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When we want to express a deep, core feeling or inner knowing — which part of our body do we instinctively mention?
It’s gut-wrenching. My gut tells me. A gut feeling, gut instinct, gut reaction.
These common expressions all center around one thing — your gut.
Would it surprise you to know that according to scientists, your health and even your happiness stem from your gut, too?
Your gut (called the “microbiome”) comprises more than 70% of your immune cells. Not only this, but your microbiome has a billion plus neurotransmitters that scientists have deemed “the second brain.”
This complex nervous system in your gut communicates with your brain and controls your mood, hormones, and how well your brain works.
Your gut health connects to depression, because the organisms that live in your gut (called microbiota) directly influence anxiety and depressive-like behaviors.
Your microbiota creates chemicals and hormones that are identical to the ones your brain uses to regulate mood — dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
The regulation of serotonin in your body is a key factor in managing depression, anxiety, and overall mood. Not only is the gut responsible for manufacturing almost 90% of your body’s serotonin, but your microbiome and brain are also in constant communication about how it is used.
In other words, any disruption to this process (like with a gut that is out of balance) will affect how your body makes, stores, and utilizes serotonin. This in turn directly affects mood and plays a role in developing depression.
Scientists are also finding distinct patterns inside the microbiota of Alzheimer’s patients.
Why Your Gut Health is So Important
The microbiome is a delicate ecosystem made up of trillions upon trillions of microbiota (intestinal flora). You actually have more microbiota in your body than you have cells. Combined they can weigh almost four and a half pounds!
This huge variety of organisms ranges from fungi to viruses to bacteria. In ideal cases, this diverse system of microbiota lives in harmony — each playing a specific role in balancing your gut.
However, when the amount of one type of microbiota is allowed to get too high or too low, either by “overgrowth”, or by dying off, your gut is said to be out of balance.
Probiotics for Depression
You probably already know, that “probiotic” means “for life”. The dictionary definition is: a substance which stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora).
Current research shows how rebalancing your gut with probiotics can actually reverse disorders like anxiety and depression.
However, this idea is not new — it’s been around since 1910 when probiotic pioneer, Dr. George Porter Phillips, saw that a probiotic formula that included Lactobacillus strains, improved symptoms of depression.
A century ago, many scientists already knew that toxicity from gut imbalances created a state of continuous infection. They believed these imbalances were directly connected to anxiety, depression, and even psychosis.
More recent research backs up Dr. Phillips’ findings. More and more studies are showing how helping the gut with probiotics directly supports depression relief.
More exciting, studies demonstrate that probiotics have distinct “antidepressant properties.”
Here are some highlights from just a few:
A daily dose of probiotics is shown to reduce “psychological stress” in humans, and helps manage anxiety, stress, and depression.
A 2007 study concluded, “Human subjects with poor mood at the beginning of the experiment exhibited a significant improvement in mood after the probiotic treatment.”
A 2013 study demonstrated probiotics directly affects brain activity that controls emotions. Their findings demonstrate how taking probiotics helps your brain and mood.
In 2015 a study found Lactobacillus acidophilus could reduce gut inflammation, which has been directly connected to depression.
Another 2018 review of several studies reported probiotic supplements offer significant improvement in mild and moderate depression.
The same 2018 review stated that probiotic benefits for depression had no adverse effects.
Putting Your Microbiome Back Into Balance with Probiotics and Prebiotics
One of the best ways you can ensure balance is through a diverse, high-fiber diet. However, this often is not enough to do the job.
So, experts recommend daily supplementation with really good probiotics and prebiotics. These include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), Bifidobacterium lactis, and marine polysaccharides.
Taking a good probiotic formulation with enough CFUs (colony forming units) helps ensure there is an abundance of the “good” life-giving organisms your gut needs to be in balance and to combat depression.
Prebiotics are food for your probiotics. They help the good organisms flourish. This is a piece many formulas and people already supplementing with probiotics miss... The addition of prebiotics allows for better colonization of good bacteria (probiotics), putting your gut into better balance.
