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Psychobiotics: Your microbiome has the potential to improve your mental health, not just your gut health

https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/psychobiotics-your-microbiome-has-the-potential-to-improve-your-mental-health-not-just-your-gut-heath/

sciencefocus.com

Psychobiotics: Your microbiome has the potential to improve your mental health, not just your gut health
There's a school of thought that says you are not one single organism, but rather a superorganism made up of many. Human cells make up less than half of what you call 'you' - the rest are trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses in your gut, on your skin and throughout your tissues, collectively known as your microbiome.

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You are a Superorganism

You are a Superorganism

We have always thought of ourselves as an organism. New studies point towards us being Superorganisms, with many organisms teaming up to become what we define as 'us'.

There are trillions of bacteria, virii, and fungi in our stomach, skin, and tissues, and they are collectively known as your Microbiome.

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Our Microbiome Affects Our Mood

Our state of mind gets affected by our gut bacteria, which is part of our Microbiome.

Probiotics are live bacterial supplements and Prebiotics are the dietary fiber that promotes bacterial growth. In various experiments, scientists have been able to alter our stress response, anxiety levels and reduce mental health problems by administering Probiotics/Prebiotics in our stomach.

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Psychobiotics

Psychobiotics is an upcoming class of medicines geared towards promoting psychological health through the alteration of your microbiota (Gut Bacteria).

Doctors have known since long that certain mental health problems do have their origin in the gut, like inflammation, but a detailed study on mice is now being done, with large-scale studies on humans in the offing.

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The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis

The link between the brain the gut works in three ways:

  1. Bacteria produce certain chemicals that travel via the vagus nerve to the brain.
  2. An amino acid called tryptophan, which is a building block for serotonin is produced by gut bacteria.
  3. Bacteria influence the gene expression of the brain, changing our mood.

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New Methods of Treatment

New kinds of treatments related to our microbiome are now possible in areas where medicine has been unpleasant or has some unwanted side effects.

For example: Children having gastrointestinal problems, show improvements in mental performance after being treated by a transplant of microbes.

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The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

A good, varied diet is essential for good gut health. Health Experts recommend the Mediterranean diet, which has:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Beans and lentils.
  • Nuts and whole grain.
  • Usage of olive oil.
  • Fish, chicken and eggs.

It is also crucial to avoid sugar, cakes, and red meat.

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