Psychobiotics and the Gut-Brain Connection

by | Feb 4, 2021 | Integrative Care, Integrative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutrition

 

 

Psychobiotics are gut bacteria that impact the brain. A healthy gut microbiome, including psychobiotics, makes a lot of our neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin. This supports the health and chemistry of the brain. Mental and emotional health are directly linked to our gut health! 

Our microbiome contains 100 trillion cells of bacteria. It begins developing from birth, and is always changing and adapting. It can change by the hour in response to what we eat! It is an important part of how we absorb nutrients from our food. It also reduces inflammation, and supports digestive and immune function. 

Digestive issues impact our microbiome and its ability to support our brain chemistry. Sometimes the wrong kinds of bacteria take over, instead of the healthy ones. This imbalance can be caused by a lot of factors! Stress, drug interactions, birth control, and alcohol can all throw things off. So can too much exercise or not enough exercise, and a low fiber or restricted diet. 

When our microbiome is healthy, it supports the production of the right kinds of biochemicals. These biochemicals support the health of our nervous system and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. The microbiome also produces neurotransmitters, including 95% of our serotonin! 

Psychobiotics are part of our gut microbiome, and they directly support and affect our brain chemistry. Gut health is therefore a key factor in mental and emotional health. Seeing a nutritionist is one of the best options for fine tuning your digestion and gut health. They can direct you toward what will specifically work for your body, and outline it in simple steps! 

This article is informed by the research of Dr. Heather Finley, as presented through Center for Change