Gut bacteria is the ‘good bacteria’ in your stomach that helps regulate your bowel, aides in your digestion and keeps your microbes at healthy levels. If your gut bacteria is not working properly then you can suffer constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, acid reflux and many more gastric conditions. If your gut is not working properly for a long period of time it can result in serious illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome or even diverticulitis etc. Gut bacteria are necessary as they are the bacteria that keep your whole digestive system stable. They are the bacteria that antibiotics kills off so if you are sick a lot and need to take a lot of antibiotics then your gut bacteria will be deficient. This will result in diarrhoea. When you take antibiotics all the gut bacteria almost are destroyed. However your gut bacteria isn’t often thought of as being the probable cause of some mental health issue.
More recent research however shows that a species of bacteria called Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, can affect someone’s mental health if there is a lack of this substance. If you are missing GABA you can be diagnosed as suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and fatigue but often it is overlooked that you could be also suffering from an inability to handle stress which can lead to anxiety, depression and even autism.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages to the brain and nervous system. It is also involved in regulating the communication between our brain cells. Research has shown that GABA can control anxiety, fear and affect our behaviour so when it is low we don’t feel as calm or relaxed or sleep too well. Northeastern University have discovered a specific bacteria in the gut (called Bacteroides fragilisKLE1758) that actually consumes GABA. Further studies need to be done in this area before information confuses the public but this new information is perhaps a good insight to explain the link between our gut and mental health issues.
The good news is that GABA can be raised naturally with foods high in magnesium and vitamin B. It’s a good idea to take a natural multi-vitamin daily as none of us eat perfectly every day and a supplement will ensure you don’t become deficient in vitamins and minerals. Green tea and camomile are also good for increasing these bacteria levels. These vitamins and foods have shown in some tests to increase gut bacteria and in turn the person’s mental health abilities increase also. There are also many other natural ways to increase mental health, handle stress, anxiety and depression. Consult your natural therapist to find out what you need to do if you are suffering from any of these illnesses.
GABA therefore has the potential to be a good supplement if you are feeling a little off or have been suffering from bad anxiety, depression, or even PMS. Remember that often your mood can be affected by your hormone levels and whether your thyroid is operating properly. GABA however can increase your mood affecting your emotions and putting a positive slant on your perspective. It is hoped that further studies will reveal to what extent GABA can assist in mood stabilisation.