001 - Probiotics
Post date: Nov 9, 2015 5:18:13 PM
Counselor Notes 1
October 29, 2011
Most of us have heard someone refer to another’s problems as “all in their head.” That may be true, but there is a new field opening up called neurogastroenterology which looks at the brain in a person’s stomach. One of the feature articles in the December issue of Psychology Today is titled “Your Backup Brain” and goes on to say: “There’s a ‘second brain’ in your stomach, and it influences mood, what you eat, all kinds of disease, and decision-making.” (The link isn’t available yet as it is a current issue. I’ll post it when it becomes available. For now, try this article in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gut-second-brain ).
In her book “Children With Starving Brains,” Jaquelyn McCandless M.D. makes these points about the importance of the guts:
· “Research has shown that 60 – 70% of the immune system in humans is located in the intestinal tract and its digestive organs.... ...intestinal pathology can contribute to immune dysregulation, and vice versa.” p. 89
· “Antibiotics not only irritate the intestinal wall and cause gut inflammation, but also destroy the beneficial bacteria, creating an opportunity for Candida (a yeast), Clostridia (an anaerobic bacteria) and other pathogens normally kept in balance by the 'good bugs' to overgrow and cause further damage.” p. 89
· “... many autistic patients tend to have elevated yeast levels in their intestines.” p. 89
· “... yeast overgrowth interferes with the absorption of nutrients (the yeast takes them from their own growth and multiplication, particularly the sugars); this is often the cause of the diarrhea and/or constipation.” p. 90
· “Furthermore, yeast cells can convert to an invasive colony form, imbedding themselves into the lining of the intestinal tract and, via secreted enzymes, destroy intestinal tissue. This type of injury creates 'holes' in the intestine through which undigested food molecules can pass. This hypermeable state is called 'leaky gut syndrome.'” p. 90
· “This process (leaky gut) leads to greater allergic susceptibilities. Effective treatment of yeast or bacterial overgrowth often decreases or eliminates these allergic reactions.” p. 90
The microflora are important. Newsweek had this note in their October 29, 2007 issue:
“… the body’s natural microbial flora aren’t just an incidental fact of our biology, but crucial components of our health, intimate companions on an evolutionary journey…. Our microbes do us the favor of synthesizing our vitamins right in our guts; they regulate our immune systems and even our serotonin levels….” P. 45 (Note: low levels of serotonin are associated with depression.)
There are a number of causes of problems in the guts. Among them are poor diet (especially one high in sugar), toxins, and yeast overgrowth. Here’s a simple free home test for yeast overgrowth: http://www.candidasupport.org/test_saliva.html
If there are gut issues, you may want to try something called probiotics. http://www.prevention.com/health/nutrition/healthy-eating-tips/europe-s-best-kept-health-secret/article/56f468f271903110VgnVCM10000013281eac____
I am not a medical doctor and I am not the leading researcher on all of this so plesase do read up on these issues. I t may be that the whole thing is overblown. I put the information here though because there is a lot of buzz in the psychology world and gut issues may play a role in:
"Mood dysregulation has long been linked to inflammation, suggesting that there's immune dysfunction in depression, Researchers report that treating animals with gut probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis leads to positive changes in neurochemical function. The microbe raised levels of serotonin precursor tryptophan in the frontal lobe and the amygdala, two brain areas associated with mood and emotion." - The November/December 2010 issue of Psychology Today, p. 46.
Anxiety disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder):
"There is also a theory that the toxins can spread to the brain and develop into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder." http://www.breezecare.com/probiotics/index.html
Skin Problems: (ex: Psoriasis & eczema)
For those afflicted, I hope this offers some relief. For those not afflicted, you may want to look into all this as an ounce of prevention.