Dr. Chris Palmer: Diet & Nutrition for Mental Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #99

Dr. Chris Palmer: Diet & Nutrition for Mental Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #99

My guest this episode is Chris Palmer, M.D., a board-certified psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He explains the important connection between nutrition, metabolism and mental health and his pioneering work using the ketogenic diet to successfully treat patients with various mental illnesses, including depression and schizophrenia. Dr. Palmer explains how the ketogenic diet is an evidenced-based treatment for epilepsy, mimics the fasted state and can offset the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s. He describes the key roles of mitochondria in mental health, how certain conditions likely arise from mitochondrial dysfunction, and how low-carbohydrate diets increase mitochondrial turnover to improve mental health. He also explains how low-carbohydrate diets positively impact the gut microbiome and weight loss, important risk factors for mitochondrial health such as marijuana and alcohol, and the best way to increase circulating ketones depending on individual needs. We also cover how a ketogenic diet impacts mood, sleep, and fertility. Dr. Palmer’s work stands as a revolutionary approach to mental health and disease that, given the prevalence of mental health challenges, should be of interest to people of all backgrounds and ages.

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Dr. Chris Palmer
Dr. Palmer’s website: https://www.chrispalmermd.com
Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health–and Improving Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, and More: https://amzn.to/3XheFIV
Medical profile: https://www.mcleanhospital.org/profile/christopher-palmer
Academic profile & publications: https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/70255
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisPalmerMD
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrispalmermd

00:00:00 Dr. Chris Palmer, Mental Health & Metabolic Disorders
00:03:25 Thesis, Eight Sleep, ROKA
00:07:18 Nutrition & Mental Health
00:20:43 Low-Carb Diets & Anti-Depression, Fasting, Ketosis
00:27:52 Schizophrenia, Depression & Ketogenic Diet
00:34:32 AG1 (Athletic Greens)
00:35:38 Psychiatric Mediations, Diet Adherence
00:42:35 Highly Processed Foods, Ketones & Mental Health Benefits
00:46:51 Ketogenic Diet & Epilepsy Treatment
00:56:10 Ketogenic Diet & Mitochondria Health
00:57:05 Nutrition & Benefits for Neurologic/Psychiatric Disorders
01:05:44 Mitochondrial Function & Mental Health
01:15:12 InsideTracker
01:16:23 Mitophagy, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, Aging & Diet
01:25:09 Neurons, Mitochondria & Blood Glucose
01:31:54 Obesity, Ketogenic Diet & Mitochondria
01:40:00 Mitochondrial Function: Inheritance, Risk Factors, Marijuana
01:46:34 Alcohol & Ketogenic Diet
01:55:21 Brain Imaging, Alzheimer’s Disease & Ketones
02:01:05 Exogenous (Liquid) Ketones vs. Ketogenic Diet
02:06:27 Neuronal Damage, Ketones & Glucose
02:10:16 Alzheimer’s Disease, Age-Related Cognitive Decline & Ketogenic Diet
02:23:45 Ketogenic Diet & Weight Loss
02:35:47 Ketogenic Diet & Fasting, Hypomania, Sleep
02:46:37 Low Carbohydrate Diets, Menstrual Cycles, Fertility
02:52:23 Obesity Epidemic, Semaglutide & GLP-1 Medications
03:01:01 Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous Supplements, Neural Network Newsletter, Social Media

Huberman Lab is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from this podcast is at the user’s own risk. The content of this podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac – https://www.blabacphoto.com


  1. Barbarella on March 21, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for all the free info! These podcasts are a goldmine.

  2. Sky Just on March 21, 2023 at 9:52 am

    It’s about time diet is at least considered if to work in concert with "big pharma"!!

  3. Glenn Shufford on March 21, 2023 at 9:52 am

    I have get something to eat

  4. Jacqueline Delgado on March 21, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Play hard is weird, I’m freaking tired .Know your craft play nice. It sucks when your partner doesn’t get you.

  5. Live and Let Live on March 21, 2023 at 9:55 am

    Dr Palmer appears to be such a gentle and kind person. The world needs moe people like him. You are what you eat.

  6. cvu Advisors, Inc. on March 21, 2023 at 9:55 am

    my absolute favorite duo of beyond brilliant geeking out! I wish my friends would join me in these types of conversations!

