Researchers have discovered a new gut-brain link, proving what you eat could make you happier.
When we’re feeling ‘hangry’ (hungry x angry) food can calm us and make us feel normal again. The reason is simple; eating restores our blood sugar levels and helps fuel our biochemical processes we use in everyday life.
What scientists didn’t know until recently though, is the delicate balance of microbes in your gut can determine your happiness.
Inside your gut is a hugely dynamic, varied ecosystem with thousands of bacteria and teeny tiny little organisms called microbes. These little guys have a symbiotic relationship with you, their host, and you live happily alongside one another. When the balance of microbes is off though, it could mean you have low levels of vital happiness-regulators and neurotransmitters like seratonin.
Did you know the highest concentration of seratonin is actually in your gut?
Probitics have been found to have effects on both seratonin levels and GABA levels, another powerful neurotransmitter.
In other words, yoghurt could make you happy!
One study says “These results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood. Probiotics supplementation warrants further research as a potential preventive strategy for depression.”
Not everyone’s convinced yet though. Almost all the studies exciting the science world are based on mice rather than humans, so there’s still a long way to go.
Could probiotics help fight depression?
But! Since the highest level of concentration of seratonin is in your gut rather than your brain, it makes sense that depression and anxiety can be treated by dietary changes, not just pharmaceutical intervention.
This natural approach could have hugely positive implications for everyday people suffering from mental disorders, and could even help you when you’re feeling a bit blue.
To understand more about how your gut health can affect your brain, check out this podcast by Radiolab http://www.radiolab.org/story/197242-gut-feelings/
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