. . . well, it’s really NOT “all in your head”
You may not know this, but you have two brains. That’s right. One in your skull…and one in your gut.
Of course, you’re quite familiar with the brain in your head. Previous research shows this brain sends signals to your gut. Which explains why you get “butterflies”—or experience other physical symptoms in your gastrointestinal tract—when you are stressed or anxious.
Now, studies done on animals and humans suggest the exchange of information between brain and gut is a two-way street.
Of mice and men…what the studies prove
One such animal study compared mice bred with no digestive bacteria to “control” mice with normal gut flora. Scientists discovered that the “no-bacteria” mice displayed increased hyperactive and risky behavior as adults. However, if given normal bacteria early in life, they grew up with the same normal behavioral traits as the control mice. But what surprised researchers was that if given normal bacteria later in life, the hyper-risky behavior already established remained set for life.
These findings indicated gut flora influences brain development in laboratory mice. But the more important question became, could changing gut bacteria affect brain functioning in humans?
During one landmark study, researchers at UCLA set out to test this theory. Using MRI scans, they recorded before and after changes in brain functioning among groups of women performing emotion-recognition tasks. The test showed that women who ate yogurt with probiotics over a four-week period experienced noticeable changes in brain activity versus those with no added beneficial gut bacteria.
These significant findings prove that a steady replenishing of beneficial gut bacteria could affect brain functioning.
Science confirms gut flora affects metabolism AND brain function
Past studies showed that what we eat changes the composition of microbes in our gut flora. Specifically, that people eating a diet low in fat and high in fiber have different gut microbiota than those who eat a typical Western diet high in fats and low in fiber.
Now with these recent studies on both animals and humans, we know gut flora composition affects not only metabolism, but also brain function. Thus, we may be able to impact how well our brain performs by changing gut bacteria through diet.
In spite of these promising findings, Beyond Health offers one word of caution. Don’t assume all yogurts are a healthy source of probiotics. If you suspect your intestinal flora needs rehabilitating, you can read about the downside of most commercial yogurts. Plus, you’ll discover alternative ways for restoring the good bacteria in your gut, including supplementing daily with 4-6 capsules of our Beyond Health Probiotics Formula (2-3 for maintenance).