Do Probiotics Help in Improving Mood?

The human body is made up of more bacterial cells rather than human cells. The gut contains a larger number of bacteria and there are more being discovered by scientists every day. Scientists are also working towards establishing the collection between gut bacteria and brain chemistry. Many people might not be aware of the fact that the gut has its very own brain called the ENS or enteric nervous system. This is also called the second brain in the human body. The ENS does not function like the brain that we have in our head but the gut and the brain remain interconnected by neurons, hormones and other chemicals that provide feedback about what we are feeling and whether or not we are experiencing stress.

The Vagus Nerve is the Interconnection between the Second Brain and the Brain in the Head

A cross conversation takes place between the gut and the brain in the human body and this happens by way of the Vagus Nerve. The nerve starts in the brain stem and runs throughout the body ending at the abdomen. The Vagus nerve serves as the highway of information connecting the second brain to the brain that we have in our head. It is the Vagus Nerve that makes sure that both the second brain and the actual brain remain constantly connected. It is only because of this interconnection that you have those butterflies in your stomach when you are anxious or nervous and you talk about the gut feeling that you have in certain situations.

The Connection between the Gut and the Brain

Previously, very little was known about the gut having an effect on the mood of an individual but at present there is scientific evidence supporting the fact that there is a certain connection between the gut and how an individual feels. There is a major impact that gut bacteria has on the chemistry of the brain in people. It has been proved through studies that the use of probiotics by individuals on a regular basis can help them in feeling more relaxed and chilled out. Other mood-related studies carried out in Netherlands and France suggest that probiotics like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus offer advantageous psychological effects which include low levels of depression, less hostility and anger, improved problem solving skills and less anxiety.  The study conducted in Netherlands came forward with the conclusion that the use of probiotics can help individuals in having reduced aggressive thoughts and rumination.

Listen to Your Gut

Till now, we have learnt and got a clear understanding of the fact that two important probiotics namely Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus have beneficial effects on the mood of individuals. However, there is much more research required for exploring the reason behind bacteria having a positive impact on mood while other strains do not have this positive effect. There are many people who are not aware of the importance of maintaining proper gut health. It is important for people to trust gut instincts.

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