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Probiotics for gut AND mental health

Wednesday, 6 November 2019  |  Editor

Health Gut means healthy mind

Many people now know the importance of a healthy gut for their physical well-being but now we're beginning to discover that it supports mental health as well.

Have you experienced butterflies in the stomach; are you making more trips to the bathroom during moments of stress? If so you probably already knows the gut and the brain are inextricably linked. What happens in one has been shown to affect the other. 

Mental well-being is seen as increasingly important to overall health, allowing better management of stress and anxiety. It’s no surprise that more and more people want to find food or beverages that can support their brain health.

One in four consumers are taking probiotics to support their cognitive health and 60% of them agree that feeling emotionally stable is part of having a healthy lifestyle.

Right across the globe, people are unhappy with their health and wellness and are seeking products that offer genuine nutritional value and it is expected that they will become even more conscious of their well-being in the future, especially with growing research into how gut bacteria affects the brain and body.

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.

Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to kill harmful bacterial infections. We also use antibacterial soaps and lotions more than ever. 

The wrong bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems, but the right bacteria in the right place can have benefits. 

This is where probiotics come in. Probiotics are live microorganisms designed to help prevent and treat many illnesses by promoting a healthy digestive tract AND a healthy immune system. These are also commonly known as friendly, good, or healthy bacteria because they fight the bad bacteria inhabiting our bodies. Probiotics can be supplied through foods, beverages, and dietary supplements though 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.

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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