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MOOD ALTERING BACTERIA – INTRIGUING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE BRAIN/GUT AXIS
In the past few years it has become public knowledge that gut microbiota can affect a wide range of physical conditions such as obesity,IBS & various allergies & food intolerance conditions. The latest research however shows that your gut bacteria can have a significant effect on your mood.
Studies on germ free mice have shown that they have higher levels of stress hormones than those with bugs. A transfer of gut microbes from an anxious strain of mouse into a germ-free mouse of a more adventurous strain and vice versa led to a behaviour metamorphosis ! How gut microbiota can bring about changes to the brain & its behaviour is far from clear as a multitude of bacteria all have different effects on a person’s physiology.
One particular strain Lactobacillus rhaminosis damped down anxiety & made animals more relaxed whilst in other studies scientists have deduced that Bifidobacteria & Lactobacillus might influence mood in humans as well as rodents. Healthy humans given a blend of probiotics for 30 days experienced less depression or low mood than those given a placebo. Much further research needs to be undertaken but a future of “psychbiotics” being prescribed for a range of mental health conditions is definitely on the horizon.
For advice on which Probiotics could be helpful for various mental health or physical conditions please contact Marlene.
This last week has seen two very important research documents published the first for the prevention of allergy and the second connection to probiotics / colonic microbiome.
The WAO are now advocating the use probiotics for the prevention of infantile eczema. http://www.waojournal.org/content/8/1/4 . This supports clinical trials from Swansea University . Arch Dis Child 2012;97:A2 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-301885.5
The second clinical trials in Australia support the use of peanut protein bound probiotics to treat and prevent peanut allergy.
“Administration of a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy: A randomized trial”
Mimi L.K. Tang PhDAnne-Louise Ponsonby PhDFrancesca Orsini MScDean Tey FRACPMarnie Robinson FRACPEe Lyn Su FRACPPaul Licciardi PhDWesley Burks MDSusan Donath MA
The correct strains of Probiotic are very important for both cases. It is vital to have the correct strain of viable probiotics in the gut or colonic microbiome for this to function. An analogy is that you need the correct vitamins to help prevent illness ie. Vitamin C supports the skin &. Vitamin D the bones. The discovery of these vitamins had a major impact on health & in the 21st century the same seems to apply to the use of probiotics.
Probiotics are mostly perceived to support and prevent digestive or gut disorders. Over the last few years with new research the importance of probiotics seem to have an impact on all bodily systems. We are looking at not just the difference disease prevention but health promotion.
The approximately hundred trillion friendly bacteria in our gut according to the New Scientist also can have a profound impact on the brain -known as The Brain Gut axis . These bacteria have the potential to be labelled as Psychobiotics with research being carried out in OCD, ADAH and Alzheimer’s.
Probiotics are sold in an unregulated market so it is important to have an understanding of labelling
Please contact me for further information.