Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

The mechanism of acute fasting-induced antidepressant-like effects in mice

To find the results in rodents, scientists placed mice in an inescapable water tank where they were forced to swim for 6 minutes. This induces "behavioral despair", in which the animal loses hope to escape the stressful situation. The escape-related "mobility behavior" is then measured. This is called the "forced swim test", a popularly used evaluation for antidepressant drugs.

This mice study demonstrated that 9 hours of fasting significantly inhibited "immobility" in the mice, which was comparable to an antidepressant drug called imipramine. This anti-depressant effect of acute fasting was blocked by a serotonin receptor agonist, and in turn, reversed by a serotonin receptor antagonist called ketanserin.

The expression of two biomarkers were also measured:

C-Fos: A marker of neuronal activation

BDNF: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis.

Compared to controls, acute fasting enhanced expression of both of these markers, namely in the prefrontal cortex for c-Fos and in the frontal cortex and hippocampus for BDNF. Again, these enhancements were inhibited by a serotonin receptor agonist and reversed by ketanserin.

These findings suggest that fasting may be potentially helpful against depression and that the antidepressant-like effects of acute fasting may be mediated via 5-HT2A receptors, c-Fos and BDNF pathways.


Spread the knowledge and share this article with your friends!

Authored by Dr. Manuel Lam

Editors Choice

Atoms / Icons / List / Back / Black Created with Sketch.
Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

Help Center

We’re on a mission to help you. Let us know how we can best assist you!

Need to get in touch?

Our team will get back to you in one business day, and often times, much faster.

(Mon-Fri, 10 AM - 5 PM PST)

Call us: 1 (833) 415-4866

Email is:

Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

Your cart is empty!

You haven't added anything to your cart yet! Go ahead and check out our products. Then you can come right back to checkout.

Shop All Products
Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

Keto Food Bar

4 Pack Sampler


Try our 4 pack for Free

Only pay shipping and receive a sample pack of all four Keto Food Bars flavors before your subscription starts.


Customize your first 12 pack

You’ll receive your first subscription pack in approximately 14 days. Be sure to let us know your favorite flavor, otherwise, our team will handpick for you. Don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder before the order is processed.


Subscribe and Save

Every month you’ll receive a fresh supply of Keto Food Bars at $35.96 (includes 10% discount).

I acknowledge that I have read*

Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

We're not bots. Are you?

Add your phone number to get your confirmation code. Don't worry, we'll never send spam, just some updates, deals, and a GIF or two. Plus, if you ever need customer service, you can text us back and a real person will be there to help.

Our team will help you on your keto journey.*

By submitting this form, you agree to receive recurring automated promotional and personalized marketing text messages (e.g. cart reminders) from H.V.M.N. at the cell number used when signing up.

Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. Msg frequency varies. Msg and data rates may apply. View Terms & Privacy.

Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

Ring Ring!

We sent a confirmation code to ""

Icons/Close/Hover Created with Sketch.

Seems Like You Really Liked our Sampler!

Unfortunetly we only allow one sampler pack per customer. Pick from our 12 pack options to order more or head over to Shop All to checkout all of our other products.

Keto Food Bar — Chocolate Chunk


Chocolate Chunk
Everything Bagel
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Vanilla Shortbread
Variety Pack
A classic with nut butter, chocolate, and salt.