  7. Myhealthyfoodlife on March 21, 2023 at 9:56 am

    This episode with Chris Palmer, M.D., was absolutely fascinating! It’s incredible to learn about the connection between nutrition, metabolism and mental health, and how the ketogenic diet can effectively treat conditions such as depression and schizophrenia. Dr. Palmer’s research on how low-carbohydrate diets increase mitochondrial turnover to improve mental health, as well as their impact on mood, sleep and fertility is groundbreaking. I’m sure this episode will be of great interest to many people who are struggling with mental health issues. Some parts could be understand but they made a good demonstration.

  8. sarah coomes on March 21, 2023 at 9:59 am

    so the entire super slim Asian nations who live on rice … how does that work?

  9. My SEO Smiths on March 21, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Dr. Palmer – do you feel the "root cause" of obesity may have anything to do with our depleted soil and the food we eat? Of course, there is no "one cause" when it comes to what we eat. So, I would also say the preservatives (and insecticides maybe) we eat are causing metabolic disorders in our body…preservatives means the bacteria in your gut cannot break down the food, you don’t get what nutrition from it you should get from it. I feel this is a huge contribution to the obesity epidemic.

  10. Chris Pfeiffer on March 21, 2023 at 10:01 am

    Glad I’m not the only one out there who keeps my pet kangaroo on a strict ketogenic diet!

  11. Greg on March 21, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Thanks! I would be interested in an investigation of the role of childhood HFCS consumption in the obesity epidemic. Weren’t those HoHos and DingDongs in the 70s free of corn syrup?

  12. Janette Willis on March 21, 2023 at 10:03 am

    My Mom was vaguely diagnosed with dementia at 52 but back then had no idea what I was being told and it was very much no cure as well…
    Mom passed at the age of 78 in 2017.
    By 2019 I was worried I was feeling very forgetful at the age of 59 so as we went into covid19 lockdown in South Africa I Googled all I could about dementia and found Dr Tim Noakes and went on to the Carnivore Keto diet and also started intermittent fasting I have been 💯 better ever since then as well as losing 16kg and I have slowly added vegetables and some carbs when I’m exercising only because I love potatoes 😅
    I’m a huge believer in keto.
    Now my daughter is on it as well and is controlling her autoimmune disease Ankylosing Spondylitis 🙏🏼 THANK GOODNESS
    Keto is good for everyone it’s a good clean eating plan 🙏🏼 🎉❤ it!

  13. Sandra Quito on March 21, 2023 at 10:05 am

    Si much publicity, I got bored before starting!

  14. Stephanie Veenstra on March 21, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Thank you so much for acknowledging that I need support to get off meds, I am trying to get off Ritalin because my body can’t take it anymore I get triggerpoint pain I have taken these meds since 2008 so all this time I had this pain and I did not link it to the meds I was swallowing. But now I am and I am already 18 months in the process it is absolutely dangerous and exciting at the same time thank God I have a good perception of self so I can say to myself you know " you are tripping, this is not real, it’s because of your meds" etcetera otherwise I would have gone crazy for sure. The first year I did it alone, this year when it’s the last 20 mgs per day that I am reducing to zero, it’s really really hard. I have a dietist also but he says we can only start your diet when your brain is in balance so I find that a bit chicken and egg you know so I will suggest this diet to him.Because I want to break the chain. Thank you again.

  15. Glenn Shufford on March 21, 2023 at 10:16 am

    I help people who need help and support me on comments

  16. Lissi Toj on March 21, 2023 at 10:17 am

    So interesting! Thank You for Sharing Your Knowledge to help people better understand others with mental health issues and to be able to share with people going through these issues, that may not be aware if this information, that there IS a solution for their symptoms and/or issues.

  17. Larry Solomon on March 21, 2023 at 10:19 am

    The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. Successful people do daily what the unsuccessful only do occasionally

  18. Jari Norvanto on March 21, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Nutritional medicine is in its infancy, he says. It only predates Christ, I say.

  19. Ben R. on March 21, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for this. I suggest that you see the work of Dr. Abram Hoffer in the 1950s and 1960s to use vitamin B3 (niacin) and high doses of B3 to prompt his patients, including incarcerated ones, to heal themselves of severe mental illness. Don’t believe me. Look it up. He brought his methods to Alcoholics Anonymous, who promoted this to their members. Check it out.

