(AscendHealthy.com) – The human body works in a constant, delicate balancing act, with everything we put into it having the potential to tip the scales. All of our food and drink choices can have lasting impacts, for better or for worse, and they may even affect the way we view the world. One type of supplement could bring balance to both the body and the mind.
The human body contains more microbes than human cells, and keeping those microbes in proper balance is vital to all sorts of functions. New research is showing our microbiomes could play an important role in mental health, with probiotic supplements potentially helping to improve depression and anxiety. See what researchers know so far in the article below.
This Daily Supplement Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression.
The Other Part of You
We each have about 100 trillion microbes that reside in or on our bodies. Scientists have recently discovered how important these nonhuman lifeforms are. Many of the bacteria and yeasts we coexist with assist vital human functions. That’s right; we wouldn’t be able to survive without them. That’s why it’s so potentially beneficial to consume probiotics to replace critical bacterial strains.
Previous estimates put our ratio of microbes to human cells at somewhere around 10 to 1, but according to Science Alert, that figure is probably high. It’s critical that our microbiome outnumbers our human cells, even if just slightly because we need those microbe numbers to remain high and in the right balance. When numbers of beneficial microbes fall, research has found that any number of systems can start to malfunction.
Probiotics and the Mind
According to the latest research, our microbiome may even direct our moods. A study recently published in Nutrients offers evidence that reduced numbers of beneficial strains can contribute to depression and anxiety. Our microbiomes communicate with our brains using chemical signals, and both systems are dependent on the other for proper functioning. Certain gut microbes produce vital brain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which are necessary for good mental health.
The gut-brain axis connection has led researchers to investigate whether supplementing certain probiotics might help people suffering from depression and other mental health disorders. Results have been promising so far, although we’re just beginning to understand the connection.
A study published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology has shown the potential benefits of adding probiotics to existing antidepressant regimens. Other research has found the same probiotics that may improve mental health could also benefit metabolism, insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles. Future studies are likely to delve deeper into these effects.
We’ve only just begun to understand the importance of our microbiome, but we do know probiotic supplements can help to support it. A healthy gut tends to equal a healthy person, both physically and mentally, and the more we understand the connection, the more effective we might be at treating all kinds of diseases. Depression and anxiety may be merely the tip of the iceberg.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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