It is pretty well known that probiotics can help improve your digestion, make your toilet experience a lot smoother, and help in boosting your immune system by fighting off harmful bacterias in your stomach. However, recent studies found that probiotics and our gut microbiome impact our mental health as well.
How Does Gut Health Affect Our Overall Health?
Microbes and humans live synergistically — Humans provide a host and a livable place for microbes to grow, and microbes help in digestion, produce chemicals that boost our immune system and mood, and help nutrient absorption.
Microbes start living with humans from birth. Yes, the literal birthing process is when microbes are being introduced to all human beings. The vaginal microbiota is rich and is quite similar to our gut’s microbiota. When a baby is born through the vagina, it is exposed to all the vaginal flora, establishing the first gut microbiota for the baby (1). However, babies with C-sections may have less exposure to microbiota; hence, researchers theorized that they have a weaker immune function. This does not mean that you have to give vaginal birth to have the “best” baby. It is all circumstantial on the mother’s condition.
Okay, so how does me coming out from a vagina help me have a better mood?
Well, your gut is more than just digesting and creating poop and pee for you every day. It is closely linked to your stomach and the rest of your body because it is filled with nerves. This is why researchers coined it as a second brain in our body.
How Do Probiotics And Gut Microbiome Affect Our Mental Health?
Our gut produces the same chemicals as our brains — such as serotonin and dopamine, which make you feel happy, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which can make you feel relaxed. About 90% of our serotonin is produced from our gut, making it the primary source of serotonin seconded by the brain. Hence, when our gut health is not good, it would affect our mental health (2). This puts the saying having butterflies in your stomach when you are anxious into better perspective because your mental health can directly impact your gut.
Aside from just mental health and your gut, more links can explain the gut-brain axis. For example, when we finish a meal, the stretching of our stomach, enzymes secreted, and byproducts of bacteria signal our brain, which suppresses appetite and creates a full feeling. That’s why it is suggested to wait around 15-20 minutes after a meal to know whether you are full from your dinner (3).
Gut Microbiome And Mood Disorders Regulation
So how does our gut microbiome affect our mental health? There is a direct and indirect influence on probiotics and mental health. When our gut health is imbalanced, it affects the chemicals produced. With probiotics and fibers’ (prebiotics) help, it could aid in maintaining and recovering a healthy gut, hence improving mood regulation (4). Additionally, bacteria and probiotics in our guts can release byproducts that can help in the production of serotonin and regulate the release of other hormones, reducing stress levels in our body.
Can Probiotics Supplement Help To Improve Mental Health Significantly?
The best example would be YourGutt’s Pre + Probiotic series, where our probiotic strains, Rosell-175, are scientifically proven to reduce stress and cortisol levels (5). In this research, 55 participants were given Rosell-175 probiotics and Rosell-52 probiotics for 30 days, and the study significantly reduced their anxiety and depression scores. Another similar research was conducted where their physiological symptoms of stress are measured and have decreased, especially abdominal pain and nausea (6).
This probiotic strain has undergone various research studies with patented technology used to ensure that the effect is delivered to you with 99% survivability as it can withstand heat up to 50°C.
- What is Gut Health and How to Improve it
- Postbiotics: Function & Early Life Nutrition
- What is it?: YourGutt Prebiotic, Probiotic, Postbiotic First in Malaysia & Asia.
- Ratsika, A., Codagnone, M., O’Mahony, S., Stanton, C., & Cryan, J. (2021). Priming for Life: Early Life Nutrition and the Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients, 13(2), 423. doi: 10.3390/nu13020423
- Probiotics may help boost mood and cognitive function – Harvard Health. (2021). Retrieved 22 October 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/probiotics-may-help-boost-mood-and-cognitive-function
- Murphy, K., & Bloom, S. (2004). Gut hormones in the control of appetite. Experimental Physiology, 89(5), 507-516. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2004.027789
- Tang, F., Hu, L., Qiu, Z., & Wang, Q. (2014). A global model of plume axial temperature profile transition from axisymmetric to line-source pool fires in normal and reduced pressures. Fuel, 130, 211-214. doi: 10.1016/j.fuel.2014.04.053
- Messaoudi M. et al. (2011b) Beneficial psychological effects of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in healthy human volunteers. Gut Microbes. 2:4: 1-6.
- Diop, L., Guillou, S., & Durand, H. (2008). Probiotic food supplement reduces stress-induced gastrointestinal symptoms in volunteers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Nutrition Research, 28(1), 1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2007.10.001