So what do you need to look for in a good probiotic and prebiotic formula?
Not All Products Are Created Equally
There are thousands of probiotics available. They range from the curiously cheap to ridiculously expensive. You definitely need to be an informed consumer.
Here are a few basic factors that can help you choose a really good probiotic formulation. Choose a product with:
Both probiotic and prebiotic strains.
Probiotic strains include: lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus paracasei, and bifidobacterium lactis.
Prebiotic strains include: fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and marine polysaccharides.
A high number of CFUs (colony forming units). Consumer Labs states 1 billion daily is the absolute minimum.
No refrigeration needed. If the bottle doesn’t say you need to refrigerate, it’s made from the more stable form of probiotics that come from plants, not dairy.
High quality. You want to buy from a manufacturer you trust — and a formulation that is gluten free, GMO free, hormone free, sugar free, and binder free. A vegan formula is likely safer for anyone with food sensitivities, too.
Bio-shielded. While prebiotics are near indestructible and usually survive the long trip through your stomach acids and digestive system, probiotics are more fragile. A truly excellent probiotic formula will include bio-shielding, which encases probiotic strains to protect them until they reach the lower intestine, where they can colonize. (MAKTrek® 3-D is a good bio-shield system to look out for.)
Bio-shielding also allows for slow release of the microbiota you want to flourish in your body. Slow release allows extra time for them to grow and repopulate.
Keep these points in mind when choosing a probiotic formula to help balance your gut, manage symptoms of depression or anxiety, and improve your overall health.
We have highlighted the important role probiotics play in increasing healthy gut bacteria and, in turn, the correlation between having a balanced gut and maintaining stable moods and good mental health.
But if you are like millions of busy, often on-the-go Americans, you may notice a lack of energy when getting out of bed in the morning, or have difficulty getting through your day without feeling like you are “crashing” in the afternoons.
This may be due to poor absorption of nutrients, which are key to helping you feel strong and vibrant throughout your day.
This is where digestive enzymes can make a positive difference.
In addition to supporting gut health, digestive enzymes help your body break down the foods you eat, enhance nutrient uptake, and are essential for healthy weight management.
If you are not properly absorbing the food molecules you eat, your body needs to work harder to break down the particles — leading to more energy being spent and less energy to continue with your day.
Think about it. When your energy is low — even after you have eaten — your mood changes, your patience levels are lowered, your focus is affected, and your self-talk becomes more critical. Your brain sends the message that additional fuel is necessary to continue, and we reach out for a quick, often sugary or caffeinated, snack or beverage.
Improper nutrient absorption hinders the use of energy produced from a healthy meal and can lead to overeating or binging. We’ve all heard the proverb, “You are what you eat.” However, it’s more accurate to say, “You are what your body absorbs.” You can eat the healthiest foods every day — but if your body isn’t absorbing them, you’re not reaping the benefits.
This combination of enzymes and probiotics supports digestive health and ensures nutrients are delivered to the body.
In fact, there are just so many benefits to digestive enzymes... ranging from promoting healthy inflammatory responses to ensuring your metabolism is running well (converting calories to energy)...and much more.
Click below to discover the list of natural healing ingredients you’ll find in Digestive Enzyme Blend with Makzyme-Pro™:
To create a complete Gut Renewal package and offer a myriad of benefits, we’ve included Super Fulvic Minerals. This natural product literally comes from the soil, containing a high content of trace minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants — known to eradicate cell-damaging free radicals (which contribute greatly to deteriorating health and premature aging).
When minerals and trace elements from food come into contact with Fulvic Acid, they are dissolved into a form that makes them more bioavailable (usable) by the body. That’s why Fulvic Acid is often called “the ultimate nutrient booster.”
In addition, Super Fulvic Minerals are highly effective at neutralizing and detoxifying harmful toxins and pollutants, including heavy metals such as lead and mercury. All of these benefits make Fulvic minerals the ultimate addition to our Gut Renewal protocol.
Make sure to click the banner below to see our exclusive special offer to help you achieve total gut renewal!