Bacteria and anxiety

I’ve gone a bit scientific today after looking at some research reports about gut health. My reading has further reinforced that the health of the gut is a vital factor when helping and supporting anxiety. One study in particular that looked at more than a thousand people with digestive disorders, found that 84% had anxiety and 27% had depression.

Research in this area is in its early stages but, as I’ve said before, we know that more than 90% of our serotonin – our good mood neurotransmitter – is produced in the gut under the influence of the gut microbiome. The microbiome contains a variety of bacteria, two of which are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus plantarum, and they produce something called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is our calming neurotransmitter. Now GABA is interesting because it can help to calm our core stress axis – the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis – which has been seen to be hyperactive during anxiety. Increased intestinal permeability (or Leaky Gut) can trigger inflammation and cause an imbalance in the bacteria in the microbiome which in turn can trigger or increase anxious behaviour. The research is ongoing but gives us some food for thought.

If you want to know more about supporting the health of your gut, have a look at the Gut Health Seminar in Salisbury on May 20th from 10.00am to 1.00pm (Tickets are available here).

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