I've been using intermittent fasting for the last week (One 24 hour fast in addition to a 12 hour fast daily) and have experienced dramatically increased mood, at times I'm euphoric. I no longer have blood sugar drops after a few hours like I used to have, and how I see everyone in my family get. My ancestors diet have undoubtedly been a very fat and protein-rich diet, consisting of wild game, seals, etc. and very little carb,as I am Scandinavian, so it does make sense for me to try to replicate a high-fat low-carb diet.
While my expectation were somewhat high, I did not expect this. I'm spending all that laughing and smiling and truly feel good with myself and while interacting with others. I'm never abandoning this diet.
Anyway, is it the fasting, the ketosis or a combination of the two that's causing the mood elevation? I would really appreciate a thorough scientific explanation.
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There are a couple of similar threads:
Some possible reasons could include:
- blood sugar regulation, so you don't have the bad moods that come with hypoglycemia
- better access to energy
- improvements in brain functioning
Incidentally, while researching something else, I came upon this today (emphasis mine):
Anecdotal evidence links the initial phase of fasting or a low-carbohydrate diet with feelings of well-being and mild euphoria. These feelings have often been attributed to ketosis, the production of ketone bodies which can replace glucose as an energy source for the brain. One of these ketone bodies, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), is an isomer of the notorious drug of abuse, GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). GHB is also of interest in relation to its potential as a treatment for alcohol and opiate dependence and narcolepsy-associated cataplexy. Here I hypothesize that, the mild euphoria often noted with fasting or low-carbohydrate diets may be due to shared actions of BHB and GHB on the brain. Specifically, I propose that BHB, like GHB, induces mild euphoria by being a weak partial agonist for GABA(B) receptors. I outline several approaches that would test the hypothesis, including receptor binding studies in cultured cells, perception studies in trained rodents, and psychometric testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans. These and other studies investigating whether BHB and GHB share common effects on brain chemistry and mood are timely and warranted, especially when considering their structural similarities and the popularity of ketogenic diets and GHB as a drug of abuse.
So that's an acknowledgement of the phenomenon and another hypothesis of a mechanism.
I dont have the full explanation, but I can give you a lead.
This phenomenon has been studied in anorexics as a possible reinforcer once they begin to go low carb/low calorie and start to starve (living off their own body fat).
I remember seeing the explanation there, but I am too tired to search for it for you now.
I'm not sure what the accepted reason is but I see two.
Your body cortisol levels will soar, that alone will be enough to make you feel euphoric - you'll also crash out at some point though.
You have had a toxoplasmosis infection in the past, and now your starving all the little cysts causing them ultimately die - filling you with L-dopa. Its a long story in total, best to google.