Depression has been characterized as a "chemical imbalance" in the brain, but recently, things have been found to be much more serious than that. The former defines depression, but does not refer to its causes, and scientists argue that they could be diverse, including chronic stress and inflammation. Another recent study has also found that intestinal problems could result in mood disorders and for that, it has been suggested that probiotics for stress, depression and anxiety could be a good solution.
Role of the intestine in relation to bacteria in the body
The belly contains 400 species of bacteria at the same time, and many others also live on the skin. These bacteria contain genes that outnumber those of all cells in the body.
That is, the genomes of bacteria and viruses in the human gut are only believed to encode 3.3 million genes. The intestine actually protects the entry of harmful pathogens into the bloodstream, which have managed to enter the digestive tract.
Gut bacteria are crucial and are even found in breast milk, and bottle-fed babies lack these vital bacteria and are more likely to suffer from immune problems and allergies.
Bacteria are important for enhancing the effects of enzymes such as maltase, lactase, alkaline phosphatase, sucrase, and alpha-glucosidase, and for metabolizing cholesterol and triglycerides to keep blood pressure stable
This is the reason why, there are modern medical fecal transplants to reverse chronic problems, IBS, and inflammatory bowel disease. Gut bacteria stimulate the immune system, affect the brain, and regulate the balance between health and disease.
Probiotics for stress, depression and anxiety
Experts from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, analyzed the results of 7 studies conducted on more than 300 volunteers in order to estimate the beneficial effects of probiotics in treating perceived stress, depression and anxiety.
In his words:
“Interest in the gut axis and the evidence that the gut microbiota can influence central nervous system function has led to the hypothesis that probiotic supplementation may have a positive effect on mood and psychological symptoms such as stress, depression and anxiety”.
Their conclusion was that "the meta-analysis showed that probiotic supplementation resulted in a statistically significant improvement in psychological symptoms compared to placebo."
Even though their research revealed the potential benefits of probiotic treatments, there is, however, a need for more scientific research.
Some Procedures of the National Academy of Sciences, published research that indicated that Lactobacillus rhamnosus , a bacteria found in yogurt, gave positive effects in the case of anxiety and depression in studies, and researchers contribute to its action on gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA).
Role of prebiotics in gut health
Now, some are probiotics, and others are prebiotics. Oxford neurobiologists found that prebiotics have powerful anti-anxiety effects as they change the way we process emotional information. Oxford neurobiologist Dr. Philip Burnet, lead author of the study, in an interview, said:
“Prebiotics are dietary fibers (not bacteria - short chains of sugar molecules) that good bacteria break down, and are used to multiply. Prebiotics are "food" for the good bacteria that are already present in the gut.
Taking or eating prebiotics therefore increases the number of all species of good bacteria in the gut, which will theoretically have greater beneficial effects than (the introduction) of a single species”.
In this study, 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45 participated, who received a prebiotic or a placebo over a period of three weeks, and their mental state was analyzed through computer tests that processed emotional information.
Participants who received a prebiotic group were found to be much less sensitive to negative information and experienced less anxiety than the others.
Furthermore, saliva tests showed that they had lowered cortisol (a stress hormone linked to anxiety and depression).
According to study lead author Dr. Kirsten Tillisch: “Over and over again we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut. Our study shows that the gut-brain connection is a two-way street. "
Psychology Today published the explanation of Ted Dinan, professor of psychiatry at University College Cork:
“There are three basic mechanisms underlying the amazing connection between these microorganisms and our own personalities that influence stress, depression and anxiety:
(1) Bacteria that live in the gut (or travel through it aboard some yogurts) are necessary building blocks in the production of neurochemicals there, such as serotonin and dopamine.
(2) That impact on neurochemicals, in turn, has an effect on the secretion of stress hormones like cortisol. The intestinal bacteria also play a vital role in regulating the immune system and inflammatory response that can throw when things go wrong. Inflammation is now widely regarded as one of the underlying causes of depression. "
Gut Health Supports Mental Health
Our mental health, which today is affected mostly by stress, depression and anxiety, is complex. Since our diet is the foundation of health, healthy dietary changes can go a long way in reducing the effects of these factors.
Therefore, to heal your gut, you should avoid sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, and increase your intake of nuts, fresh foods, vegetables, legumes, and some grains.
Eat probiotics, spices, and anti-inflammatory foods, and stay hydrated. Also, be sure to exercise regularly, manage stress, get a good night's sleep, and after using antibiotics, replenish gut bacteria
The following list contains foods and beverages that are rich sources of probiotics and prebiotics; Include them to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, if you have them:
· Sourdough bread
· Sour cream
· Cottage cheese
Therefore, stress, depression and anxiety can be controlled, prevented and treated with a little effort. Give the best of you!
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