Dr. Kassam Probiotics and Mood Support
Probiotics & Mood Support
Statistics Canada estimates that 1 in 5 Canadians lives with a mental illness, affecting people of all ages, genders, and cultures. With mental health being such a huge part of one’s overall health and wellness, finding ways to support it has become a priority. The Gut-Brain Connection is a hot research topic when it comes to optimizing mental health. CRAZY isn’t it? To even think that our body has so many wonderful mechanisms in place to make sure we are all functioning at our best!
Let’s take a closer look at how the brain and gut communicate and how we can optimize their connection. Information is sent between the brain and gut through the Vagus nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. So, if one is not functioning well, it can impact the other. They can talk to each other in a couple of different ways:
Now the hope is, if we can optimize the gut environment we can influence that gut-brain connection and ultimately manage mental health illnesses. There is lots of research looking at the impact of diet and increasing specific vitamins and minerals on mental health. Making sure to incorporate enough fiber, protein and healthy fats in the diet can help to provide the body with what it needs to carry out its daily functions. While a healthy microbiome can contribute to a good mood, an unhealthy one that is full of Candida (yeast) can contribute to mental health conditions. We know that certain comfort foods like; ice cream can make us feel good in the moment. This is completely behavioural. In fact, these foods only make it harder on our GI tract to do their job of making the right hormones. There is also research that probiotics may boost mood and cognitive function while lowering stress and anxiety.1
Probiotics are able to improve mental health in a couple of ways:
So the moral of the story is the brain and the gut to talk to each other! Several studies show evidence for reduced feelings of anxiety and depression after supplementing with probiotics, thus confirming the link between the digestive tract and the brain1,2. A daily good quality probiotic can help to replenish your gut with the bacteria it needs to thrive so it can carry out its daily actions. Probiotics can do more than just improve our gut, vaginal and urinary health, they can also enhance brain health!
The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.
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