What is Metabolic Psychiatry® ?
This new subfield is at the intersection of metabolic health and mental health. It combines the principles of biological psychiatry with the additional perspective of optimization of one’s overall health metabolically by reducing inflammation and insulin resistance. We are gradually coming to understand that inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance may represent important root causes of many chronic brain illnesses, including many psychiatric disorders. Integration of this approach is an additional tool often overlooked in improving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other illnesses associated with brain health. This encompasses how nutrition affects the brain, specifically focusing on reducing sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates as a mechanism to improve mind and body health. However, it also encompasses treatment of obesity, an often undertreated chronic disease. Many Americans suffer from the disease of obesity and even malnutrition despite consuming excess calories. The focus is on improvement of metabolic health and mental health, thus depending on personalized needs, may employ tools such as a food prescription, medication management, and various therapeutic modalities.
Our group was created to foster further development and adoption of Metabolic Psychiatry® into the standard of care within the field of Psychiatry and to serve as an online resource in informing the public on the important relationship between nutrition, metabolic dysfunction, inflammation, and mental health. Our mission includes describing scientific progress and clinical advances and supporting their role in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit, binge eating, bipolar, or schizophrenia. Even for those on a budget, we advocate for real, non-ultra-processed foods, devoid of highly refined sugars and carbohydrates that affect brain health as well as metabolism (including blood sugar, blood pressure, and obesity).
Dr. Shebani Sethi Dalai MD is the founding director of the Metabolic Psychiatry® clinic in 2019 at Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.