Science Explains How Gut Bacteria Deficiencies Create Mood Disorders And Mental Illness

Image via Power Of Positivity

By Power Of Positivity

“Although the interaction between our brain and gut has been studied for years, its complexities run deeper than initially thought. It seems that our minds are, in some part, controlled by the bacteria in our bowels.” ~ Tim Newman: “Gut bacteria and the brain: Are we controlled by microbes?”

“The gut-brain connection” 


It’s a common misperception that one’s mental health relies solely on functions within the brain. Harvard Medical School (HMS) published an article titled “The gut-brain connection” wherein the authors explain how “the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.” The authors explain the following:

– The brain has a direct effect on the stomach, and vice-versa.

– The brain and stomach send neuronal signals back and forth.

– The gut is extremely sensitive to emotions.

– Stress (including anxiety and depression) can affect movement and contractions of the GI tract.


– Interruptions of the GI tract may worsen inflammation and possibly reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.

– Distress felt within the gut can interfere with the brain-gut/gut-brain transmission, called “signaling.”

– If signal interference is severe, gut distress can stimulate feelings anxiety, depression, or stress.

The “Second Brain” 

Most people, including this writer, believe or once believed, that the gut was a trail of intestines and organs that somehow “worked” to get rid of waste. We now understand that the GI tract (gut) and it’s associated organs are much more complicated.

For example, over 90 percent of serotonin – the neurochemical responsible for happiness and mood – is produced in the gut. The gut also comprises an elaborate network of neurons, which allows it to interact with the central nervous system (CNS). The intricacy of our gut; precisely, how the gut resembles a thinking organ, has earned it the nickname “the second brain.”

Gut flora and their role

The GI tract is home to a bacterial community, called flora, that is responsible for stimulating and maintaining the standard functions of the gut. Digestive and immune health, for example, depend mainly on a stable network of healthy bacteria.

The absorption and synthesis of minerals and vitamins, something vital to physical and mental health, also relies on a healthy community of gut flora. This community of flora is also known as our gut’s microbiome.

Researchers Explain How Your Gut Bacteria Could Cause Mental Disorders

The microbiome and brain disorders

Researchers at the University of Cork discovered that “gene regulators,” which control “the expression” of cellular proteins, are heavily influenced by our microbiome. In turn, our microbiome affects the functioning of gene regulators.

As the gut-brain axis is comprised of cellular proteins, both regulators and the gut play pivotal roles in both the prevention and development of depression and anxiety.

But it may not end with depression or anxiety.

In an article titled “Gut, Autism, and ADHD,” Dr. Emily Deans explores the links between the microbiota at birth and the later diagnosis of illness.

Here’s a rundown of Dean’s article:

– Nearly 1/3 of children in the U.S. are born via cesarean section (c-section).

– Compared to children born vaginally, babies born c-section display a “marked difference” in the makeup of their gut.

– Babies born naturally absorb commensal bacteria from the mother, whereas babies born via c-section do not.

– Babies born by c-section have noticeably higher rates of asthma, allergies, gastrointestinal problems and diabetes.

– There are “small but significant” increases in the risk of psychiatric disorders, including “bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and ADHD.”

 

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  1. Kelise.impastato@gmail.com' Karin says:

    This discovery explains so much!
    Tell us more!

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