Thursday, January 05, 2012

Your Gut may Fight Depression

A very important topic in health care is intestinal flora. Flora is a nice, easy sounding word for bacteria. You are probably wondering why a nice and easy word like flora is being used to describe bacteria. In this case, the reason is because the bacteria in question is friendly. Intestinal flora is the helpful bacteria that is found in your gut. Unlike bacteria that can lead to disease, intestinal flora is a probiotic that exists in a symbiotic relationship with our body. Symbiosis is when two living organisms, in this case intestinal bacteria and the human body, live together to benefit each other. The bacteria feeds and multiplies in our digestive system (which is good for them) and provides the human body with needed health benefits (which is good for us). Intestinal flora have been popularized in the media through the marketing of products called probiotics. Probiotics are foods that contain living bacteria that support digestive health. Foods that include yogurt, kefir, miso and sauerkraut. Probiotics help to maintain and promote the intricate balance between good and bad bacteria in the stomach and intestines. A healthy amount of intestinal flora contribute to the body's optimal state of health by enhancing immune system function, preventing a build-up of "bad" bacteria, producing certain vitamins and hormones for the body and defending against some diseases. Recent, cutting edge research on intestinal flora is finding that gut bacteria can have an affect on the central nervous system and may even help to dictate your mood and mental health! Science has found that your gut lining is literally your second brain. The gut lining is made up of the same tissue as your brain tissue and has been found to contain more serotonin ( a neuro transmitter associated with mood control) than the brain itself. The latest research found that probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry. The probiotic lactobacillus (found in yogurt) was found to reduce anxiety and depression related behavior due to the bacteria's high content of a neuro transmitter called GABA. GABA is one of the main neuro transmitters found in the brain. This is very exciting because this research may lead to ways of treating depression by supporting and building upon the friendly bacteria that exists in our intestinal flora. In the long run, this could mean certain psychological drugs might not be needed. In the meantime, think of adding daily yogurt to your diet or taking probiotic supplements. They may make you a happier person!!

Thought for the Week: Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other. ~Joseph Addison

Chiropractic Thought for the Week: The world is indoctrinated in medicine. People are conceived and born in a medicine cabinet. They grow up in a drugstore. They have been brain-washed, hypnotized, mesmerized and drugged to believe that their health / life force comes from the outside-in. ~ BJ Palmer, DC Developer of Chiropractic, quote taken from The Chiropractic Story by Marcus Bach 1949. Can you imagine if Dr. Palmer was around today, to watch the television drug commercials? Can you imagine what he would say?