What Psychobiotic Should You Take
Ideally, you should buy and try one probiotic strain at a time to figure out how you respond to each one.
That’s what I did over the span of several years.
I would buy and try one probiotic species and strain, take it for at least one month, and then monitor how I felt during that time.
Sometimes I would stop taking it if I felt worse.
I was my own guinea pig and tested and experimented with so many different probiotic supplements to find the ones that helped.
I usually recommend people follow the same process because many people like myself often experience a bad reaction to one strain, but a good reaction to another.
But I understand doing that can be time-consuming and tedious. Plus, clinical studies often demonstrate that probiotic mixtures with multiple strains are better at improving the diversity of gut bacteria than single strains .
So, to make it easier for you, Ive now created my own psychobiotic supplement, called Optimal Biotics.
I created it because I want to give my clients and readers the very best psychobiotic supplement so that they can experience superior results.
I have found that many psychobiotic supplements on the market fall short and even cause side effects.
But Optimal Biotics doesn’t, and it contains the 8 most well-researched and beneficial probiotic strains for your mental health.
Here are some other steps you can take to increase the good bacteria in your gut.
Anxiety In Your Head Could Come From Your Gut
Studies link bad bacteria to autism and anxiety.
Sept. 12, 2013& #151 — Dr. James Greenblatt, a Boston-area psychiatrist, had a puzzling case: a teenager arrived in his office with severe obsessivecompulsive disorder , as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and an array of digestive problems.
“Mary’s parents had been running around for many years and she’d had a poor response to medicine,” said Greenblatt, founder of Comprehensive Psychiatric Resources Inc. in Waltham, Mass. “When a patient doesn’t respond, that’s a red flag.”
Greenblatt first did a simple urine test for the metabolite HPHPA, the chemical byproduct of the clostridia bacteria, and found that it was elevated. He put her on a course of high-powered probiotics to boost her good bacteria, followed by antibiotics, and her levels began to “dramatically” go down, he said.
After six months, Mary’s symptoms began to disappear. And by a year, they were gone. Today, three years later, Mary is a senior in high school and has no sign of either mental disorder.
Greenblatt does not practice alternative medicine his expertise is in psychopharmacology and he is a clinical faculty member at Tufts Medical School.
“I start with integrative medicine, but I have my prescription pad right by my side,” he told ABCNews.com.
Strep throat can trigger obsessive-compulsive disorder.
How Gut Issues Causes Anxiety
We know that the gut and mind are always chatting with each other via the gut-brain axis.
So its not a huge stretch of the imagination that gut issues causes mind issues.
In my estimation, A LOT of anxious, moody or depressed feelings can directly be traced back to gut issues. Poor gut health tends to really wreak havoc on your mood and stress resilience.
Gut irritation/inflammation spreads throughout the entire body.
Here are a few examples of things that can cause gut inflammation and increasesystemic stress mediators like serotonin, histamine, and nitric oxide
- Eating something that doesnt digest well
- Eating pro-inflammatory or allergenic foods, e.g gluten
- Excessive gas and bloating and walking around with a ballon belly 24/7
- Having bad gut bacteria
And these will make you feel anxious, moody and unwell!
It may also help to think of gut inflammation as a form of stress, and stress is really the main driver of anxiety .
Gut problems can also manifest itself in other ways, e.g trapped gas in the colon can cause really bad chest pain by stretching the intestinal walls. Bruxism is another symptom of some kind of gut problem.
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Gut Microbes Implicated In Ocd
December 13, 2013 by IPA Admin
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a devastating disorder known to be triggered by stressful life events but the actual cause is unknown.
This is from Mayo Clinic online:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead you to do repetitive behaviors . With obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may realize that your obsessions arent reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.
A recent hypothesis involves gut microbes.
Could OCD be a gut dysfunction which then leads to obsessive behaviors including hand washing and other repetitive behaviors?
As noted stress can set it off and also antibiotics have been considered a possible root cause. Both of these will alter gut microbes. For example, autoimmune psychiatric disorders in children can result from antibiotics given to treat strep infections.
This recent paper written by Jon C. Rees of Lawrenceville in Georgia, United States suggests that probiotics may reduce OCD symptoms.
It would be highly unconventional yet truly exciting if such a simple and healthful measure that comes with no harmful side effects could be part of the cure.
Start With The Basics
In order to ease anxiety through your gut, you have to start with the foundations of health: getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, and moving your body. It seems like a lot of obvious stuff, but youd be shocked by how many people dont do the obvious stuff, Dr. Chen says.
For example, research shows that exercise may help diversify your gut microbiome, and ultimately improve gut health. One small study published in the April 2019 issue of Experimental Physiology reveals that greater cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with greater gut microbiota diversity among breast cancer survivors, while a small study in the October 2018 issue of Frontiers in Microbiology found that six weeks of endurance training was enough to cause a positive shift in the gut microbiome of overweight womenwithout any dietary changes.
