How Gut Bacteria Influences Our Mood

By on 04/08/2015
Gut bacteria can affect our moods, anxiety and well becing.

Probiotics, prebiotics, gut bacteria and flora are all words that until recently weren’t that popular in everyday conversation.

But now they are all the rage. Why?

Numerous new studies have found that our intestinal flora (aka gut bacteria) is actually an amazingly beautiful, complicated and important world full of millions of different types of bacteria, and each person’s “flora world” is as unique as their thumb print. So why do we care about this microscopic ecosystem within our gut? Because we now know that it has direct links to our health. If the bacterium in our gut isn’t balanced, our immune system is compromised and we are vulnerable to a number of viruses, diseases and other health problems. However, those who feed their gut with pre and probiotics, which encourage the growth of the “good” bacteria, have strengthened immune systems, stronger bodies and healthier digestion.
Additionally, research is proving that there is also a direct correlation between our gut bacteria and our mental health!

Recently, neurobiologists from Oxford University found a direct link between gut bacteria and anxiety in humans. They found that prebiotic supplements alter the way a person’s brain processes emotions in a positive way, reducing the amount of anxiety suffered.
Additionally, a study conducted at UCLA found that women who take probiotics showed altered brain function while resting as well as while performing an emotional task, again resulting in less stress.Finally, an over-seas study in Ireland reported that, “Those who received the probiotic combination [of L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum for 30 days] reported less psychological distress and showed reduced levels of urinary cortisol. “ Cortisol is a hormone that is released when one feels large amounts of stress or anxiety, therefore a lower level is indicative of reduced stress.

So what should you take? Prebiotics or probiotics? The answer is both.

Probiotics are live bacteria that live in yogurt, dairy and supplements. They are delicate and require proper processing and handling in order to stay alive and active. These bacteria, once in the gut, colonize and help regulate any imbalances that may be present. Prebiotics are a special kind of dietary fiber that nourish the healthy bacteria that already live in your gut. They are more shelf-stable and easier to manufacture.

Currently, the market seems to be split with companies offering either a prebiotic supplement, or a probiotic supplement. However, those on the cutting edge of this discovery have realized the benefits in combining both into one pill, just like Naturae Vita’s Bioflorathin, which is packed full of the most proven strands of probiotics as well as the most effective prebiotics.
Taking both pre and probiotics is the equivalent of adding new sod to a dead lawn and then fertilizing it regularly to make sure it grows in fast and stays full and healthy. In fact, many researchers, doctors and other mental-health professionals predict that in the near future, a combination of prebiotics and probiotics will be prescribed to patients struggling with depression and anxiety.

While new connections between our brain and our gut are being discovered while you read this, it’s worth noting that there are already thousands of studies proving the effectiveness in pre/probiotics for physical health, including: regulating digestion, calming IBS, increasing metabolism, fighting diabetes, helping with weight loss, increasing urinary tract health, reducing bloating, and increasing the immune system.

Take this informative quiz to learn even more about the importance of pre/probiotics and see if you exhibit any of the symptoms of having an imbalanced gut.

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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