The gut-Brain connection has been making headlines for the last few years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
According to gut health experts, The Mac Twins, ‘your brain and gut are physically connected and communicate through the vagus nerve, which is like the M25 and runs from your brain all the way through to your gut – this nerve controls mood, immune response, digestion and even your heart rate.’
A recent study published in Nature Microbiology took a look at the microbiomes of about 1,000 that had been clinically diagnosed with depression.
Results showed lower levels of two specific types of bacteria across the board (when compared to healthy controls). Not to mention those on antidepressants STILL had reduced levels of these important bacteria, which only serves to highlight the link between bacteria levels and our minds.
While past studies connecting gut health to mental health were for the most part tested on animals, this is the first time we’ve seen a clear link with humans— a BIG piece of news that solidifies existing thoughts.
Although this is the largest connecting gut bacteria with depression in humans, the researchers have underlined the CORRELATIONAL nature of these results. The plan is to undertake further studies by isolating and culturing more specific bacteria, in a bid to see how their effects on humans play out.
According to the Mac Twins, when you think about the scientific facts, it’s really no surprise: ‘the bacteria in your gut influence the chemical messages sent to your brain to control how you feel (neurotransmitters). If you don’t produce enough or too much of a neurotransmitter, this can affect your mental health.’
Not to mention that around 90% of serotonin (your happy neurotransmitter) is produced in your gut and some of this is made by your gut bacteria! Low serotonin levels have been linked with depression..
As the Mac Twins make known, ‘what’s incredible is that you CAN change the make up of your gut bacteria through small changes to your diet, such as including more fibre, and this can have a big impact on your mood.’
Your take home? Gut health is VITAL. Not just for those suffering with their mental health, but for anyone and everyone looking to take care of their health for the long run— from energy levels to optimal digestion