Plus, physical activity can boost gut motility and prevent constipation: Just that physical action of walking around is a gentle gut massage, Dr. Chen says.
Similarly, getting good, quality sleep helps your gut stay healthy: Researchers recently found that gut microbiome diversity was positively correlated with sleep.
To keep your gut and brain healthy, try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
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Help Now Im Even More Confused On How To Fix My Gut
Sorry about that.
I know that was a lot of information to take in all at once Im not sure if I even understand all of it!
If you feel confused on what to do, here are a few actionable steps you can take today to improve your gut health:
- Experiment to find a diet that works for your body. Dont know where to start? Try eating a super basic, non-allergenic diet of just unprocessed meat, white rice, potatoes and whole fruits. From there you can tweak things and see how you feel by adding in or taking out specific foods.
- Sit down and relax during meals!
- Drink hot water or tea between meals, and eat warm cooked meals, to stoke your digestive fire!
- Avoid snacking and leave about 3-4 hours between meals. This engages the migrating motor complex which helps to clean out your stomach and small intestine.
- Do some brisk walking every day.
- Get some insoluble fiber daily from, for example, raw carrots. Or take 1 tsp activated charcoal on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Spend time out in the sun and get your daily dose of vitamin D.
- Minimize alcohol intake.
- Sleep 8 hours every night.
- If you have symptoms of SIBO like burping after meals, bloating, distention try a course of Oregano oil.
A Eliminating Offending Foods
As a rule you tend to get better results by removing something harmful than adding in something beneficial.
Figuring this stuff out is very much individual/contextual.
You need to listen to your body and see which foods cause symptoms and which ones dont. Sometimes going an elimination type of diet for example eating only unprocessed meat, white rice and well-cooked vegetables can be immensely helpful for finding out what is causing issues for you.
I will say though that I am, generally speaking, not a huge fan of the standard high grains, fruits and vegetables approach.
So having a healthy gut microbiome is not necessarily about what foods you eat, but also the foods you are not eating.
Here are a few foods that can trigger gut inflammation and/or cause dysbiosis:
- Refined seed oils high in PUFA/omega-6
- Processed junk food with emulsifiers, preservatives, fillers etc.
- Most supplements and medications
Again Im not saying you shouldnt eat any of these foods ever again.
With some foods the dose makes the poison, meaning you might be able to tolerate a small amount of an offending food occasionally, but perhaps not 3-4x daily as a staple food.
Okay one exception is that you really want to avoid ALL refined seed oils .
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Stress Can Itself Increase Inflammation For Instance Which Can Then Affect The Microbes In Our Gut
Gut microbes also influence how we digest and metabolise the precursors of important neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Our gut flora even has a direct line of communication to the brain, through the vagus nerve, which has receptors near the gut lining that allow it to keep a check on our digestion. Microbes in the intestine can therefore release chemical messengers that alter the signalling of the vagus nerve and, as a consequence, the brains activity. Locally in the gut, theres a lot of opportunity for the bacteria to communicate with the host systems including the nervous system, says Foster. Its a very dynamic, interactive, rich space.
These pathways are not one-way streets however, so brain activity can also influence the gut flora composition. Stress can itself increase inflammation, for instance, which can then affect the microbes in our gut. The result could be a kind of feedback loop.
Foster says research in this field is now rapidly accelerating, conducted both by university scientists and commercial companies academic meetings, discussing the findings, are now dime-a-dozen every week.
Ultimately, these researchers hope that their findings will offer a new treatment target for illnesses such as depression.
Researchers who dosed germfree mice with a strain of “friendly” bacteria found they had much less serious reactions to stress
Diet Probiotics Can Improve Symptoms
Heres where things get really exciting. And Ill quote: 56% of studies could improve anxiety symptoms. 56, over half of the studies, whether theyre using probiotic or diet, most namely the low FODMAP diet, showed the ability to improve anxiety. That is huge. If you look at the outcome of many medical interventions, a 50% response rate is pretty darn good, especially for conditions that can be multifactorial in cause, as anxiety can.
Let me now read you their conclusion, and I quote, We find that more than half of the studies included showed it was positive to treat anxiety symptoms by regulation of the intestinal microbiota, or treating your gut. There are two kinds of interventions remember that the most often used, although not exclusive, non-probiotic intervention was a diet known as the low FODMAP dietto regulate intestinal microbiota, and it should be highlighted that the non-probiotic interventions were more effective than the probiotic interventions. This makes sense. It makes sense that diet should come first before using a supplement. So, great.
