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Microbiomes Interact With Mental Health Treatment

It’s well-established that your gut is your second brain, so it’s no surprise that scientists are finding further evidence that your microbiome plays an important part in your psychological wellbeing, including mood and mental health, Digital Journal reports.

Remarkably, some of the most recent research suggests bacteria may even have played a role in the diversification and alteration of human DNA, by way of horizontal gene transfer. Previous research has also shown that gut microbes specializing in fermenting soluble fiber play an important role in preventing inflammatory disorders, as they help calibrate your immune system.

One of the best and least expensive ways to optimize your gut microbiome is to eat traditionally fermented and fiber-rich foods. Probiotic supplements can also be beneficial. It's become quite clear that the benefits of probiotics transcend the gut.

More recent studies have delved into the role of gut bacteria in the workings of the gut-brain axis, and how they benefit your mental and psychological health. Anxiety, depression and other mood disorders are increasingly recognized as being, in part, related to an unbalanced microbiome.

If you’re looking for a good probiotic, make sure it’s a reputable brand. Look for a potency count (colony forming units or CFUs) of 50 billion or higher. That's the number of bacteria being delivered per dose. Avoid capsules that only declare the CFUs at time of manufacture. Food products should be in resealable packaging and stored as directed.

Also look for a product containing multiple species of bacteria, as high diversity tends to be associated with better health. That said, products containing species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are generally recommended.
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