Your Gut Bacteria and Mental Health:
Gut Bacteria and Mental Health: The gut microbiome has been called the second brain of the body, and you wouldn’t be far off in thinking that it must be pretty important if that’s true. So what exactly does this second brain do? Why are scientists so interested in studying it? What does this have to do with your mental health and cognitive functioning?
This article will take you through some of the more surprising discoveries scientists have made about the microbiome and how it can impact the way your brain works.
What is Mycotoxin?
Mycotoxins are harmful compounds produced by molds that can be found on a variety of foods. Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium and Rhizopus molds can all produce mycotoxins. Some of these molds naturally grow on certain foods such as grains or nuts but often they are introduced during harvesting or storage when food becomes damp.
Ingesting mycotoxins through food causes adverse effects including brain damage as it is digested inside your body. Any person with leaky gut syndrome should avoid mycotoxin exposure at all costs to prevent further worsening of their symptoms.
Depression as a Brain Disease
Scientists have long assumed that a person’s mental health is determined by their brain alone. However, research has shown that there is a healthy bacteria (called probiotics) in your gut that plays an important role in how you think and feel.
In fact, it’s been shown to improve mental health, as well as decrease your chances of developing depression! Learn about how probiotics positively impact mental health so you can live a healthier, happier life!
What You Eat Affects Your Brain
Research is beginning to show that, just as there are many causes of obesity, there may be multiple paths that lead to changes in brain chemistry. And how you respond to those chemical changes can be influenced by your microbes—and even potentially modulated by them.
One study showed that when intestinal microbes from lean mice were transferred into mice whose microbes had been wiped out with antibiotics, it prevented weight gain, says Dr. Miller. In another study conducted at UCLA, researchers found evidence of brain inflammation after feeding mice a high-fat diet compared with a healthy diet—even though their caloric intake was similar.
Is There A Way To Lower Anxiety Without Medication?
A lot of people with anxiety turn to medication as a solution, but before you do that it’s important to explore other options. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture and supplements can all be effective at reducing anxiety symptoms. Find an approach that works for you—and most importantly: stick with it! It’s not uncommon for people to start off strong but then give up after a few weeks because they were expecting immediate results.
Be patient! What worked for you last month may not be enough next month or even tomorrow.But if you stay consistent, your hard work will pay off. Studies show that neuroplasticity plays a huge role in managing mental health issues—meaning there is no reason your brain can’t physically adapt itself to reduce anxiety symptoms over time.
Probiotics, mycobacterium vaccae and anti-inflammatory properties
Probiotics are bacteria that help keep your gut microbiome healthy, but their benefits have been understudied until recently. This year, researchers published a study in which they gave people with major depressive disorder a daily probiotic pill or placebo for four weeks; afterward, those who took probiotics had a significant reduction in symptoms compared to baseline.
The antidepressant effect was greater among those with severe depression at baseline than among those with moderate symptoms. The researchers did note that changes to gut bacteria tend to be less pronounced among people without severe depression—so if you’re not severely depressed, you may still benefit from regular probiotic use even if it doesn’t reduce symptoms as drastically as it does for those who are depressed.
Does gut bacteria help improve anxiety?
It is well known that a poor diet can trigger anxiety or depression. The happy neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a crucial role in mood control, is produced by gut bacteria. A study published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility showed that patients who suffered from anxiety had less diverse gut bacteria than people without anxiety issues.
The researchers took faecal samples from healthy volunteers and transplanted them into rats prone to anxiety. The rats with human gut bacteria developed symptoms of anxiety. On testing their faeces, it was found that these rats had an absence of key gut microbes, indicating that changes in our gut microbiome may be linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Our health is directly affected by our internal microbiome. Good bacteria can help prevent or alleviate a host of diseases and disorders. Researchers have now found a correlation between gut bacteria and mental health problems. like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dementia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others.
How to improve your gut bacteria? Eat healthy food! Experts recommend eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, nuts and seeds instead of relying on processed foods. In other words: eat real food – not too much – most of the time.