Could it be true that taking a daily probiotic will ward off depression, anxiety and mood disorders? In 2011 48 million prescriptions for Xanax were written. And with one out of every ten Americans taking anti-depressants we are in crisis. Not only is anxiety and depression unhealthy for the brain, mood and outside of the body, now a recent study has shown that anxiety shortens the length of telomeres and actually speeds up aging!!
Depression and mood disorders have always been linked to brain function, but recent studies have shown a direct link to microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract ability to affect the brain. There are close to 100 trillion microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract, that’s 10 times more cells than our actual body! They have their work cut out for them to say the least. Recently the term gut-brain axis has been getting a lot of overdue attention. The gut-brain axis is the relationship between the microbes, the gastro tract and the brain and what happens when one affects the other.
Studies have also shown that trauma in early life can affect the flora in the stomach and release stress hormones (Cortisol). So it makes sense taking a daily probiotic can help even without the early trauma.
Probiotics or “healthy bacteria” fight off the bad bacteria in the gut. You may have taken a probiotic while on an antibiotic to reverse the damage they can do to the good flora in the gut and to prevent yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown in some studies to prevent and protect against the following: high blood pressure/hypertension, oral diseases, halitosis, cavities, rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal cancer and although very controversial, links to helping people on the Autism spectrum.
When we asked Dr. G to weigh in he said that he takes a probiotic every singe day and that is one of the most important supplements to take!