Jul 26 2015

Is your Gut the Key to your Anxiety and Depression?

Published by at 10:35 am under probiotic supplements

Feeling depressed or anxious? Check your gut!
The gut- brain connection may hold answers to why we have feelings of depression and anxiety.

 

“Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,” says Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, lead author of a study conducted at UCLA. The study focused on women who consumed probiotics regularly for three weeks then scanned their brains to see how it affected their brain function in a resting state as well as while performing an emotion-recognition task. They found subtle signs that the brain circuits involved in anxiety were less reactive.

 

We know the gut is at the center of all systems in our body, and because it is often referred to as the Second Brain, researchers are starting to believe that an unhealthy gut could be at the core of depression and anxiety.1,2*

 

Previous research has shown that altered gut bacteria in mice can result in “anxiety-reducing effects”1. A study was conducted at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in which the gut bacteria of anxious mice were replaced with gut bacteria from fearless mice. “The mice became less anxious, more gregarious,” according to Stephen Collins, who led the research team. 2*

 

There is a new study examining this same premise in humans. Promising new research has come out of Oxford University, which shows early evidence of a connection between gut bacteria and mental health in humans. “…Researchers found that supplements designed to boost healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (“prebiotics”) may have an anti-anxiety effect insofar as they alter the way that people process emotional information…. “1*

 

Their study involved 45 healthy adults aged 18 to 45 who took a prebiotic (food for friendly bacteria) or a placebo every day for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, they completed several tests assessing how emotional information was processed including “positive and negatively charged words.”1* They found that those who had taken the prebiotic paid less attention to negative information and more attention to the positive than those in the placebo group. They had less anxiety when viewing negative situations or information. They likened the effects of the prebiotic use to that observed when people had taken antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication.1*

 

Additionally, those who took the prebiotics, had lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone which is linked to anxiety and depression.1*

 

The gut, our powerful second brain, is at the center of the body, both literally and figuratively. It is connected to the brain by the vagus nerve, which is believed to run from the gut to the brain, not the other way around. The importance of keeping our gut healthy continues to be realized more and more through science and research. It is so important to address what is at the core of our health…a healthy microbiome which results in a healthy immune system, and according to mounting research, a healthier brain as well. Taking care of your microbiome through healthy organic foods, minimal exposure to antibiotics, plenty of exercise and supplementing with BODY BIOTICS™ BIO-IDENTICAL SBO PROBIOTICS CONSORTIA™, will keep your health on a good track and help you to avoid prescriptions and medications that merely mask symptoms and oftentimes can lead to other problems, which require more medication…and the cycle continues.*

 

Clinical depression and anxiety are very serious conditions and replacing anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications with Probiotics is not what we are suggesting. But, this research highlights and holds a possible key to alleviating these conditions through a good clean diet, and cleaning up the microbiome. More studies will most certainly be on the horizon and we all should keep an eye out for new developments in this intriguing area of research. Stay positive!

 

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

Resources:

  1. http://1.http://www.huggingtonpost.com/2015/01/04/gut-bacteria-mental-healt_n_6391014.html
  2. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/11/18/244526773/gut-bacteria-might-guide-the-workings-of-our-minds
  3. http://www.livescience.com/49248-gut-bacteria-mental-health.html   


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