Updated: Jan 19
Evidence is mounting that the microbes in our intestines interact with our minds – and hearts – in significant ways. Gut bacteria have been linked to depression, anxiety and the regions of the brain that process emotions. These regions share brain circuitry that affects cardiovascular issues such as blood pressure.
The present-day result is that our metabolism, our neurons and indeed our entire physiology is an interactive cross-talk with the bacteria in our bodies.
Gut bacteria interact with the brain and other organs in three ways. First, the gut and brain communicate by molecules carried in the blood, and microbes influence those chemical messages.
Microbes also interact with the gut's special nervous system, called the enteric nervous system. It has a direct, two-way connection with the brain via the central nervous system.
Finally, the immune system of the gut wall and the body's other immune components respond to gut microbes, affecting the brain and organs.
Serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitter molecules that steer mood and behavior in brain circuits are found in the gut. Most of the body's serotonin comes from the gut wall.
Gut bacteria also signals the gut's nervous system and its direct link to the brain. The bacterial messages also can prompt responses from the body's immune system.
"Your gut, your brain and your immune system interact. The triangulation of those things controls much of your other physiology, whether it's blood pressure, metabolism or mood."
There is no 'silver bullet' probiotic or antibiotic. Certain combinations of probiotics are providing promising research results. The best way for good bacteria to override bad bacteria is to exercise and eat a diet that has the appropriate dietary fiber, unsaturated fat and low sugar, which will encourage the growth of those particular species of bacteria.
Fecal transplant puts stool full of healthy bacteria into your colon. It can restore your gut’s healthy bacteria balance. This will help you fight the infection and feel better quickly. It may also help your body resist "Clostridium difficile" (bacterial infection) in the future.
Doctors have begun to test fecal transplants on people who have:
Ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease, Cirrhosis, Multiple sclerosis, Depression, Obesity, Food allergies, Diabetes and diabetic neuropathy.
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