Probiotics and Depression…can taking them help?
This post contains some important information on probiotics and depression, but first, did you know you actually have two nervous systems? One, the central nervous system consists of your brain and your spinal cord; the other is the intrinsic nervous system which exists in your gastrointestinal tract.
While we have always believed our brain to be running the show, it turns out that our gut is actually sending more data to our brain than the other way around. The information is sent via the vagus nerve which runs from the brain stem down into the abdomen.
Toxic stomach bacteria, linked to depression can be “overruled” by the good bacteria provided by a probiotic. Taking a daily probiotic has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and in the brain, and inflammation has been linked not only to disease and premature aging, but to depression, Alzheimers and dementia!
I find this information tremendously empowering. Just think! You may be able to alleviate or even control your anxiety and depression simply by improving the flora in your gut. Improving your gut bacteria allows stronger signals to be transmitted to your brain. Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter explains, “The microbiota living within the intestines play a large role in creating the various neurotransmitters that have a significant effect on mood, and these include chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.”
Dr. Perlmutter continues, “…the probiotic intervention could be looked upon as representing an actual medical treatment. Imagine that, giving bacteria to treat mood disorders!”
This is wonderful information, but as I always caution, it’s not a free pass to take a daily biotic and go out for your fast food fix. The best route is always to modify your diet to nix the simple carbs, processed foods and sugar and instead eat fresh whole fruits and vegetables and a moderate amount of lean protein.
My depression has not reared its ugly self for about 3 years now (since I switched to my clean eating diet), but I’m planning on adding a probiotic to my daily vitamins starting now! Here’s a link for you to the Jarrow Probiotic I’ve taken in the past and will begin taking again!
Helping you achieve Major Wellness in your life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC