Do you remember a time when you had to make a decision and you felt like your gut was telling you something? Or a time when you were dealing with stomach issues and your anxiety was at an all-time high?
Is it really possible that the brain and the gut are so highly connected?
It really is.
Allow us to explain.
The Gut-Brain Axis
The brain and the gut have a unique connection; one that not many people are aware of.
It’s called the gut-brain axis, which entails bi-directional communication between the “gut” and the “brain.”
That’s right! The brain and gut microbiota are in constant communication with each other, and this communication affects both your digestion AND your mood.
The bi-directional communication is what is happening between the Central Nervous System (the brain) and the Enteric Nervous System (within the gut!).
The Enteric Nervous System
The gut is often referred to as the second brain, and scientists identify this brain in your gut as the Enteric Nervous System or ENS, for short.
The ENS is composed of two thin layers with over 100 million nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract).
While the brain that controls the central nervous system is a special one, the ENS also has a distinct quality: to regulate your digestion.
This process involves releasing enzymes that break down the food you eat, helping the blood absorb the nutrients from the food, and then assisting with bowel movements.
But the microbiome is also home to where 80-90% of serotonin and other feel-good chemical are made. So, those mood issues? They aren’t all in your head. But…. they could be in your gut!
Through all these actions, the gut will let the brain know what’s keeping it busy. Especially when there is a problem in the ENS like irritation in the lining of the GI tract, also known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
IBS is one of the most common GI tract problems. In the U.S. alone, there are over 25 and 45 million Americans who suffer from IBS.
This condition is not to be taken lightly. It can be debilitating for many people, and the symptoms (constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, sleeping problems, food intolerance, etc.) have a direct effect on their moods and emotions.
Before, medical practitioners and researchers thought that anxiety and depression could be contributing to IBS. Since learning more about the gut-brain axis, researchers have discovered that it might just be the opposite; that symptoms of IBS are causing the gut to send signals to the brain, thus triggering mood changes.
What’s the Role of Probiotics?
Probiotics play an essential role in gut health. Probiotics are live bacteria that work hard to keep your digestive system functioning properly. Having proper amounts of the right good bacteria has been shown to have a connection to mood issues like anxiety and depression.
You can find the good bacteria your body + mind craves through foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, sourdough bread, soft cheese, acidophilus milk, among others.
But you’re not eating enough probiotic-rich foods on a regular basis, you can also take a high-quality probiotic supplement to boost the good bacteria in your body.
One of the reasons people’s microbiomes are out of balance are due to ‘losing good bacteria’ in your body. For example, when you take antibiotics, they kill all the good and bad bacteria in your body, So your microbiome will need to be replenished with probiotics. Thankfully, it’s becoming more and more common for doctors to recommend a probiotic alongside of antibiotic treatment.
The other way probiotics boost gut health is through maintaining a stable and balanced gut flora. When there’s a good balance of bacteria in the gut, the body will function properly.
Nonetheless, if you’re someone who suffers from mood issues or frequent anxiety, it can be extremely helpful to consume targeted bacterial probiotic species for mood support. This will ensure that the probiotics are working to support the brain-gut connection.
The Best Species of Probiotics for Mood
- Lactobacillus plantarum – may reduce anxious behavior
- Lactobacillus acidophilus – improves the body’s immune system
- Lactobacillus helveticus – may tame anxiety symptoms
- Lactobacillus brevis – helps in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus – encourages product of short-chain fatty acids to protect the GI tract lining
- Bifidobacterium animalis – may modulate brain activity
- Bifidobacterium longum – helps relieve IBS symptoms, may reduce anxiety and depression
- Bifidobacterium bifidum – helps in generating vitamin B-12 and K which influences the mood
- Bifidobacterium infantis – helps in IBS treatment and promotes relaxation
How to Feel Better, Naturally?
It can be a challenge to get all these probiotics species in yogurt or fermented foods on the regular, which is why we at Lifted Naturals have developed a variety of MOOD FORMULATED Probiotics with the best probiotic species.
None of our products have any added ingredients or fillers and they are also free from these main allergens: dairy, soy, gluten, & corn.
What you need are hard-working probiotics to improve your mood and gut health so you can relax knowing your brain and your gut are positively communicating every day.