In recent years, the connection between your gut health and your mood and behavior has become increasingly clear—so much so that some scientists are starting to consider probiotics (beneficial bacteria) as a potential alternative to antidepressant medications .
For instance, the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has been shown to normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice. Research published in 2011 also demonstrated that probiotics can have a direct effect on brain chemistry, thereby improving feelings of anxiety or depression. There's also a wealth of evidence showing intestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases.
In a very real sense, you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression, and suppressing aggression, is actually found within your intestines, not your brain. The implications are particularly significant in our current era of rampant depression and emotional “malaise.”
There’s compelling evidence suggesting that improving your gut health is a very important component, if not the key, to successfully addressing depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to do this is to add traditionally fermented or cultured foods to your daily diet. To learn more about your gut-brain connection, and how probiotics may help you improve your mental health, please review my previous article, “Are Probiotics the New Prozac?
According to the authors in the featured study, “disgust”
was the emotion that was most strongly felt in the gut.
Fear, anxiety, and shame also generated a felt impact in
this area. All four of these emotions are generally felt by
those experiencing depression, and I’m not surprised to
see a strong connection between these emotions and
Stress Takes a Heavy Toll on Your Gut