Forwarded message posted for discussion [ Subject: Atkins diet can cause depression [ From: "Tim Murphy" <[email protected]> [ Date: 1 Mar 2004 03:35:00 -0600 1 March 2004 London Evening Standard (UK) Atkins diet can cause depression By Mark Prigg, Evening Standard Science Correspondent The Atkins diet is at the centre of fresh controversy after scientists said it could cause depression and mood swings. Medical experts have found that the diet blocks the brain's ability to produce chemicals that keep us happy. Nutritionists have called for people to abandon the diet, claiming they could be risking their mental health as well as physical well-being. The key to the research is serotonin. This is the chemical released in the brain that keeps us relaxed and positive The team, led by Dr Judith Wurtman at MIT - one of America's top research universities - discovered that high levels of carbohydrates and low levels of proteins are the key to producing enough serotonin to regulate mood. But this is the opposite of the Atkins diet ideal. According to Dr Wurtman, lowcarb diets can lead to grumpiness, irritability and even depression. She added that the problem was magnified in women, who have naturally lower levels of serotonin in the brain. Dr Wurtman said: "Serotonin is involved in keeping our moods stable, making us calm and serene and allowing us to focus and concentrate. When you take away the carbohydrates, it's like taking away water from someone trekking through the desert." The MIT team studied the levels of serotonin in the brain of 100 volunteers during a 12-week study. Some were given a highcarbohydrate diet and others ate more protein-rich foods. Those on high carbohydrates produced higher levels of serotonin and were more relaxed. Dr Wurtman said: "If you eat a potato when you are feeling grumpy or angry, you'll be feeling better in 30 to 40 minutes." The study also revealed carbohydrates played a key role in controlling appetite. Dr Wurtman added: "When serotonin is made and becomes active in your brain, its effect on your appetite is to make you feel full before your stomach is stuffed and stretched." Her research showed how the brain satisfied its need for carbohydrates in some people when serotonin levels were low. "These are the people we call ' carbohydrate cravers', who need a certain amount to keep their moods steady," said Dr Wurtman. Nutritionist Natalie Savona was not surprised by the research. She said: "The Atkins diet just isn't good. It is far too extreme. In terms of day-to-day moods, diet and carbohydrate levels make a big difference." http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/9402363?source=Evening%20Standard End of forwarded message Jai Maharaj http://www.mantra.com/jai Om Shanti Panchaang for 11 Phalgun 5104, Tuesday, March 2, 2004: Shubhanu Nama Samvatsare Uttarayane Moksh Ritau Kumbh Mase Shukl Pakshe Mangal Vasara Yuktayam Punarvasu- Pushya Nakshatr Saubhagya Yog Vishti-Bav Karan Ekadashi-Dvadashi Yam Tithau Hindu Holocaust Museum http://www.mantra.com/holocaust Hindu life, principles, spirituality and philosophy http://www.hindu.org http://www.hindunet.org The truth about Islam and Muslims http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate o Not for commercial use. Solely to be fairly used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion. The contents of this post may not have been authored by, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the poster. The contents are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. o If you send private e-mail to me, it will likely not be read, considered or answered if it does not contain your full legal name, current e-mail and postal addresses, and live-voice telephone number. o Posted for information and discussion. Views expressed by others are not necessarily those of the poster.