New Study Shows How High-Fat Diets Can Disrupt Your Gut, Brain and Mental Well-Being

gut

Keep your gut healthy, and your mind will follow.

Those are the findings from a new study published in the journal, Biological Psychiatry.

The gist is that you might experience psychological changes as the bacteria change in your gut. The study conducted on mice found that a “high-fat diet could increase the risk of repetitive behaviours, depression and anxiety,” according to an article published on PSYBLOG.

According to Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry:

“This paper suggests that high-fat diets impair brain health, in part, by disrupting the symbiotic relationship between humans and the microorganisms that occupy our gastrointestinal tracts.”

Researchers fed non-obese mice a normal diet.

“But they were then given the gut microbiota — the microorganisms which live in the gut — from another mouse which had been fed a high-fat diet,” according to PSYBLOG. “These were compared with mice who were given gut microbiota from a mouse fed on a normal diet.”

The non-obese mice that were provided microbiota from the high-fat mice “showed signs of depression, anxiety, memory problems and repetitive behaviours … there were also signs of brain inflammation.”

According to PSYBLOG, the “study is part of a growing body of research showing the link between brain and gut.”

The study authors wrote that, “…these data are in agreement with the extensive body of literature describing the sensitivity of the brain to diet-induced obesity and the growing number of studies linking gut microbiota to central nervous system health and behavior.

“For example, there is a reported high comorbidity [overlap] between psychiatric syndromes, including depression and anxiety, with gastrointestinal disorders, while conversely, recent studies link probiotics to positive changes in mood and behavior.”

So, it seems to be clear… happy gut, happy mind!

HOWEVER … with all that said, there are also some conflicting studies and benefits of eating HEALTHY fat. Like the fat from avocados, seeds, nuts, fish and perhaps range fed or wild meat. In the video below, Dr. Perlmutter talks about the benefits people have experienced by eating more fat and less carbohydrates:

And if you’re worried you won’t be able to pay your body the attention it deserves, here are some natural supplements that’ll help keep your gut (and mind) in check:

4 Supplements To Help Your Gut

1. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. casei, L. acidophilus, B. longum and fructo-oligosaccharides (short- and long-chain)

Photo courtesy of Paleohacks

A healthy human intestinal tract contains billions of flora that live in delicate balance with each other and in symbiosis with us. We provide them a home, and in turn they break down our food into easily absorbed nutrients. They also aid digestion in a variety of ways and promote immunity.

Factors such as stress, environmental conditions or the use of certain substances can affect their vitality.

This formula provides billions of beneficial intestinal microorganisms that offer a whole range of health benefits. They help to maintain the natural, delicate balance of flora that inhabit the human intestinal tract.

The friendly flora also help to decompose fecal matter, which improves nutrient absorption and produces certain vitamins as metabolic byproducts.

Benefits:

  • Improves immune system function
  • Helps maintain female vaginal and urinary tract system health
  • Helps promote intestinal health in children
  • May support respiratory system health in children
  • Helps synthesize B vitamins
  • Supports the digestive and intestinal systems
  • Provides 4 billion beneficial microorganisms per capsule

2. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, L. acidophilus, L. brevis, L. bulgaricus, L. plantarum, Streptococcus thermophilus, B. infantis, B. longum, L. casei, L. salivarius and FOS (short- and long-chain)

This unique combination of healthful probiotics helps maintain and replenish intestinal supply.

Photo courtesy of The Sleuth Journal

These microorganisms perform essential functions in the body and are affected by aging, adverse intestinal pH, microbial interactions, environmental and dietary temperatures, stress, physiological factors, peristalsis, bile acids, host secretions and immune responses.

Among other things, they support digestion, promote immunity and aid in the elimination of toxins. Probiotics also help regulate intestinal functions and can greatly support colon function.

Clinical studies have shown that short- and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides may improve growth of friendly microorganisms, enhance mineral absorption, support bowel health and function, and promote immune function.

Benefits:

  • Regulates intestinal and digestive functions
  • Provides 11 strains of beneficial microflora
  • Helps eliminate toxins
  • Aids in the elimination of toxins
  • Supports the immune system
  • Regulates intestinal functions

3. St. John’s Wort aerial parts extract

St. John’s Wort is an important herb for the nervous system.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It contains at least 10 pharmacologically active constituents. And numerous studies show that one of these, hypericin, appears to act by elevating mood and acting as a mild calmative.

Recent scientific studies have shown that another constituent, hyperforin, may have more powerful mood-enhancing, spirit-lifting properties.

A study published in 1998 showed that patients who received the highest amounts of hyperforin-containing St. John’s Wort scored highest on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. (high scores on the rating scale indicate lower levels of depression)

Benefits:

  • Supports the nervous system
  • Supports mood improvement
  • Balances the emotions
  • Improves feelings of well-being, self-worth and self-control

4. Zembrin® (Sceletium tortuosum extract), L-Theanine, Thiamin, Magnesium, Zinc

Photo courtesy of Cactus Plaza

This fast-acting, non-drowsy formula helps relieve the nervousness, worry and tension associated with daily living.

Featuring Sceletium tortuosum—a time-honored South African herb—and key nutrients that replenish your body’s stress-coping reserves, this formula targets feelings of anxiousness from multiple pathways. This blend is designed to quickly calm your mind, boost your mood and reduce fatigue.

Benefits:

  • Helps quickly ease anxiousness without drowsiness
  • Promotes a feeling of confidence and security
  • Improves your mood while helping to reduce fatigue
  • Offers safe, non-habit forming relief

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