Gut Microbiome and Mental Health: Impact of Gut Microbiome On Your Mental Health

April 28, 2021
Gut Microbiome and Mental Health

A gut microbiome is a group of trillions of bacterial cells found mainly in your colon. Your colon is responsible for absorbing nutrients into the body and is also directly connected to the brain. Therefore patients with various psychiatric illnesses such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder show significant differences in the structure of their gut microbiome.

Can gut bacteria cause mental illness?

The very idea that microbial metabolites can interact with your mind and therefore impact your feelings and behavior is intriguing. However, according to data published in Nature Microbiology, researchers believe that specific gut bacteria in your stomach can produce certain compounds that can interact with the brain that may cause mental health issues like depression, anxiety, etc.

How does the microbiome affect the brain?

Our intestinal walls have trillions of microbiomes that interact with and absorb all the molecules we ingest. They take up the nutrients and then pump out many new chemicals. The whole process functions like an ecosystem itself that is relatively stable yet diverse.

Studies have further revealed that your microbiome may interact with our nervous system and release specific molecules that can sometimes make their way to the brain. Even though further research is needed to understand how the brain and gut are linked, researchers suggest that their findings might ultimately lead to neuropsychiatric disorders treatment.

Is gut health linked to anxiety?

There is increasing evidence proving that gut microbiota is directly linked to both gastrointestinal diseases and extragastrointestinal diseases. For example, dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been found to cause several mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.

How do you starve bad gut bacteria?

The only way to ensure good gut health is to starve the harmful gut bacteria. For this, you will have to make some good lifestyle changes and make the right food choices. Some ways to do so include:

  • Ensure a diet of whole, nutrient-rich, high-quality foods.
  • Eat more fiber.
  • Avoid the foods that feed harmful bugs.
  • Increase your fermented food intake.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Sleep better.
  • Eliminate stress.

 Why is gut health linked to mental health?

Scientists like Dr. Michael Gershon, the father of neurogastroenterology, strictly believe that we all have a second brain in our gut. He precisely states that there is two-way communication between our gut and the brain. Our intestine wall has over a hundred million nerve cells. Therefore, upsetting the bacteria in this area with a poor diet, antibiotics, and a toxic environment, can naturally cause us to experience a neuropsychiatric effect that significantly influences our mental health.

Is depression linked to gut health?

New studies conducted in this area have presented evidence showing certain bacteria living in the human gut might trigger depression. In this study conducted among over 2,100 people, those who are depressed showed changes in certain groups of gut bacteria. In contrast, people with better mental wellbeing showed higher concentrations of certain other gut bacteria. Therefore, your gut health is linked to depression.

How the microbiome influence anxiety and depression?

New studies show that bacteria, including probiotics, commensal, and pathogenic bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract, can trigger neural pathways and central nervous system signaling systems that may cause anxiety and depression.

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