Researchers Uncover Connection Between Gut Health and Mood


By Kristen Anderson

We have all heard the old adage “you are what you eat”, but science is discovering even more of a connection between our digestive tract and our overall health.

Commonly referred to as “gut health”, the gut microbiota, which consist of trillions of microbes, may influence more than bowel regularity and metabolism. These bacterium make up a 6-pound ecosystem inside of every human and produce hormones, communicate directly with our brain via the vagus nerve, and can even produce neurochemicals which influence behavior. Stomach bacteria and mood are connected in ways we never knew before, and scientists are racing to learn more about this fascinating discovery.

A team of Norwegian scientists recently found significant correlation between certain bacteria and symptoms of depression. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome have been found to have significantly higher instances of anxiety and depression. Even individuals with autism are more likely to suffer from digestive problems. By improving our gut health, we may be able to get a handle on a host of somatic and mental health symptoms.

It has been suggested that gut microbes have as powerful of an effect on the brain as psychiatric drugs. Millions of patients are prescribed drugs every year to address somatic and emotional symptoms who might be better treated by simply improving gut health.


There are good and bad bacteria in your gut. Certain foods feed the good bacteria and others feed the bad. Good bacteria are often called probiotics. You can eat certain foods to feed probiotics and you can also take probiotic supplements to increase your probiotic population. When you have too many bad bacteria, you become sick and an antibiotic can kill the bad bacteria that is causing you problems. But antibiotics also kill the good bacteria, which can create a host of negative side effects including decreased mood.

There are 4 simple things that you can do to improve your gut health:

  1. remove artificial sweeteners from your diet
  2. eat living food
  3. exercise
  4. take a good probiotic daily

When your gut is unhealthy, it can disturb your brain and cause mood instability. Common diagnoses for unstable mood are depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. Might these disorders be better treated with a probiotic and a daily dose of exercise instead of dangerous psych drugs that have multiple side effects? Even if you do not have a diagnosed mood disorder, might you be able to boost your mood by eating more live food and taking a high quality probiotic

References

Kristen Anderson writes for Activist Post


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7 Comments on "Researchers Uncover Connection Between Gut Health and Mood"

  1. All the probiotics in the world wont do didley if your gut is full of GMO;s!

    • Yvonne Forsman | July 6, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Reply

      GMO crops, and also non GMO crops, are treated with the herbicide glyphosate which destroys the good gut bacteria, leading to disease. Fermented veggies and fermented dairy build good bacteria. GMO’s are definitely not good for our health.

      • You are right. Many crops it’s used as a desiccant too. The poisons will be mixed into what ever it is, sugar, wheat, etc. At least the foods done in the old new conventional way can still get washed off. Lots of drugs and vaccines are GMO too.

  2. We don’t eat living food per se. You should probably say fresh food instead.

    • Yvonne Forsman | July 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Reply

      The living food label comes from the Raw Food movement. They grow sprouts like alfalfa sprouts, lentil sprouts, mungbean sprouts and other. A salad may be called fresh food but it is not a living food b/c it roots have been cut so there is no continuous energy coming into it anymore, it is not growing anymore. Sprouts on the other hand are truly alive, they continue to grow even in a container in the fridge. So that’s the difference.

      • Yes I agree something like sprouts, which can be alive and growing when consumed, would be live food. But what about the other 99.99% of our diets? We pick it, we dig it up, , we kill and butcher, we eat it raw or cook it the way we’ve done for a million years. We need fresh, nutritious, and safe food.

  3. Anything that can help elevate our moods is a good thing!

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