(NaturalHealth365) We’ve all had those ‘gut feelings’ and sometimes make decisions based on those feelings. Dr. Emeran Mayer, out of UCLA, states that there may be a reason for this phenomenon because gut microbes affect what goes on in our brain. In fact, Dr. Mayer has found that bacteria in our digestive system may help mold brain structure as we’re growing up and possibly influence our moods and behavior.
As an example, 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is manufactured by gut bacteria.
Dr. Mayer found that various bacteria is directly connected to how our brain circuits develop and how we are wired. Nutritional Neuroscience states that the average adult carries around five pounds of bacteria in the gut and the effects of correcting bacterial imbalance can be dramatic.
How does gut bacteria influence brain function?
Dr. Derrick MacFabe and his team out of Western Ontario University have been researching how certain antibiotic resistant gut bacteria may interfere with brain development and function. The team has discovered that certain bacteria such as clostridia – and other species that produce propionic acid – may play a role in children with regressive forms of autism. These bacteria tend to overgrow after a course of antibiotics.
Results of a study in which Dr. MacFabe’s team fed pregnant rats and their babies a diet high in proponic acid demonstrated that they offspring exhibited autism-like changes in brain development and evidence of intestinal inflammation. These finding demonstrate that antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria can increase the risk of autism or worsen its symptoms.
Further, blood results from 213 children with autism were found to have an abnormal fatty-acid oxidation which was the same as those found in the rat model of propionic acid-induced autism. In fact, this is significant enough to interfere with mitochondria – which supply cells with energy and is particularly important in brain cells.
Gut bacteria shown to increase anxiety, ADHD and OCD
Dr. James Greenblatt made the news for his integrative approach of testing for a metabolite called HPHPA – which is a byproduct of the clostridia bacteria. This simple urine test provided him with valuable information to treat his patients including those with anxiety, ADHD and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
He states that 20% of his patients test high for HPHPA and for them the treatment plan is high powered probiotics that yield dramatic results with consistent use for at least six months. While probiotics are helpful for some of his patients, early life stresses such as nutrition and building a strong immune system also play an important part in the development of a person’s mental health.
How fast can diet change gut health?
A recent study found that gut bacteria could be altered in as little as one day. Study participants were broken down in two groups – one fed a meat-based diet and the other a plant-based diet. Changes in gut bacteria were noticed immediately and the study duration was only five days long.
Those who ate an animal-based diet expressed gut bacteria that would allow them to break down protein while the plant-based diet expressed genes that would allow them to ferment carbohydrates.
The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics states that 40% of children with autism receive some form of ‘alternative’ care with a change of diet being high on the list. The most popular diet that seems to yield dramatic results is the gluten-free/casein free diet. With such a strong connection between the gut and brain; diet, probiotics, digestive enzymes, other supplements and homeopathy can really be of benefit.
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About the author: Sima Ash of Healing 4 Soul is a clinical and classical homeopath and certified clinical nutritionist who utilizes a unique approach pioneered by Tinus Smits, M.D. called CEASE therapy. The aim of CEASE treatment is systematic detoxification of the causes of illness, leading to step by step improvement and restoration of health in the individual. For additional information, please visit – Healing4Soul.com. You can follow Sima on Facebook at ‘Cease Therapy California’ and through her weekly blog on NaturalHealth365.com
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