The Effects of Gut Bacteria on Your Mental HealthJuly 5, 2018
If you say gut bacteria, you are referring to the good bacteria that is found inside of your stomach. These bacteria help in proper digestion and bowel regulation and keep the microbes inside of your stomach at healthy levels. When your gut bacteria are not able to function properly, you might end up suffering from certain gastric conditions like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence, and acid reflux. If your gut cannot function properly as well for longer periods of time, you might end up suffering from serious gut conditions with the likes of diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more. Just by keeping all of these facts in mind, you can see what significant role gut bacteria play in the proper functioning of your digestive system. However, these bacteria are the ones that antibiotic medications also kill off. So, if you get sick a lot and you are prescribed by your doctor to consume lots of antibiotics, these gut bacteria that you have inside of your stomach might be produced in lesser numbers. Most likely, this results in you suffering from diarrhea. Taking antibiotics even comes to the point of destroying most if not all of your gut bacteria.
Now, in terms of mental health conditions, gut bacteria are the last thing on your mind that you can easily associate with some mental health symptoms. However, recent studies have shown that a certain bacteria species named GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid can have some effect on the mental health of the person. In this case, if you lack these bacteria in your body, it could mean that your mental health will be negatively affected by it. For a long time, having low levels of GABA in the body is a cause of fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. But then, the lack of GABA is oftentimes overlooked that it could also be a cause of people who have no capacity of dealing with stress leading them to suffer from depression, anxiety, and even autism.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that transmits chemical messages to the nervous system and the brain. It plays a part in the regulation of the communication between your brain cells. Studies have proven that GABA can control fear and anxiety and can affect one’s behavior. If it is low, it follows that you do not feel relaxed or calm or can sleep too well. Recent studies have shown that particular bacteria in the gut consumes GABA. However, further studies must still be done regarding the matter since it has brought about some confusion to the public. Even so, such new information is valuable since it has brought some light to the association between the gut and certain mental health conditions.
Fortunately, your GABA levels can be improved by consuming food high in vitamin B and magnesium levels. You can consume some multivitamins daily to be sure that you are getting enough of these food nutrients. Furthermore, consuming chamomile and green tea has been shown to increase the levels of this particular bacteria. With the ability of such food to increase your gut bacteria, you will in turn be able to better improve your mental health and better handle any symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.