Dr. Christopher Palmer, MD

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Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Chris Palmer MD


Accepting new patients?
No, but I have a waitlist
Roles - Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) Treatment Team
Healthcare Provider (Tailors treatment to individual needs), MNT informed Clinician (Collaborates on nutrition guidance), Prescriber (Manages medication adjustments), Metabolic Health Coach (Facilitates dietary & lifestyle changes)
Do you treat patients with mental health issues?
Yes, I'm a mental health professional., Yes, I'm a prescriber comfortable adjusting psychiatric medications.
Medical conditions:
General metabolic health, Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia, Mental Health: Binge Eating, Addiction, Substance Use Disorders, Mental Health: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Mental Health: Anorexia Nervosa, Mental Health: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mental Health: Stress Management
Medical Nutrition Therapies
Therapeutic nutrition, evidence-based
Metabolic Interventions (in addition to nutrition)
Sleep, Movement, exercise, nature, Managing stress, Reducing harmful substances, Circadian rhythms, Mindfulness, emotions, thoughts, Relationships, experiences, purpose
Psychiatry / Psychotherapy
Metabolic Multiplier teams (volunteer)
Other projects
Which states are you licensed / active in?

Dr. Palmer is the Director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Palmer has been pioneering the use of the ketogenic diet and its applications in psychiatry.

  • Focused on treatment-resistant mental illnesses including mood, psychotic, and personality disorders.
  • Treatment includes psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and complementary and alternative treatments.
  • Published case studies, pilot clinical trials, and is actively conducting research in this area.

Book - Brain Energy: A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Understanding Mental Health

Mitochondrial dysfunction or dysregulation ties everything that we already know about #mental & #metabolic disorders together in a coherent way. #Mitochondria affect development of the brain, the expression of different genes, synapse formation + destruction, + brain activity.

Source: Chris Palmer MD's tweet 12/7/22

  • Brain Energy.com
    • "Mental disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain."
    • "Palmer also sheds light on the new treatment pathways this theory opens up—which apply to all mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, alcoholism, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia."
  • Healthy mitochondria drive mental and metabolic health.
  • Behavioral and nutritional interventions that improve mitochondrial health improve mental & metabolic health.  Examples: Improving sleep, physical activity, relationships, purpose in life, mindfulness, correcting nutrient deficiencies and real food. Reducing harmful substances, chronic stress, sugar & ultra-processed foods. Taken together these are also referred to as lifestyle interventions.
  • Serious, treatment-resistant conditions, depression, and psychosis can benefit from therapeutic nutritional ketosis from medical ketogenic diet therapies (high in saturated-fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrates).
  • The hard work of lifestyle interventions unlikely to be replaced with a pill. Supplements and pharmacology can be life saving.  Tailor interventions to each patient's bio-individuality.
  • Published November 2022. Recommend the hard cover or audio book.  The Kindle version had some complaints about line breaks.  The hard cover gives access to a well researched bibliography for each chapter.  The audio book is read by the author and there are no charts or figures which you'll miss out on.

Podcasts with Dr. Chris Palmer summarizing Brain Energy

Articles by Chris Palmer

  • for Charlie Foundation and his Psychology Today column, Advancing Psychiatry
  • Medical Journals
  • Articles about Dr. Palmer's work

Other Video & Audio


Winner of a prestigious Metabolic Mind grant in fall 2022

Dr. Palmer's clinician directory

Therapeutic Ketogenic Dietitians (TKD) 

Related sources

Metabolic psychiatry experts (In addition to Dr. Palmer)

Training for practitioners

Related blog posts from Metabolic Multiplier

  • Dr. Christopher Palmer, MD


Highly recommend reading (or listening to) Chris's book - Brain Energy

Candy Richardson | December 8, 2022
Cecile Seth | November 9, 2022
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