Probiotics and Mental Wellbeing. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano – A Sound Mind in a Healthy Body.
There is the famous Latin quote “Mens sana in corpore sano.” (A sound mind in a healthy body). It is believed to mean that only a healthy body can produce or sustain a healthy mind. It really does quite easily make complete sense to believe that to achieve mental wellbeing there must be a healthy body supporting that. The brain, after all, is just another physical body part so will need the right fuel to power it. Research has demonstrated that those with mental health difficulties tend to be at an increased risk of a range of physical health problems (http://www.rethink.org/how_we_can_help/research/service_evaluation_and_outcomes/physical_health_check/physical_health_of_p.html)
I take a multivitamin, mineral and probiotic supplement from Aldi that costs me about 10p a day (£2.99 for 30). Also they stock lots of cheap probiotic yogurts. And good, high-quality dark chocolate has four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. And also contains lots of antioxidants to fight the free radicals that damage our cells and can produce cancers and degenerative diseases. Other natural sources of probiotics as listed here like miso soup: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/probiotic-foods/
Have a look at the following article that supports these ideas. Its a bit science babble but really does seem to prove the point.
A Gut-Full of Probiotics for Your Neurological Well-Being.
Probiotics, often referred to as ‘good bacteria’, are known to promote a healthy gut, but can they promote a healthy mind? Exploring the new world of neurological probiotics, researchers in BioEssays present new ideas on how neurochemicals delivered directly to the gut, via probiotic intestinal microbiota, exert their beneficial effects in maintaining gastrointestinal health and even psychological well-being.
“This paper proposes a new field of microbial endocrinology, where microbiology meets neuroscience,” said Lyte. “There is already evidence to suggest that the connection between gut microbes and the nervous system represents a viable route for influencing neurological function. A recent study in mice, for example, showed that the presence of neurochemicals such a serotonin in the bloodstream was due to direct uptake from the gut.”
In his hypothesis Professor Lyte considers the selection of probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, and how the active uptake of neurochemicals, generated by bacteria in the gut and circulated through a patient’s bloodstream, represents a pathway for probiotics to exert extra-intestinal effects including behavioral changes.
Writing in a commentary piece in the same issue of BioEssaysDr Gregor Reid, from the University of Western Ontario, outlines some of the potential clinical implications of this research.
“Until recently the idea that probiotic bacteria administered to the intestine could influence the brain seemed almost surreal,” said Reid, “Yet in Lyte’s paper the concept is supported by studies showing that microbes can produce and respond to neurochemicals, which can induce neurological and immunological effects on the host.”
“The research presents an idea for selecting probiotic strains with neurological applications and linking this with immune-modulatory effects, while highlighting the fact that microbial strains already being widely ingested in fermented food can produce neurochemicals,” concluded Reid. “Could this mean that adjunct treatment for people suffering from certain types of mental health problems is a fecal transplant? Food for thought.”