The search to combat the psychological disorders using natural methods rages with great momentum!
Practitioners have been searching for natural remedies for health issues for millennia. Holistic experimentation to treat psychological disorders has included extracts from the poppy seeds (opium), the coca plant (cocaine), and on to lysergic acid (LSD) in 1938.
By the 1960s, the biology of psychiatry was becoming clearer and began to show promise for effective drug therapies. Psychopharmacology became the key to modern psychiatric treatment. It gave rise to the wonder drug, Prozac. Very soon, whenever a depression occurred it would seem the individual had a Prozac deficiency!
Today it’s estimated that 20% of all Americans are taking some type of psychotropic medication. These drugs generate sales of $34 billion dollars a year despite what are known to be spotty results and extensive side effects. Many people are willing to ignore the highly advertised risks for a pill that holds the solution to their problems. Some are willing to combine psychotherapy with the pill to resolve their problems. While still others seek pill-free solutions in line with their healthy options ideals.
Now, it appears that the best and safest solution has been with us all the time. You could say we were ‘looking in all the wrong places!’ Based on research taking place at Alimentary Pharabiotic Centre in Cork, Ireland, our search may be over.
They have documented a plethora of microbes living in our gut. These microbes, better known as probiotics have been found to reduce anxiety and depression and even bring on the experience of happiness.
Probiotics, specifically those classified by researchers as psychobiotics, are capable of producing and delivering both known and currently unknown neurotransmitters. Some of these probiotics produce serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine; all neurotransmitters that work to stabilize our moods and promote overall health.
Even though these neurotransmitters are being generated in our gut, they take advantage of our neural-highway, the vagus nerve and have the same effects as those already in our brain!
The question then is what in the world happened to our guts? Why have our naturally occurring probiotics stopped doing their job?
I can only tell you that there has been an obvious change in the medical arena that has affected our mental health via our gut. In years gone by, an antibiotic prescription was always accompanied by instructions for simultaneous consumption of Acidophilus to replace the gut microbes that the antibiotics would destroy. This was in the time of penicillin, sulfur, and ampicillin.
Today’s drugs, like Cipro, Biaxin and Cleocin, (Which would knock out a city block of microbes!), aren’t prescribed with the same recommendation. Why has this important step to keep our gut healthy been overlooked? Could this be the opening for the IBS, colitis and other inflammatory diseases affecting millions of people nationwide?
Fortunately, thanks to the Cork researchers, we have a simple and natural solution for the problem! Those of us who take antibiotics, birth control pills or other steroids, which upset the gut food balance, can help ourselves. We can add back these essential probiotics to our gut so our Gut-Brain system can do what it was designed to do!
To do that, we first have to know the sources of these natural Super-Microbes, our friends, the probiotics.
Fermented foods, such as, kimchee, sauerkraut, and miso, are great sources of probiotics. Certain brands of yogurt and, of course, kefir are sources but they are dairy products with issues of their own like containing steroids, antibiotics and casein. Keep in mind that 50% of gluten intolerant people are also intolerant to casein in milk. For more discussion of the difference between lactose and casein intolerance CLICK HERE.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate prebiotic nutrients. Prebiotics feed beneficial bacteria and encourage their growth in the digestive tract. Prebiotic supplements are available to help support gut health. You can also get these nutrients from foods such as asparagus, dandelion greens, onion, garlic, and burdock root.
Whether you prefer to improve your gut health by incorporating more probiotics into your diet, adding prebiotic foods, or using supplements: Get Started! You’ll be healthier and happier with just a few simple, delicious changes.