You know the saying, “I feel it in my gut”? Well, turns out there might be more truth to that then you think.
Scientists have been studying the fascinating connection between the gut and the brain and how our mood is very much dependent on both what we consume and the state of our microbiome. You guys know I love to talk gut health from this Comprehensive Guide to Probiotics I wrote, but Today I wanted to dive a little deeper into the mental benefits to taking a good quality probiotic supplement.
Your microbiome is the diverse ecology of bacteria living in your digestive tract, skin, mouth, hair – literally everywhere! The more diverse the bacteria are in our bodies, the better off we are. Think of your microbiome like a flourishing garden.
There is strength and resilience in diversity.
The more diverse the bacterial strains inside of you, the readier you are to fight off illness, the better your digestion is and the reason we’re all here today – your MOOD improves!
HAPPINESS AND GUT HEALTH
Having lots of good bacteria in our GI tracts is like having a little army of living microorganisms on our side. Specifically, when it comes to mood, 95% of your happy neurotransmitter (serotonin) is produced in your gut. When we have a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in our guts, we are more able to produce serotonin and feel happier, more blissful and more motivated.
ANXIETY AND GUT HEALTH
In a study done on 45 patients between the ages of 18-45, they were given either a probiotic or a placebo every day for three weeks. After the three weeks had passed, they ran computer tests assessing how the participants processed emotional information. They found that the group who took the probiotic experienced less anxiety when confronted with negative stimuli. Further, when subjects were tested for cortisol (a stress hormone which has been linked to anxiety and depression) they found that those who had taken the probiotic tested with lower levels of cortisol.
PROBIOTICS: BRAIN FOOD FOR YOUR MOOD
Taking a good quality probiotic supplement has helped many of my clients (and myself) improve not just their digestion but also their mood! I have often suggested that a client start taking a probiotic for digestive reasons and weeks later they come back to me expressing surprise that they feel happier and less anxious. This is all to say, this stuff works.
My only issue with probiotics is that not all supplements are created equal. When tested, 95% of probiotic brands (which made bold claims about billions of bacterial strains) were found to be ineffective. It turned out that all the bacteria died before they even reached the gut! In my personal life and for my clients, I love the brand Silverfern as they have a guaranteed 100% survival rate. They are also DNA verified which means that this probiotic works to help replenish your microbiome garden permanently and helps your body continue to produce good bacteria on its own.
Silverfern has been studied to:
- Help digestive issues and food tolerance
- Decrease gas/bloating and improve regularity in the bathroom
- Help rebalance the microbiome after antibiotics
- Help with the treatment of IBS, Crohn’s and Colitis,
- Reduce inflammation
- Support nutrient absorption
- Improve immune responses and reduce allergies
However, my favourite benefit of all of them is this one: it helps acidify the digestive tract to support the growth of good bacteria. THIS is what you should expect out of your probiotic supplement – one that aims to help your body work well on its own rather than a supplement that just aims to get you hooked and keep taking your $$. I love this because it means that your body is being given the tools to keep that garden flourishing; to keep pumpin’ that serotonin and decreasing that cortisol to keep you happy, healthy, and anxiety-free.