10

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Paleolithic Diet and Depression

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 28, 2010 at 4:07 AM

Has anyone seen improvement in depression with the Paleolithic Diet?

A5a835105e726e61d61077e84522a045

(130)

on May 08, 2012
at 06:49 AM

I totally relate to this, and I've got depression and social anxiety issues as well. My depression hasn't gotten worse, but it certainly hasn't gotten any better. Luckily I live near Robb Wolf's gym and have started personal training there. I hope to eventually join the group classes and get a little more social activity in my life.

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I just mean that if rhodiola was the one helping me, I suggest you try it too. :)

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:44 AM

Are you ZC, LC or VLC? I was was starting to feel better and thought it was because of paleo, but now I'm starting to think it was because I was taking rodhiola. Stopping rhodiola or cheating made me not ok again. :/

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 26, 2012
at 03:18 PM

I can say my mood was really, really good on ZC. Always happy. Unfortunately my skin and sleep was bad, so I had to stop. Maybe if I had eaten lots and lots of bone broth and more organ meat it would have worked, but a high fruit diet is working great too.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 11, 2011
at 12:43 AM

You forgot the part where eating gluten and processed foods like we (1st world countries) do, generally makes it so you eat less of the good foods. So it might not be gluten (and processed foods) necessarily, but the fact that they replace healthier foods in our diet.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 20, 2011
at 02:27 AM

I've read that in order to fix mood disorders you need to go ketogenic, and try to get as much omega-3 balance to omega-6. A plain Paleo diet won't help everyone with such disorders (just like some people with auto-immune diseases need to use the auto-immune Paleo protocol and not the generic Paleo version).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Jennie, what's new in your battle?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:07 PM

you're not an idiot, you may think you're giving good advice, but it doesn't work for people with major depression. Only diet does.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:07 PM

jbone you are a prime example of bad advice given to people with depression.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 02, 2011
at 08:56 PM

...I'd like to hear more and get in contact because I'm in the same boat

Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:19 AM

No, gluten. Really. It messes with your seratonin and sleep cycles.

034c678bff434ab3781e3f1771018af9

(279)

on January 24, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Really? Gluten? It seems far more likely to be related to breakdown of social ties, lessened sleep quality, etc. than gluten.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 24, 2011
at 02:25 PM

Check out this success story from Mark Sisson about a volunteer in Vanuatu: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/marks-daily-apple-readers-go-primal/ If I could serve there, yes, I would do it again. I served in West Africa, and I would definitely not go there again. Your food choices will be dependent on where you are placed. (My advice would be to avoid any African countries, as dietary choices can be extremely limited except maybe in South Africa.) Email me if you want to talk more. [my first name]@bloomingtonpowerfit.com

1ac8e976f84cb2566ecfbbcce1817351

(211)

on January 24, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I graduate from college in a few months and am considering going to the Peace Corps after graduation. I am hesitating because of the poor food quality that I'm sure will be awaiting me. How bad is it? If you can go back in time, would you still go?

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12 Answers

4
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on March 02, 2010
at 12:47 AM

Yes. When all is said and done, I think the present depression epidemic will be thought of as just another "disease of civilization" caused by chronic overconsumption of gluten (or perhaps fructose). The links between gluten and both bipolar and schizophrenia are highly suggestive as well.

034c678bff434ab3781e3f1771018af9

(279)

on January 24, 2011
at 08:24 PM

Really? Gluten? It seems far more likely to be related to breakdown of social ties, lessened sleep quality, etc. than gluten.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 29, 2011
at 01:19 AM

No, gluten. Really. It messes with your seratonin and sleep cycles.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:07 PM

you're not an idiot, you may think you're giving good advice, but it doesn't work for people with major depression. Only diet does.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:07 PM

jbone you are a prime example of bad advice given to people with depression.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 11, 2011
at 12:43 AM

You forgot the part where eating gluten and processed foods like we (1st world countries) do, generally makes it so you eat less of the good foods. So it might not be gluten (and processed foods) necessarily, but the fact that they replace healthier foods in our diet.

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 28, 2010
at 04:11 AM

Yes, definitely! Who knows though, as my life since I went paleo has changed so much in other ways.

Here is some info on gluten and depression.

3
101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf

(539)

on April 28, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Not me. Paleo eased many many things for me in the last year and a half but the chronic depression is not one of them. It's been my biggest disappointment, actually, but a good reminder that diet is not everything, and Paleo is not a cure-all.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 02, 2011
at 08:56 PM

...I'd like to hear more and get in contact because I'm in the same boat

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 30, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Jennie, what's new in your battle?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 20, 2011
at 02:27 AM

I've read that in order to fix mood disorders you need to go ketogenic, and try to get as much omega-3 balance to omega-6. A plain Paleo diet won't help everyone with such disorders (just like some people with auto-immune diseases need to use the auto-immune Paleo protocol and not the generic Paleo version).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 26, 2012
at 03:18 PM

I can say my mood was really, really good on ZC. Always happy. Unfortunately my skin and sleep was bad, so I had to stop. Maybe if I had eaten lots and lots of bone broth and more organ meat it would have worked, but a high fruit diet is working great too.