  20. Chany on March 21, 2023 at 10:23 am

    Very interesting!!! thanks for sharing 💖

  21. Lisa Hiller on March 21, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Less than 7 minutes in… you lost me. Too many endorsements. Good bye 👋

  22. Glenn Shufford on March 21, 2023 at 10:25 am

    All banks in u.s need a.code for people stealing

  23. Penny Lacroix on March 21, 2023 at 10:25 am

    I went on a kilo diet because of my arthritis was killing me
    We’ll need I say that now my arthritis is gone. I am weight training again without any pain.
    I was terribly depressed and was taking antidepressants before that, I no longer need
    My mood is perfect now and the antidepressant medication is gone.
    My family has marvelled at my énergie and positivity. My focus is so sharp now
    I have also lost thirty pounds.
    I started intermittent fasting about two months ago, and wow I am never HUNGRY.
    I come from a long line of type two diabetic family,that manifest itself in the older years.
    I am 71 years old, and feel like I’m fourth. My bloodwork is all normal
    I had I difficulty time sleeping until I started taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at night. A wonder my sleep pattern has changed. I am sleeping very well now.
    I don’t know what is happening, but this is the way to go.
    I feel like I have never felt
    Thank you for the podcast, very in lightening.
    Pénélope ❤❤❤❤❤😊😊😊😊

  24. My SEO Smiths on March 21, 2023 at 10:26 am

    would Inside Tracker recommend the keto diet? 😉 doubtful.

  25. ns markiv on March 21, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Thank you to Dr Huberman and Dr Palmer for this amazing interview. The old adage holds true "you are what you eat!"

  26. Peter Maurer on March 21, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Eating meat is always nice for the slaughtered and tortured animals. How much suffering is one allowed to put on others to optimize ones own health based on mere power. If Aliens would treat us as we ztreat fabric farming animals…I`m sure we would all agree.

  27. Robby Villabona on March 21, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Have researchers explored the increased affordability of food as the source of the obesity epidemic?

  28. David Martinez on March 21, 2023 at 10:29 am

    Would love you to have Gabor Mate on your podcast!

  29. AppleTechPro 4U on March 21, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Can we resummarize the main points

  30. Ahmed on March 21, 2023 at 10:30 am

    Don’t you think that you should get your nutrients from natural food only.. A full podcast is about having a healthy diet, and here we are with a smart Doctor from Stanford promoting the use "Athletic Green Pills". LOL

  31. Mark Heckman on March 21, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Very educational 😊

  32. Giovanni P. on March 21, 2023 at 10:31 am

    One of the best episodes of the podcast. Incredible stuff.

  33. Marilyn Mysak on March 21, 2023 at 10:31 am

    I am not watching this video to learn about eyeglasses for ten minutes!

  34. Jari Norvanto on March 21, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Western medicine is disinterested in nutrition. And most professionals and patients have poor level of knowledge regarding nutrition and the importance of exercise. Deep down they probably sense this, but do not prioritize correspondingly. The magic pill does not exist. You have to use reason end effort to change the bad habits to improve health. It’s actually easy.
    What is ‘normal weight’ these days, when more than half of the population is overweight?

  35. Greg on March 21, 2023 at 10:33 am

    I am late to the party but wow. Judging from this first video, this site contains fabulous content.

  36. My SEO Smiths on March 21, 2023 at 10:35 am

    mitochondria are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for what you inherit…generation after generation after generation. wow. Mind blown. 1:10:25

  37. Andre Mota on March 21, 2023 at 10:37 am

    Look, no doubt a great guest and topic, but I’m certain the interviewer spoke more than the guest. Often asking and answering questions, and driving me mad.

  38. Stephanie Lovett on March 21, 2023 at 10:38 am

    Wow, can’t wait to translate this information for my mom. Us Latinos eat a LOT of carbs… no wonder so many are prediabetic & have hypertension

  39. Patricia Garrett on March 21, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Feel like suing for my information being compromised…! How google gets away with forcing their search engine on the Android. My account is hacked, 😢 and metro settings are too damn confusing 😢.

