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Improving mental health with probiotics

Thursday, 21 January 2021  |  Editor

Health Gut means healthy mind

If you weren’t aware of how complex the relationship between gut and brain health actually is, you’re in for a surprise.

Te Corovirus pandemic has caused may people to be locked down without enough social contact thus often leading to depression and other mental health conditions.

It's not always good enough to simply try and "get yourself together". That's exactly what we do not feel like doing when depressed.

There are various ways to help. Obviously this can lead to the need for professional help but there are other things you can do. Exercise is obviously good because apart from the general health benefits it provides a period of time when you can focus on it rather than what is causing your depression.

"A health Body means a heathy Mind"

They say that a health body means a health mind. This is certainly true but did you know that GUT HEALTH influences our mood because of the vagus nerve, which provides two-way communication between the brain and gut. In effect, a healthy gut helps to provide a healthy mind  . . . and a healthy gut requires millions of friendly bacteria to fight against the unfriendly ones.

To demonstrate how taking care of our gut could benefit our mental health, a study was conducted using a number of participants who struggle with low mood. Half of the group took a placebo, and half took a probiotic supplement. Neither group knew which ones they were taking. Those taking the probiotic felt a significant improvement in mood  . .   and an improvement in mood is likely to lead to you being more active, improving mood still further.

As stated above, probiotics have an important role to play because they are so important for gut health.

With the brain and gut so connected by the nervous system research has uncovered how changes to the all-important gut microbiome can affect people emotionally, physically and behaviourally. This new understanding follows more than a decade of research into how gut bacteria affects the brain.

Knowing more about the two-way highway between the gut and brain makes it easier to understand that what we eat and drink can affect how we feel physically, emotionally and mentally. It also helps explain why stress can affect not just our brains, but our gut, gut microbes, and our immune and hormone systems, too.

How to get your probiotics and improve  your gut and brain health

Probiotics can be supplied through some foods, beverages, and dietary supplements. There are more gut bacteria in the human body than there are stars in the Milky Way and there are a 100 thousand million of those! That's why you should be careful about the level of probiotics that are purported to help in some foods, yoghurts and drinks as they are often woefully insufficient. Fortunately, probiotic specialists have worked long and hard to produce supplements like those used in the study above to provide enough friendly bacteria for good gut health. It usually takes between 4 days and 4-6 weeks for the improvement to show.

You can see all our probiotic supplements here. There all from top professional quality brands and from Optibac, who specialise only in probiotics. Look at them carefully. Some are just one a day, some 2. They can often be taken as powder, mixed with water or juice, as well as capsules. Pick what suits you best. But read the label, you should not take them with a hot drink, for example, which might well destroy the probiotics before they ever reaches your gut.

Prebiotics and probiotics

The prebiotic helps the probiotic. A prebiotic acts as food for the probiotics and bacteria in your gut.  The health benefits have been suggested to include acting as a remedy for gastrointestinal complications such as:

  • enteritis, 
  • constipation, 
  • irritable bowel disease; 
  • inflammation; 
  • treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • immune deficiency diseases. 

Research shows that the dietary intake of particular food products with a prebiotic, especially in adolescents, but also tentatively in postmenopausal women, increases calcium absorption as well as bone mineral density. 

The evidence of benefits for obesity and type 2 diabetes is growing because particular food products with prebiotics stabilise energy production, help regulate your desire to eat and therefore beneficially affect body weight gain.

Most of the prebiotics pass through the upper gut system without being digested and then nourish the beneficial bacteria that live there this making them stronger in the ongoing fight against bad bacteria. 

Our prebiotics and be seen here and probiotics here.

The  cost popular prebiotic is Biocare F.O.S and most populate probiotic is Lamberts Acidophilus Extra 10.

We also have one very high quality brand that concentrated solely on gut health: Optibac.

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