have is incredible. It's almost like we got fear on steroids. Young people with anxiety, and I think a lot of it is they're playing with their phones all day long and they're not as active or whatever. And I'm not saying it's everything, but it's certainly a big factor.

So what we have, we have an energy problem. Food, misplaced, not processed properly in the headquarters. You have cortisol. Remember when I wrote the book, Two Hormones That Want You Dead, insulin and cortisol. Two hormones that want you depressed. How do you like that? I like that. There are two hormones that want you depressed. Insulin, food, cortisol, stress, wants you depressed. The Bible says that anxiety leads to depression. If you don't turn that anxiousness off, it can send you into a major depression. That's been my experience of tens of thousands of patients over the years. The good news is, guys, the good news out of this is this, there are steps that we can take. Let's put medication over here, but just put it over here. I'm not saying don't use it. I'm not saying to temporarily not use SSRIs. I'm only giving you stats that they're not effective, very effective in the long run. I know that's not going to change. I'm not trying to change the narrative. I'm trying to give information, educate people. Education provides a person with power.

I just like people where they, you guys, why do I call you the greatest audience in the world? Because you listen, Linda, you listen Larry, and you're, okay, you know what? But guys, look, cortisol in combination with insulin is a bad combo when it comes to mental health. The science they're saying, the science is racing to find out why ketosis works. Well, guys, it shouldn't surprise them because I can bring you back into the 1920s, probably even earlier than that when they actually use ketosis, a ketotic diet, high fat, no carbs for epilepsy. It was the treatment of choice. It was fantastic. And that sort of just gets, it's amazing. Once the pharmaceutical industry got involved, well, now you got to take a drug. There's no more. You can't just rely on a diet.

And unfortunately, and I think any medical doctor would tell you this, what do I know about nutrition? So when you hear the word ketosis, it scares the living life out of doctors. Most they don't even know. All they can think of is when they learn that, oh, ketoacidosis that a diabetic ever goes into ketoacidosis, they're going to die. Yeah, but a low carb diet will put you into ketosis. You're just burning a better fuel. So fuel, cortisol, the stress hormone is a major, major factor. Now, let me just give you a couple of other things, because really we could do a week long on mental health, at least every day we could do it. But for now, let me just give you sort of a protocol that I would recommend that I used to give my patients and with some very, very, very good success. And again, I always sent my patients home with a plan. I never gave them a plan to fail. I gave them a plan to succeed, something doable. I used to tell my patient, I'm on your side. I want this to succeed. You need accountability. I'm going to make you accountable. That's what I used to do and my experience here's what I found out.

Okay, here's what I found out over the years, okay? Put people on the reset. 30 days, it's amazing. It lowers that insulin. So now we're talking about it lowers insulin. It lowers insulin resistance. It's a 30 day program followed by a low carb diet, a ketotic diet, preferably ketosis, meaning that your body is burning fat. And if you keep your carbs, there's different strokes for different folks, but between about 20 to 50 grams of carbs, that's not a lot of carbs, okay? That's not a lot of carbohydrates. But that's when you implement the plant kingdom and you have some fruits and vegetables. But I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm telling you, you're laying off the pasta, the rice, the cereals, the sugar, the sweets, the pastries. No more muffins. No more bagels. No more cereals, no more milk, no juice at all. It wasn't easy, but it was doable because you're not hungry. First of all, now, okay, so the reset followed by a very low carbohydrate diet, okay? I found great success with that.

Number two, I would lower their cortisol. Now you lower cortisol when you sleep. You don't sleep, your cortisol goes up, your cortisol goes up, you don't sleep. So I put them on our Cortisol Formula to balance that to lower the cortisol because it had a big effect on the mental health. So that's what I would do. One insulin, two, lower cortisol, vitamin E, of course, exercise, walking, whatever really helps too. Okay? Lowers cortisol, helps with insulin. Now deficiencies, okay? Because I used to test for this in my office, so I knew what they were deficient in the things that I was most interested in. What are you deficient in? Here's what I found consistently in mental health. Schizo, bipolar, depression, severe anxiety. Here's what I found, low levels. You guys will know this because you're already ahead of me thinking about this. They're low in B12. Almost invariably.

And doctors don't connect your brain to your B12. They should, but they don't. Okay? B12, all they can think of is anemia or whatever. And so they don't worry about it. And unless you're extremely low, but they don't equate that with mental health. The other one, you know this one, the sun, vitamin D, they were always, always, always low. It's a metabolic factor. So is B12. It's a metabolic factor. It's very much connected to insulin. It's very much connected to cortisol. Vitamin D, they were low. I can't even think of once where I saw an opposite to that. B12, vitamin D, magnesium very deficient.

And look the way they test magnesium in blood, I don't like that. Okay? I don't like the magnesium because what is it, one or 2% of your magnesium is in your blood. The rest of it is in your tissue. It's not in your blood. Who cares? So when they say, oh, your magnesium levels are good, if they test them, who cares? It doesn't mean anything. There's very little magnesium in your blood. I found people were extremely low in magnesium. Vitamin D, B12, magnesium. And then I got to tell you about this because I've connected this for so many years. The gut brain connection. Leaky gut, leaky brain. I found leaky gut almost invariably in people that suffered with mental health issues. That was my protocol, guys. That was my protocol. Fixed their diet. Fixed cortisol, B12, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics, all of the above.

Okay, interesting, interesting article. Science is racing to find out why low carb eating is helping with mental health. That was the headline. I found it fascinating. Okay, guys, I'm breathing. Really, really enjoyed our session. Okay? So if you have any questions, don't be shy, ask questions. Friday is question and answer Friday, right? Those are always fun. Supercharge time. Guys, we love you dearly. And I mean that sincerely. I like that art that rhymes. Love you dearly, thank you sincerely. Talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

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