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Gut-Brain: Why Balancing Your Gut Is Balancing Your Mind

“Scientists following this line of research have become increasingly convinced that to fully understand our emotions and behaviors, we need to study the gut as much as the brain,” Dr. Siri Carpenter, That Gut Feeling [1]

Are digestive issues compromising your state of mind?*

You have probably experienced that your emotions can cause digestive upset. But you may not be aware that it goes both ways. In fact, your gut health may directly impact your brain chemistry.

A flurry of new research has left many scientists calling the gut ‘the second brain’. But the sheer quantity of data suggests this strong correlation has been sitting in doctor’s surgeries for a while:

  • More than half of people with chronic gastrointestinal disorders also suffer from anxiety and depression.[2]*
  • IBS is frequently accompanied by panic disorders, anxiety, major depression and somatization disorder.*
  • Between 42 and 61 per cent of patients in gastroenterology clinics have at least one psychiatric disorder, compared to 25 per cent in a healthy population.[3]*

More evidence of the incredible gut-brain synergy

The causal link between a healthy/unhealthy gut and healthy/unhealthy mind has been further explored in studies with mice. The outcomes indicate gut bacteria and absorption affect emotional behavior, pain perception and stress responses:

  • Altering the bacteria in the gut of timid mice made them bold and adventurous, and boosted neurochemicals linked to memory and mood.[4] When their original bacteria was reintroduced,  the mice returned to their shy, cautious selves and their brain chemistry reverted back too.*
  • Inducing gastrointestinal inflammation depressed the neurochemicals in the brains, and caused the mice to act more anxiously. [5] *
  • The mice with gut inflammation were then put on a 10-day course of probiotics (lo and behold) their behavior and neurochemistry normalized.*

Seeking inner calm, clarity and confidence? Start with your gut

Evidence is mounting that similar effects may play out in humans. Multiple studies indicate that gut infections impact brain chemistry, and make people more susceptible to blues and angst.[6]*

The research confirms what we instinctively know: maintaining a healthy digestive system and absorbing maximum nutrition is key to feeling emotionally and mentally balanced.*

We’re here to help you on the journey. Join our community to gain practical tips, tools, recipes and products to keep your gut-brain in check when everything else seems against it.

[1] That Gut Feeling, American Psychological Association
[2] McMaster University gastroenterologist Premysl Bercik, MD, cited in That Gut Feeling, American Psychological Association
[3] Psychosocial aspects of the functional gastrointestinal disorders, Gut 1999;45:II25-II30
[4] The Intestinal Microbiota Affect Central Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor and Behavior in Mice, Gastroenterology, Volume 141, Issue 2 , Pages 599-609.e3, August 2011
[5] Chronic Gastrointestinal Inflammation Induces Anxiety-Like Behavior and Alters Central Nervous System Biochemistry in Mice, Gastroenterology, Volume 139, Issue 6 , Pages 2102-2112.e1, December 2010,
[6] That Gut Feeling, American Psychological Association

*The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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