Your gut health is critical for many bodily processes including healthy digestion, a strong immune system, and weight management. But did you know that having a wide variety of probiotics can actually help improve your mood and emotional processing? New research submitted to Cambridge University Press found a link between the microbiota in your gut and brain function, impacting mood and emotional processing for the better.
“Good” bacteria such as probiotics can help keep your body healthy in many ways, including by fighting off “bad” bacteria when you have too much of it. The larger picture of bacteria in your body is called the microbiome, which encompasses both helpful and harmful microbes. This microbiome helps control digestion, supports the health of your immune system, and is a major factor in all other aspects of health.
Although probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut, store-bought versions must be pasteurized in order to prolong shelf-life – so you're getting almost no live probiotics. Your best choice is to obtain high-quality, live probiotics as a nutritional supplement with guaranteed amounts of active probiotic colonies. Be sure to find a highly trusted brand!
Cambridge University Study
This new study linking probiotics to an improved mood looked specifically at volunteers who suffered from moderate depression. Participants took a daily probiotic supplement for four weeks, and reported on their mood, anxiety, emotional cognition, and sleep during the course of the study.
Researchers found that increasing probiotic intake significantly reduced depression scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire. These subjective ratings of their mood and anxiety showed that participants who were taking probiotic supplements found themselves overall in a significantly more pleasant mood as compared to those in the control group. Additionally, the participants taking probiotic supplements were able to concentrate more easily than the control group.
The Bottom Line
This study shows a promising link between good bacteria and a healthy mood. Although more research is needed to determine the exact link between probiotic supplements and an elevated mood, this information can be welcomed for those looking for natural ways to boost their happiness levels.
Read the full study here.