Nutrition and Mental Health

So they say, ‘We are what we eat’.  There have been some recent studies that are supporting this statement in regard to emotional and mental health as well.

I am a big fan of research and I strive to keep my practice based in the most recent research; so in that vein, I must share this new information and see where it leads.  From what I have read so far, there are some reasons to believe that taking Probiotics regularly can lead to a decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety.  I have checked in with a local nutritionist on these studies and she can attest to these positive benefits as well (Click here to learn more about Jess Kelley, MNT).

The basis for the finding is that there is far more serotonin in a human’s gastrointestinal system than there is in the brain.  For a long time researchers thought that the levels of serotonin in the brain affected the levels in the ‘gut’.  New studies are raising the question that perhaps it is the other way around.  It seems that if balance is restored in the ‘gut’, it may also be restored in the brain.  Click here to read the full article.

Once balance is restored, many people find that counseling or therapy is more productive and they are able to work through some of their issues or past traumas with more clarity. For more on treatment approaches for trauma click here and here.
So, then, Probiotics become an option for treating depression and/or anxiety. As with any treatment, it may or may not solve the issue, but it might be worth looking into.  If you are considering this approach, please do your research and talk to your doctor or health care provider before proceeding.

Rachel Harrison, LPC, NCC



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