2
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on August 20, 2010
at 08:18 PM

You may want to dig through these old questions:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/depression

Personally, I had some issues with depression after coming home from the Peace Corps in 2006. No doubt due to health/gut issues, poor diet (almost no protein, lots of imported grains and vegetable oils... yuck), and also some very difficult life experiences. It lasted a long time and finally resolved itself within a few months of going Paleo. I was very surprised at the time, not so much now. Exercise helped a little, other things did not, but Paleo made it go away as if by magic.

At the time, I was not eating a very good Paleo diet, either -- still eating processed meats, nothing grass-fed, and using canola oil due to lack of knowledge.

1ac8e976f84cb2566ecfbbcce1817351

(211)

on January 24, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I graduate from college in a few months and am considering going to the Peace Corps after graduation. I am hesitating because of the poor food quality that I'm sure will be awaiting me. How bad is it? If you can go back in time, would you still go?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on January 24, 2011
at 02:25 PM

Check out this success story from Mark Sisson about a volunteer in Vanuatu: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/marks-daily-apple-readers-go-primal/ If I could serve there, yes, I would do it again. I served in West Africa, and I would definitely not go there again. Your food choices will be dependent on where you are placed. (My advice would be to avoid any African countries, as dietary choices can be extremely limited except maybe in South Africa.) Email me if you want to talk more. [my first name]@bloomingtonpowerfit.com

2
0637289bb4a0ab314d80fa4de627d395

(1015)

on February 28, 2010
at 04:35 PM

There has been some research into EPA/DHA supplementation in treating depression. You can google those terms and read for yourself. In theory, many versions of the paleo diet would increase your O-3 and decrease your O-6 levels. Some people believe a 1:1 ratio of those omegas are ideal for optimal health.

1
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on April 10, 2012
at 08:17 AM

I actually typed in depression into the search here...because I think mine got worse. I hated myself before, but now I feel worse. I cannot believe how much weight I've GAINED eating more fat. I just don't know if it's right for my body. Damn that coconut oil. I wish there was some sort of invention that would suck out all my fat, but eh, whatever.

I've had depression and social anxiety among various other problems for a very long time, and I don't think paleo is going to fix it, even when I start eating what's right for my body. I think a lot of my problems stem from experiences and my perceptions of it and not from nutrition so I have to somehow fix that shit. I'm not the kind of person who thinks that good nutrition is going to save the world of all ailments.

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:45 AM

I just mean that if rhodiola was the one helping me, I suggest you try it too. :)

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on April 10, 2012
at 09:44 AM

Are you ZC, LC or VLC? I was was starting to feel better and thought it was because of paleo, but now I'm starting to think it was because I was taking rodhiola. Stopping rhodiola or cheating made me not ok again. :/

A5a835105e726e61d61077e84522a045

(130)

on May 08, 2012
at 06:49 AM

I totally relate to this, and I've got depression and social anxiety issues as well. My depression hasn't gotten worse, but it certainly hasn't gotten any better. Luckily I live near Robb Wolf's gym and have started personal training there. I hope to eventually join the group classes and get a little more social activity in my life.

1
E7adfe31507efb7c935f618a829f56d6

on February 01, 2012
at 05:03 PM

It's a complicated question to say the least. Depression can have many different causes/agitators. If your particular brand is caused by a nutrition-deficiency, hormonal imbalance or eating/body image issues, then Paleo is probably going to be awesome for you.

In my own experience (I've had major depressive disorder for about 13 years and tried almost everything short of electro-shock therapy) the paleo diet has helped to relieve some symptoms by increasing my ability to get good sleep and feel good about myself. Having more energy in general is also helpful. I'm not sure how much my brain chemistry has changed, I've only been paleo for a year, so it may take more time. But all this is to say that anything that isn't harmful to you and has the capacity to make you feel good about yourself, improve your body functions, and get more sleep is going to help relieve depression to some extent. I'm not convinced yet that paleo is a "cure" for all depression the same way it is for diabetes, but in my experience, it has been helpful. Time will tell just how helpful, I am hopeful.

1
9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 17, 2010
at 02:11 PM

Yes. I had lifetime problems with both anger and depression, both of which have improved immensely after eliminating neolithic agents of disease.

1
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on March 17, 2010
at 02:08 PM

Yes! I've seen dramatic decrease in my old "black moods". :)

1
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on February 28, 2010
at 04:13 PM

Absolutely. Eliminating gluten grains and sugar has a profound effect on mood/emotions.

0
384e538fff93a3e704b9630a060ef8d8

on December 10, 2011
at 09:37 PM

I found paleo to be a big help to, well not make my moods dissapear, but less intense and of shorter duration. Also a good night of sleep and sun help a lot. I'm now more easy going and less agitated.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 28, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I would love to hear back from people struggling with depression!
- Fasting (for at least 1.5 days) - 80% Fat (Beef Suet) - No sugar (5% fruit) These three things on top of all other Paleo guidelines should resolve problems. Lets not talk so much about solutions, and instead try this and experiment and really get F*ing results for once!

Please write back and tell me what happens when trying these things. : )

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