And I would always do this under the guidance of your doctor and keeping your doctor in the loop. But great news here, that those who are suffering with anxiety have some great natural, nutritional, and supplemental options that have at least some high-level preliminary evidence supporting their effectiveness.
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How Ocd And Gut Health Can Influence Each Other
The correlation between gut health and OCD appears to present itself through the intestinal microflora. Astudy from 2016 examined the stool samples of patients with OCD, and found they were significantly less diverse and contained a lower abundance of microorganisms, when compared to the general population. It should also be noted that in addition to scoring higher for symptoms of OCD, these patients were found to have a higher prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress than the general population.
The results of a more recentstudy from 2022 highlighted that patients with OCD usually have an imbalanced microbial biosystem, when compared to the general population. As a result, not only was there a trend toward lower levels of certain bacteria types and an influx in others, but the digestive system as a whole was more likely to suffer from inflammation.
Additional studies have similarly replicated the above finding that correlates OCD with increased inflammation of the gut. This stands to reason, since gut inflammation has been shown to facilitate greater permeation of the blood-brain barrier, allowing harmful cytokines to cross into the brains neural system and influence its functioning.
Coming Back Into Balance And Awareness Through The Middle Way
- Exploring the massive gut check were experiencing as a society as we go through the Middle Way in 2020.
- Whether the Middle Way is actually the right path for us or if we should go hard right or hard left instead.
- How we use the pathways of hard left or right to counterbalance the imbalance that we had prior to COVID-19
- How we can come back to the Middle Way after going hard right or hard left.
- Why the violence that were seeing in todays society is happening because were avoiding going in and looking at the shadow.
- Exploring this new wave of masculinity as men are starting to face their emotions, feel their pain as well as accept and love all of their feelings.
- Why there is a place for conscious anger that is not used destructively and how it can be explored in the Middle Way.
- What happens when we define an emotion as bad and store it back in the unconscious instead of being willing to experience and accept it.
- How the breath is used to bridge the mind and the body in the present moment.
- Wellness Force Community
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Gut Feelings: The Future Of Psychiatry May Be Inside Your Stomach
The right combination of stomach microbes could be crucial for a healthy mind
Her parents were running out of hope. Their teenage daughter, Mary, had been diagnosed with a severe case of obsessivecompulsive disorder , as well as ADHD. They had dragged her to clinics around the country in an effort to thwart the scary, intrusive thoughts and the repetitive behaviors that Mary felt compelled to perform. Even a litany of psychotropic medications didnt make much difference. It seemed like nothing could stop the relentless nature of Marys disorder.
Their last hope for Mary was Boston-area psychiatrist James Greenblatt. Arriving at his office in Waltham, MA, her parents had only one request: help us help Mary.
Greenblatt started by posing the usual questions about Marys background, her childhood, and the onset of her illness. But then he asked a question that no psychiatrist ever had: How was Marys gut? Did she suffer digestive upset? Constipation or diarrhea? Acid reflux? Had Marys digestion seemed to change at all before or during her illness? Her parents looked at each other. The answer to many of the doctors questions was, indeed, Yes.
Her parents may have been stunned, but to Greenblatt, Marys case was an obvious one. An imbalance in the microbes in Marys gut was either contributing to, or causing, her mental symptoms. The gut is really your second brain, Greenblatt said. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain.
What Should You Do If You Feel Like This May Be You
Talk to someone. Im not a therapist or a mental health professional in any way, so I cannot answer any questions related to your own personal mental health journey. I dont have the expertise to talk beyond my own story and experiences. Everyones mental health looks so different.
Well, that was a lot! I hope that this helped you understand OCD more, feel like mental illness is just a bit more understood, and maybe it even inspired you to seek some of your own help. Whatever it may be, Im sending so my love and prayers your way. We all have a journey and story that deserves to be heard and we all deserve help.
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Probiotic Supplements For Mental Health
While the goal is to get probiotics mostly through your diet, supplements are also useful, says Dr. Rao. There are hundreds of probiotic supplements on store shelves, with all sorts of different strains in them. While many of the probiotics are for general health, they can also be targeted to a specific condition, says Dr. Rao.
For instance, a strain called L. rhamnosus has been shown to possibly reduce anxiety, Dr. Nazarenko says. And a small study in the journal Nutrition found that 3 probiotic strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium bifidum helped reduce symptoms of depression. Other research has linked several strains, including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, to improvements in mental health.
Of course, not all supplements are reliable. Two that score well in independent reviews include Culturelle and Natures Bounty.
Dr. Rao doesnt think taking probiotic supplements substitutes for eating a diverse, plant-based diet. But if you do use them regularly, she recommends changing the probiotic supplement every 3 months to promote diversity in the bacteria colonies in your gut.