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Dr. Bret Scher joins host Doug Reynolds on the LowCarbUSA® podcast to discuss his role as the director of Metabolic Mind.  A board-certified cardiologist, lipidologist, and therapeutic ketogenic diet expert, Bret has over 20 years of experience as a preventive cardiologist and served as the medical director for Diet Doctor for over three years.

Metabolic Mind was founded by Roblox CEO David Baszucki and his wife, author Jan Ellison Baszucki, after their son Matthew recovered from a severe bipolar disorder using ketogenic metabolic therapy.  “They were having a really hard time getting Matthew treated in a way that not only controlled the symptoms, but gave him his life back,” Bret recounts. “There was a point where he was in and out of inpatient treatment facilities and he actually checked himself out and hitchhiked from Oregon down to California. He was homeless, giving away all his possessions, and living behind a dumpster.  These are the stories that often end tragically, but the Baszucki’s were fortunate enough to connect with Dr. Chris Palmer, who was able to get Matt started on a ketogenic diet and that’s what really turned things around.”  Matthew has been able to slowly get weaned off his medications, and is now living a normal life.  He has completed college and is currently employed full-time in the tech industry. As he continues to gradually reduce his medication dosage, he shows no signs of the debilitating symptoms—mania, depression, or anxiety—that once afflicted him.  You can read Jan Baszucki’s account of the family journey here.

Bret discusses the growing momentum in the field of metabolic psychiatry. He shares that research is underway, with five different trials being funded by Metabolic Mind, and how the psychiatric community has overwhelmingly welcomed these advances.  “Our brain needs energy, just like the rest of our body needs energy. And just like our body can be insulin resistant, and not be able to use glucose for energy, the same can happen in our brains,” he explains.  Despite the advancements, Bret highlights that there are still physicians with misconceptions about ketogenic diets, often fueled by mainstream media.  “This concern of keto diet equals fat equals high LDL and heart attack just needs to disappear, because that is purely false,” he states, citing data from Dr. Shivani Sethi and Dr. Ian Campbell that debunks this notion.

Bret discusses the complex science behind how ketosis can benefit the brain. He points out that ketones can serve as alternative fuel sources to significantly improve brain function, reduce neuroinflammation, and balance neurotransmitters.  He emphasizes the critical role of education, pointing out that the knowledge of metabolic therapies is often missing from medical schools and residencies, creating a barrier for wider adoption. He hopes to disseminate this information to both clinicians and the public.

Later in the interview Bret draws an analogy between the growing acceptance of the keto diet for type 2 diabetes and the growing interest in metabolic psychiatry.  “That’s how we start to build this movement to really just help more people, right. That’s the ultimate goal. We want more people being treated in this fashion to help them get their lives back,” he concludes, calling for collective efforts to make a lasting impact.

Doug and Bret conclude the interview with a discussion about plans to organize a special focus day for Metabolic Health on metabolic therapies for mental illnesses at a future Symposium for Metabolic Health in San Diego Aug 2024.  (To find out more about this event, and to register  visit   We’d be honored to have you join us online or in person! Register early and save the most!

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