Brain function linked to gut health

New research just published confirms that gut health boosts your brain power. Early human studies suggest that altering the gut microbiome with beneficial bacteria or probiotics, can lead to changes in brain function, as well as improvements in mood.

It’s well recognised that certain foods like wheat give you a temporary high, followed by a big dip in mood. Usually there’s a delay so people don’t link eating wheat with the mood swings and wonder why they are depressed for no reason.

Eliminating wheat from the diet is the only way to reduce these mood swings. Unfortunately hidden wheat in processed foods can creep in so throwing out processed and fast food too is a must.

The good news is that there are plenty of fresh healthy foods that can be eaten instead. Gluten-free options are becoming more common and there are loads of great recipes out there for foods that don’t contain any grains.

As the connection between brain and gut is better understood, it’s expected that there will be many opportunities to improve brain health in various diseases.

Many people who give up wheat notice a difference in being clearer-headed and able to make better decisions. Most make a commitment not to go back on wheat no matter how hard that might be.

Wheat often causes inflammation in the gut and loss of the villi in the small intestine. This upsets absorption of brain nutrients like zinc and magnesium – giving the brain a double whammy of mood swings and low hormones like serotonin.

At the same time, gut inflammation can alter the gut microbiome allowing unhealthy bacteria to grow. This is where healthy probiotics come in. Filling the gut with healthy probiotic producing foods will banish bad bacteria for good. Over the counter probiotics can help too. But the problem is – “Which one to buy?’

As a doctor, I follow all the latest research on probiotics and health and regularly prescribe them for my patients. I firmly believe that that a healthy gut microbiome is a vital way to manage many diseases and particularly good brain function.

If you need more information on which probiotic you need for health click here to access the webinar

References

The effects of gut microbiota on CNS function in humans. Gut Microbes. 2014 May 16;5(3). Tillisch K.

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