Depression has been characterized as a “chemical imbalance” in the brain, but recently, it has been discovered that things are much more serious than that. The first one defines depression, but it does not address the causes of it, 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 the body’s bacteria
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 every cell in the body.
That is, genomes of bacteria and human gut viruses are believed to encode only 3.3 million genes. The intestine actually protects the entry of harmful pathogens into the bloodstream, which have entered the digestive tract.
Intestinal bacteria are crucial and found even in breast milk, and babies who are bottle fed lack these vital bacteria and are more likely to suffer from immune problems and allergies.
Bacteria are important in enhancing the effects of enzymes such as maltase, lactase, alkaline phosphatase, sucrase and alpha-glucosidase, and to metabolize cholesterol and triglycerides to maintain stable blood pressure.
This is the reason why, there are modern medical fecal transplants to reverse chronic problems, IBS, and inflammatory bowel disease. Intestinal bacteria stimulate the immune system, affect the brain and regulate the balance between health and illness.
Probiotics for Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
Experts from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, analyzed the results of 7 studies performed on more than 300 volunteers in order to estimate the beneficial effects of probiotics in the treatment of perception of stress, depression, and anxiety.
In his words:
“Interest in the intestinal axis and evidence that the intestinal microbiota may influence central nervous system function has led to the hypothesis that probiotic supplementation may have a positive effect on mood and psychological symptoms as Stress, depression and anxiety. ”
Their conclusion was that “meta-analysis showed that, supplementation with probiotics, resulted in a statistically significant improvement in psychological symptoms compared to placebo.”
Although his research revealed the potential benefits of probiotic treatments, there is, however, a need for more scientific research.
Some procedures by the National Academy of Sciences published an investigation that indicated that Lactobacillus rhamnose, a bacterium 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 probiotics in intestinal health
Now, some are probiotics, and some are probiotics. Neurobiologists from Oxford found that prebiotics have potent anti-anxiety effects because they change the way we process emotional information. Oxford neurobiologist Dr. Philip Burnet, lead author of the study, for 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 “foods” for the good bacteria that are already present in the intestine.
Taking or prebiotic eating, therefore, increases the number of all species of good bacteria in the gut, which theoretically will have greater beneficial effects than (the introduction) of a single species. ”
In this study 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 45 years, who received a prebiotic or placebo in a period of three weeks, and their mental state was analyzed through computer tests that processed the emotional information.
Participants who received a prebiotic group were found to be much less sensitive to negative information and experienced less anxiety than others.
In addition, saliva tests showed that they had reduced cortisol (a stress hormone related to anxiety and depression).
According to Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, lead author of the study: “Over and over we heard from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they began to experience problems with their gut. Our study shows that the bowel-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 striking 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 on board some yogurs) are building blocks needed 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 such as cortisol. Intestinal bacteria also play a vital role in regulating the immune system and the inflammatory response it can throw when things go wrong. Inflammation is now widely regarded as one of the underlying causes of depression. ”
Bowel health supports the health of the mind
Our mental health, which today is mostly affected by stress, depression and anxiety, is complex. As our diet is the basis of health, healthy dietary changes could be of great help in reducing the effects of these factors.
Therefore, to heal the bowel, 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, make sure you exercise regularly, control stress, sleep well, and after using antibiotics, replenish intestinal 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!