How you eat affects how you think. This is a dangerously simplified statement, but the brain-gut connection is not one to be overlooked in favour of flowery prose. In fact, the gut flora is what we should look over. Both theoretical and clinical evidence support a bidirectional brain-gut relationship.1,2 With the growing burden of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) worldwide3, this connection becomes more relevant.
People with IBD endure both physical and social setbacks due to unpleasant symptoms interrupting their daily routines. It can become very frustrating to constantly accommodate for these symptoms. This condition can create changes in the gut system, which then alter brain regions linked to it.1 An imbalance in the gut microorganisms can wreak havoc on the feedback loops that regulate the body. This dysbiosis could worsen depression by exacerbating inflammation throughout the body.4
Harnessing this knowledge will pave the way for more effective and accessible treatments. Mind-body interventions have the potential to alleviate childhood IBD5 before developing into a less manageable adult form. However, could changing your diet change the mind-body bond?
Of course, eating well will help you anyway, but no specific diet is yet prescribed with the intentions of rearranging microbiota and mental states.4 Changes in diet that result in sweeping changes in the mental and physical state may also be decreasing inflammation via reducing allergens, rather than specific gut residents. Yet, high-caloric diets have been implicated in gut microbiota changes that trigger fat storage. Yet, again, this was found in rats and its translatability to humans is still unknown.
Rat or not, your gut is in cahootz with the brain too.
check out the research
- Labus, J.S. et al. (2017). Differences in gut microbial composition correlate with regional brain volumes in irritable bowel syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410709/
- Martin, C.R. & Mayer, E.A. (2017). Gut-Brain Axis and Behaviour. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28346923
- M’Koma, A.E. (2013). Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Expanding Global Health Problem. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4020403/
- Meyrel, M. et al. (2017). The intestinal microbiota: A new player in depression? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28438331
- Yeh, A.M. et al. (2017). Mind-Body Interventions for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28368365