How Healthy Gut Contributes to Healthy Brain

The connection between the gut and the brain has been a widely-discussed topic in recent years, with so many people complaining of gastrointestinal issues often related to stress.

The benefits of fermented foods and the probiotics they offer us is a hot topic among health fanatics. The medical science has been delving deeply into this topic too, with an interesting recent study showing the effects of good gut health on depression symptoms.good-gut-health

Scientists from the gastroenterology department of McMaster University have recently released a report of their new findings on the topic of depression and probiotics. The study involved 44 adults, all of whom suffered from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and all of whom experienced anxiety or depression. The group was split into two, with one group taking a daily dose of probiotic, and the other group taking a placebo. After ten weeks, they were interviewed about how they were feeling in terms of their psychological state.

The adults taking the probiotic experienced a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, with 64% of them feeling better after 6 weeks. The participants weren’t just interviewed, they were scientifically tested. An fMRI (the test which shows activity and changes in the body and brain) was conducted and it showed that there were positive changes in the mood-control compartments in the brain.

This study from McMaster University, published in the journal Gastroenterology in May 2017, confirms that the health of the gut has direct influences on our mental health. This means that we can become actively involved in our gut and brain health by being selective about the foods and supplements we eat.

IBS is an extremely common syndrome that affects many people, with symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain and, as we know now, depression and anxiety. As the study confirms, taking a regular dose of probiotics can help to heal the gut and in turn improve brain function, which will decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

How to increase probiotics in our diet?
– Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh and kombucha.

– By choosing a yogurt or kefir high in probiotics, you can really increase the good bacteria in your gut, easing a range of IBS and psychological symptoms.

– Choose a high-quality probiotic supplement to take as an addition to your diet.

In summary
Scientists at McMaster University have confirmed the benefits of probiotics on the relation between gut and psychological health. Their recent findings have shown that regular doses of probiotics help change the mood-controlling sections of the brain that determine depression and anxiety symptoms. Those with IBS and other gastrointestinal issues are likely to experience depression and anxiety, so a diet high in probiotics can help to decrease these symptoms.