Did you know about THIS lesser known potential cause of depression?

Several studies have tried to find a link between microbes in the gut and how they can impact our nervous system and how poor gut can lead to health issues like depression.
depression,Health & Fitness,gut healthDid you know about THIS lesser known potential cause of depression?

Several years ago, Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine had said that all diseases start in the gut. Did you know there are 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of them are found in intestines? The gut microbiota is very important for your health and certain bacteria in your intestines can lead to many diseases. You may or may not have listened to your gut but you should take care of it as it is really important for your physical as well as mental well being. Many researchers have suggested that it can affect your mood as the bacteria present in the gut communicates to our brains. 

According to Mark Lyte, who has spent an entire career to prove a link between the microbes in the intestines and the nervous system, had said that two million "unique bacterial genes" in our gut help in making neurochemicals. So, in short, one of the reasons of depression could be the result of bacteria that is sitting in our gut and probably not because of the neurological disconnect of serotonin and other hormones.

ALSO READ: 6 Foods that can take a toll on your gut health

Some experiments tried to find the link between gut and mental health

As per the series of experiments on lab mice which was conducted by Lyte, he found that not only these gut bacteria respond to stress but also bring out stress. In 2014, microbiologist, Sarkis Mazmanian in his thesis called Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience said that microbes mess with the barrier around the brain. It also compromises the intestinal lining and allows bacteria to get out and into the bloodstream.

So, apparently, the replacement of bad intestinal bacteria with the good can be helpful and may improve your mood, physical as well as mental health. As per a study in New UK, a diet rich in probiotics or a combination of probiotics and prebiotics foods can help you to fight out depression and anxiety. To understand the potential of pre- and probiotics' use as a therapeutic treatment for depression and/or anxiety disorders, the researchers reviewed seven existing studies that were conducted to know the same in the past.

What are Probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that apparently improve or restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gut. On the other hand, prebiotics are indigestible compounds found in food that can promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. 

Common probiotic-rich foods one can consume are yogurt, pickles, buttermilk, bacteria-fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kombucha, natto, tempeh and kimchi. Some Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese can also help with good bacteria.  Speaking of prebiotics, they are found in many fibrous and resistant starch-rich fruits and vegetables. Some of the best prebiotic foods are garlic, leeks, apple, flax seeds, seaweed, wheat bran, asparagus, barley, artichokes, bananas, onions and yams, whole grains and soybeans.

More studies needed

The findings which were published today in BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health showed that there was no statistically major link between pre and probiotics and the improvements in people with depression or anxiety. But the same does warrant further investigation to find out whether pre and probiotics can be used as treatments or not as each of the studies showed a significant decrease or improvement in biochemical measures and signs of depression and/or anxiety. The researchers also found that out of the 12 strains which were being studied 11 were effective.

ALSO READ: What is Smiling Depression and what to do if you or someone close has it?

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