Are you familiar with the term psychobiotics and the role they play in anxiety and depression? In 2013 Dr. Ted Dinan and Dr. John Cryan published a paper titled Psychobiotics: a novel class of psychotropic and in this paper they define a psychobiotic as:
a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.
They go on to share how these good bacteria or probiotics can impact our mood and anxiety via neurotransmitter production, sharing that they are:
capable of producing and delivering neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA] and serotonin, which act on the brain-gut axis. Preclinical evaluation in rodents suggests that certain psychobiotics possess antidepressant or anxiolytic activity.
We often incorrectly hear that GABA taken orally is not effective because it can’t cross the blood brain barrier and if it does work it means you have a leaky brain. This is a myth I am working hard to dispel. The authors contribute to this discussion saying the following:
Effects may be mediated [or effects may occur] via the vagus nerve, spinal cord, or neuroendocrine systems.
The authors conclude with information about how these psychobiotics benefit IBS which we now know is often associated with both anxiety and depression. They share that these psychobiotics or good bacteria:
have been most extensively studied in a liaison psychiatric setting in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, where positive benefits have been reported for a number of organisms including Bifidobacterium infantis.
They also report benefits for alleviating symptoms of depression and chronic fatigue syndrome, likely related to:
the anti-inflammatory actions of certain psychobiotics and a capacity to reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.
The impact these psychobiotics have on inflammation and the adrenals is wonderful since we know about both are closely tied to anxiety and depression, as well as digestive health.
This is older research but Dr. Ted Dinan and his colleagues continue to expand the research and our knowledge on this exciting topic, and we appreciate them for this.
The above is just one topic I cover in my interview on the upcoming online summit: The Better Belly Project: Crushing the Critters, Plugging the Leaks, and Balancing the Biome for Your Best Body Ever, hosted by fermentationist, Summer Bock!
We also cover the following in my interview:
- IBS and anxiety
- serotonin and the second brain
- GABA and GABA-eating bacteria
- the vagus nerve and the gut-brain connection
- how to use tryptophan and GABA to ease anxiety (and cravings)
- melatonin for gut motility and sleep
- glutamine for gut healing, calming and intense sugar cravings
- prebiotics to lower high cortisol
- and probiotic-rich foods too of course!
Here we are during the interview, with me in my new temporary location in Australia.
And we ONLY had one plane fly over! ha ha! Ask me about this – it was hilarious and I plan to share the video…
It’s going to be a great online event and I’m so pleased to be part of it. I can’t wait for you to hear the expert speakers: other authors, nutrition professionals, physicians, fermentation specialists and cutting edge experts that are going to be teaching everything belly.
Here are some additional reasons to attend
- From the bacteria and flora, to your digestion and your elimination, the way your belly is operating has a lot to do with how you are operating.
- You’ll be able to customize your experience so that whether you’re a full-fledged nutrition geek, or simply interested in maximizing your belly’s efforts you’ll find the knowledge and information that is perfect for you.
- With all the toxins we’re exposed to, with processed foods and the stress in our lives, it’s more important than ever that your digestion is dialed in.
I hope you’ll join me and the other experts on The Better Belly Project: Crushing the Critters, Plugging the Leaks, & Balancing the Biome for your Best Body Ever
When: December 9th-14th (Put it in your calendar now!)
How much: Nothing!
Where: Here! /online
Please post your gut, microbiome, IBS and other related questions in the comments. We’ll see you on the summit!