Insane in the membrane…

‘Breaking the Vicious Cycle’ is an amazing book.  My all time favourite. It’s the only thing that helped me recover from IBD, and I still refer back to it to this day.  Reading it again this week, I’m reminded of the link made between food and our mental health.


In simplistic terms, the book suggests that Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis, is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the colon.  This bacteria feeds on carbohydrate that the body can’t absorb, mainly because the high levels of bacteria damage the gut and cause malabsorption issues – causing a vicious cycle of more carbohydrate ,and thus bacteria, building in the gut.  Ergo, the title of the book ‘breaking the VICIOUS CYCLE‘.

The solution?  Limit carbohydrate intake; if you starve the overgrowth of bacteria, balance is restored.  Read this article – it’s more than just theory.  For some people, damage to the gut is so severe that recovery is sadly not possible.


Whilst the book is mainly concerned with eradicating inflammation in the colon, it touches on mental health disorders impacted by, and in some cases possibly caused by, intestinal issues resulting from high carbohydrate diets.

For the record, all carbohydrates are not bad.  Carbohydrate is necessary for our health, and is contained in various quantities in most of our food, including fruit and vegetables.  However, high intake of carbohydrates, typically the type found in processed foods, can cause bacterial overgrowth and it’s thought that the resulting toxicity from the bacterial overgrowth may cause or contribute to mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

A three part paper on the topic can be found here if you want to read and understand more.


There are scholarly articles all over the internet, but I haven’t seen anything in mainstream media about this.  Call me paranoid, but I imagine a lot of money is made by pharmaceutical companies on drugs for depression, and if it was possible for people to treat debilitating depression with a diet, well… it doesn’t take a genius to do the math!



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