  40. Lissi Toj on March 21, 2023 at 10:41 am

    What I am about to tell you, will make your jaw drop. I had a neighbor once, a nurse, that confessed her crime to me. She mentioned that because she didn’t like a comment her best friend had said about her, that she had poisoned her orange juice. My neighbor mentioned her best friend was pregnant. Her baby came out with birth defects, physical abnormality and mute. How ironic was at that she said she asked her friend to allow her to take care of her daughter, where her best friend said yes, and that little girl was verbally abused and demeaned by her nurse/caretaker and by caretakers’ daughter, almost every day. I would hear them through my door leading to the back yard. I was appalled. I just couldn’t believe my eyes nor my ears. Her mom’s "best friend". My heart sunk deep knowing this. Up until this day, my jaw remains dropped in shock that she confessed this to me and worried for that little girl, I am guessing the nurse told me of her confession because I declined her caretaker services for my mom. She had asked me if she could provide in home healthcare services for my mom but I said no. But before her confession to me, she had made black beans for us and then told me she made it with a green/white poisonous plant leaf. My tonsils vanished one day without any reason and I am now borderline mute and I can barely talk or sing. A Big threat to our Human Species indeed. We need to stop this from happening ever again. If you could run tests on mice or other and try to find out what poison was used then create an anti-poison injection or antidote that could reverse the poison used in that orange juice.
    The baby was born with physical abnormality and mute. There is a growing number of these cases as per different sources, people that are poisoning other people because they feel entitled. What I have been told through questions I have been asking around are as follows: (rat Powder poison, green/white plant, brownie mixture and black beans soup). If anyone reading this is ever offered to eat any of these foods for no reason, don’t accept it, unless you made it yourself. Their reason behind it is to make the person suffer through their children’s sicknesses and struggles. People silently killing other people. The saying goes that they poison is undetectable inside body.I believe this is an ongoing problem and it’s way over Big Pharma’s head. Something must be done to discover how to reverse foreign poisons placed in your body by another human being usually someone close to you. Know who you are surrounded by, don’t trust everybody, not all people have good intentions. Stay safe. (Sorry to write so many words but I feel everyone needs to know this bit of information.)

  41. datrucks Dave a on March 21, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Very good ty, I’ll vouch for the positive physical and mental benifts of Ketosis, I prefer to get it in one dose with a once a week with a 24 hr fast..

  42. MsPardal123 on March 21, 2023 at 10:41 am

    This is the reason people are not respectful with these fashion diets. 😂

  43. PaF2BFree on March 21, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Nutrition effects the development of the human body. Infants raised on karo Syrup and canned milk is no nutrition to develop the brain.

  44. Rocko Cuba on March 21, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Skip the first 9 minutes of advertisement and bla, bla…it’s a waste of time (as usual).
    I’m thinking to unsubscribe over this.

  45. April Sun on March 21, 2023 at 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I have antimitochondria antibodies and anti acetylcholine receptor antibodies and will try low carbohydrate diet/ ketogenesis/ intermittent fasting. Thank you so much for your beautiful work and magnanimous intentions. I also had myxoedematous psychosis in 1994, got misdiagnosed and put erroneously on toxic psychiatric meds before, thank God, getting a proper diagnosis in 1998… I came off antipsychotics suddenly before Hashimoto’s diagnosis and it was horrific. Thank you for helping people suffering from awfully distressing and horrific symptoms… No-one can really appreciate how horrendous these experiences can be unless they have experienced it themselves. I went all the way out there and came all the way back. Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. ❤

  46. Jasiwardas on March 21, 2023 at 10:45 am

    I feel bad for asking this, but, is there a tl;dr? I don’t have 3 hours to watch

  47. Glenn Shufford on March 21, 2023 at 10:46 am


  48. Kimberly Brink on March 21, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Is this man a nutritionist?

  49. Sadone on March 21, 2023 at 10:48 am

    OMG, this is why I stay away from the Psychiatric world. It’s all labels and 8 years of therapy? Are you kidding me? If it took 8 years for a doctor to heal me I’d have fired him long ago. NO ONE IS THAT SICK – only if you convince him he is. BTW, your medications ARE the reasons people stay sick and get fat!