Biotech — 23 August 2013

There is an excellent story up at The Verge today about the connection(s) between gut bacteria and mental health. It has been known for years that your mental state can affect the condition of your digestive system, but some psychiatrists are coming to see the connection as a two-way street: in other words, the bacteria in your digestive tract can affect your mental state, your mood, anxiety levels and so on.

This is a fascinating area of study, and it is exciting to see psychiatry make real advances in understanding biological causes of some mental illnesses (see our earlier report on the connections between schizophrenia and endogenous retroviruses here.)

Check out the video below as Dr. Michael Greger from nutritionfacts.org explains how probiotic foods might have the potential to be helpful in the treatment of mental illness:

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About Author

will

Trained in anthropology and the history of science at the University of Arkansas, MIT, and Harvard University, I am drawn to stories about emerging technologies and humanity's future. I am also a permaculture designer, and when I am not thinking about the Singularity, I like to pick berries and tend to my goats. Follow me on Twitter: @happydrones

  • Martha Love

    This is a really exciting and fascinating possibility with great implications for our future! Gut health is so very important in improving our entire biological system that it makes sense that it also affects our emotional system. I like your description of this cross affect of health of the head-gut brain, “A Two Way Street!”

    My colleague Robert Sterling and I worked as counselors for 40 years studying the intelligence of the gut responses and “We propose
    that there is much more you can do in addition to building up the good flora in
    your body to assure good gut health that effects positive mental health. Based
    on our clinical studies and research findings,
    we propose that the more a person uses the Somatic Reflection Process on
    gut feelings and unites body-mind, the happier their gut is, the more positive
    signals will flow from gut to head brain, and the person’s mental health will
    be vastly improved, as well as a stress reduction that has positive effects
    upon the physical body and the elimination of dis-ease. We have found the
    Somatic Refleciton Process on gut feelings is vital for improving the emotional
    immune system and mental health and we recommend it along with any probiotic
    diet plan to work hand-in-hand.”

    I do hope you will join our exploration of gut intelligence
    at: http://instinctualgutfeelings.blogspot.com .

    Martha Love
    author of “What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct”