The gut microbiome is a diverse ecosystem of bacteria that resides in our large intestine. It has been shown to have many important roles, including aiding digestion and playing a role in immune function. But how does it affect your mood? And can probiotics make you unhappy?
In this blog post, we explore how probiotics affect your microbiome and mood, and provide tips for incorporating probiotics into your daily routine. Keep reading to learn more!
As a health-conscious person, you are likely aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome. You may also be familiar with probiotics, which are microorganisms that support gut health. But what you may not know is that probiotics can also impact your mood.
Do probiotics help with mood?
One study found that after healthy people took high doses of probiotics for 30 days, they had increased levels of depression scores on their psychological tests. This suggests that the overgrowth of good bacteria from taking too many probiotics may be responsible for lowered moods.
Another study found no difference in mood between those who took a placebo or Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which is one type of beneficial microbe commonly used as a probiotic supplement. These studies are still adding to the conversation on whether your gut bacteria can positively or negatively affect your mood.
The microbiome is constantly changing. This means there are many ways it could potentially harm or improve you, depending on what’s happening in your environment at any given time. For example, stress has been found to be a major factor in altering the microbiome. But how can your mental health change your gut microbiome?
Does stress affect your microbiome?
One of the most significant ways that mood affects our microbiome is through stress. Stress can often lead to an inflammatory response in the body, which has been shown to cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems. These include leaky gut syndrome, where food particles and bacteria escape from the intestines into the bloodstream.
This can cause a decrease in the beneficial bacteria and an increase in the harmful bacteria. If this becomes severe, it can result in increased levels of inflammation throughout the body, which has been linked to depression.
There could also be a link between stress and leaky gut syndrome that affects mood. Some studies have found that those who suffer from anxiety and depression have a higher risk of gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Research is still being done on this topic to discover if leaky gut syndrome causes anxiety and depression, or if there could be another factor involved.
The microbiome has been found to affect mood in other ways as well. For example, some researchers believe that the microbiome may be involved in the expression of neurotransmitters, which is how brain cells communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are responsible for our moods and emotional responses.
Probiotics and the Gut-Brain Axis
One area of research suggests that neurotransmitter levels could be affected by probiotics. In a study on mice, it was found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus caused an increase in GABA receptor expression.
GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a neurotransmitter that regulates anxiety and depression. What does this mean for humans? The study still has to be replicated to determine the effects on human brains, but it could suggest probiotics can affect mood in some way.
Tips for incorporating probiotics into your daily routine
Adding probiotics to your daily routine is a great way to improve your overall health. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut healthy and functioning properly. There are many different ways to add probiotics to your diet, and today we will discuss some of the best methods.
One easy way to get probiotics is by eating fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Fermented foods are packed with beneficial bacteria, and they taste great too.
If you don’t like fermented foods, you can also take a probiotic supplement. Look for a brand that has a variety of different strains of bacteria so that you get the most benefit from them, but be prepared to experiment with both strength and brand to find one that sits comfortably within your gut.
And lastly, another great way to get probiotics is through a daily drink. Orange juice, kombucha, and kefir are all great choices for a healthy breakfast while sipping on a probiotic smoothie is a tasty way to start the day.
What are the takeaways from all of this?
It’s likely that probiotics can affect mood in some way, but it’s not entirely clear how or why. Future research will determine what exactly is at play here, and to what extent an imbalance in gut bacteria could cause psychiatric symptoms.
For now, to maintain a healthy microbiome it’s important to reduce stress, support your immune system through proper nutrition, and eat foods that promote good gut bacteria like yogurt.
Maintaining a healthy microbiome is important for overall health. Probiotics play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut flora, which can affect mood and other aspects of health. It’s important to understand how probiotics work and how they might benefit you.
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