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The bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that comprise your body’s microflora actually outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1, and it’s now becoming increasingly clear that these tiny organisms play a MAJOR role in your health-both physical and mental.
The impact of your microflora on your brain function has again been confirmed by UCLA researchers who, in a proof-of-concept study, found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) indeed altered the brain function in the participants.
As reported by UCLA:
“Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to your gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.
‘Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,’ [Dr. Kirsten] Tillisch said. ‘Our study shows that the gut-brain connection is a two-way street.'”
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Gastroenterology, claims the discovery “carries significant implications for future research that could point the way toward dietary or drug interventions to improve brain function.” Naturally, I urge you to embrace dietary changes here, opposed to waiting for some “miracle drug” to do the work for you…
Yes, Your Diet Affects Your Brain Function
The study enlisted 36 women between the ages of 18 and 55 who were divided into three groups:
• The treatment group ate yogurt containing several probiotics thought to have a beneficial impact on intestinal health, twice a day for one month
• Another group ate a “sham” product that looked and tasted like the yogurt but contained no probiotics
• Control group ate no product at all
Before and after the four-week study, participants’ underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, both while in a state of rest, and in response to an “emotion-recognition task.” For the latter, the women were shown a series of pictures of people with angry or frightened faces, which they had to match to other faces showing the same emotions.