OK, let?s return to the original question. Do the psychological effects of ketogenic diets contribute to the irrational and sometimes downright bizarre behavior exhibited by many online low-carb devotees?
Because I can?t get inside the heads of all these people (and probably wouldn?t want to even if I could!), I can?t say with any scientific sense of certainty. What I will say is this: diets that are inherently unbalanced seem to be associated with more than their fair share of extremist behavior compared with more moderate plans (as an example, I?ve yet to see any noteworthy level of shrill behaviour from followers of ?Zone? or ?Mediterranean?-style diets). Ketogenic diets are characterized by extremely low-carbohydrate intakes that may alter serotonergic expression[Christensen L] and induce or exacerbate deficiencies in important minerals including potassium, magnesium and selenium.
Similarly, vegan and fruitarian diets, whose followers have also been known to engage in some rather whackopathic behavior, can induce various nutrient deficiencies, including those of B12 and essential fatty acids (both crucial for neurological health).
Whether very low-carbohydrate nutrition does in fact contribute to anti-social behavior is a question only controlled scientific research can definitively answer. However, after reviewing the research, prudence dictates that those with a tendency towards anger, depression, anxiety and especially those with diagnosed behavioural or psychiatric conditions should avoid ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.
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