Microbiome & mood

Microbiome food for thought: from depression to good mood

Microbiome food for thought: from depression to good mood

If you are experiencing some form of depression, you should realise that you are not alone. A staggering one in five people in Switzerland started the year 2022 with symptoms of severe depression.

Here is news to lift your mood: recent discoveries in microbiome science point to new ways to help combat this depression-epidemic. Simply put: looking after your gut may also help with your mental wellbeing.

How does your gut and your mind connect?

Experts have known that if you suffer from gut-inflammation, you are also more likely to suffer from depression. Up to 60% of patients with so-called inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) experience depressive symptoms. Similarly, both gut-inflammation and depression are also linked with sleep disorders, such as insomnia. One aspect that links all three conditions is a disturbance of your gut-microbiome. When the microbiome in your gut becomes unhealthy both your mood and sleep can be affected negatively.

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How the microbiome affects your mind?

The bacteria of your microbiome release substances that affect your mood. For example, one of the most powerful natural substances that influences your mood is serotonin, which is known as the original “happy hormone”. Many anti-depressants rely on influencing the levels of this hormone. Did you know that 90% of serotonin is made in your gut? A healthy gut-microbiome is crucial for your gut to produce adequate amounts of the “happy hormone” serotonin, in a natural way. Serotonin is also important for a healthy sleep, as described in this sleep blog. In summary, a healthy-gut, a good night’s sleep and a healthy mind are closely interconnected.

What can you do to help improve your mood?

Caring for your gut-microbiome is a great way to improve your mood. Scientific studies in animals and in humans support this. In the lab, restoring a healthy gut microbiome has been shown to improve “happiness” of animals after antibiotic treatment. Animals increased their activity, showed lower levels of fear, and experienced more pleasure. In the clinic, under careful medical supervision, supplements of probiotics helped to treat patients with severe depression.

What can you do to care for your gut microbiome? First, try to follow a healthy diet, with plenty of fresh fruit & vegetables. We recommend that you try at least 30 different types of fruit & vegetables every week. Second, consider taking suitable probiotics as food-supplements. The right probiotics are a simple and natural way that can help to improve your mood.

Care for your microbiome. So that you can enjoy life to the full!

Do you want to know more? If you want to find out which microbiome strain can help you best to improve your mood, get your free report & recommendations here.

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Selected references

  • The «Swiss Corona Stress Study», retrieved 19th July 2022
  • Mikocka-Walus et al (2016) Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Volume 22, Issue 3: 752–762
  • Li et al (2018) Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 669
  • Neroni (2021) Sleep Medicine 87, 1e7
  • Noonan et al (2020) BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health; 3:e000053
  • Yang et al (2019) Translational Psychiatry, 9:57
  • Schaub et al (2022) Translational Psychiatry, 12(1):227
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