For anyone struggling to manage stress, anxiety and depression, you know that it’s not just “in your head.” Research continues to show how mental and emotional stress can have direct links to your physical health.
And it’s not a one-way street.
This means that many mental health challenges can actually start in your body…with things like neuroinflammation (brain inflammation), hormone imbalances, and gut dysbiosis—the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your microbiome.
This last factor, your gut health, may be one of the biggest. The gut is often called “the second brain” because of the vast connections between cognitive function, mental health and digestive wellness. This complex network of signals between your digestive system and your neurological system is called the gut-brain axis. And your microbiome—the ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes that live in your gut—plays a key role in this connection.
So what does all this mean?
It means that certain beneficial bacteria, aka probiotics, can go a long way toward supporting mental health and brain function. Data shows that certain strains of probiotics can reduce anxiety, improve depression, and benefit numerous cognitive and mood imbalances.
This is huge news for anyone seeking safe, natural, and effective approaches to support healthy stress responses and mental health (just about everyone.)
Welcome to the exciting new field of psychobiotics: supplements for mental health and mood boosting, from your core (the gut)!
Gut-Brain Axis: How Your Gut Controls Your Mood
Your microbiome contains trillions of bacteria. Most are helpful, but some are not. When healthy bacteria, aka probiotics, are dominant in the gut, you experience better physical and mental health.
But when pathogenic, unhealthy microbes crowd out the good bacteria, your microbiome becomes imbalanced, causing dysbiosis…with negative impacts to your overall health, including increased mental stress.
What’s worse, stress can also harm the good bacteria, leading to a vicious cycle of chronic stress and microbiome imbalance. This is why you may feel a “knot in your stomach” at times when stress or anxiety is high, or have a headache when you eat something that upsets your stomach. Gut health and brain health are interconnected.
Gut dysbiosis has been linked to a number of mood and cognitive imbalances,, such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there is good news.
Research shows that when you address gut dysbiosis with the right probiotics, the rebalance in your microbiome can significantly improve your mood, brain function and stress response.
4 Ways Probiotics Boost Mood
Producing key neurotransmitters: Probiotics in your gut produce a significant percentage of the brain chemicals that support a healthy, happy mood, including:
- Serotonin—the “happy neurotransmitter” and natural anti-depressant
- GABA—the “calming neurotransmitter” that promotes relaxation and reduces stress
- Dopamine—the “reward neurotransmitter” that produces feelings of pleasure and motivation
- Manufacturing B vitamins: Probiotics also manufacture a broad spectrum of B vitamins for cognitive health, stress and mood.
Short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production: SCFAs such as butyrate and propionate directly nourish the nervous system, enhance gut-brain connections, and reduce symptoms of depression.
- Cortisol (stress) reduction: Probiotics reduce cortisol – the stress hormone – by as much as 20%, helping your body to better manage stress.
When combined, all of these benefits can go a long way to improve your mood and mental health.
Psychobiotics for a Better Mood
Research into psychobiotics—certain strains of probiotic supplements that impact mental health—continues to show promise. Specifically, certain strains of probiotics deliver a direct mood boost. Strains with proven psychobiotics benefits include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactococcus lactis
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus salivarius
- Streptococcus thermophiles
Data shows that the right probiotic strains can:
- Produce mood-boosting brain chemicals like serotonin
- Reduce anxiety
- Help you calm down more easily after a stressful experience
- Uplift mood
- Support cognitive function and mental clarity
ecoProbiotic—certified organic pre + probiotic for mood support and more
ecoProbiotic is an unparalleled microbiome support formula containing an expert blend of clinically researched probiotic strains with mood and cognitive benefits, in addition to other clinically relevant benefits, such as optimal digestive support, immune balance and more. These live probiotic strains include:
- B. longum
- L. acidophilus
- L. case
- L. rhamnosus
- L. salivarius
- L. lactis
- B. lactis
- S. thermophiles
To enhance this formula and nourish these probiotics, a special prebiotic fiber is included in the form of Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP). The prebiotic nutrient in the MCP, called pectic oligosaccharide, powers the probiotics so they can remain active and ready to thrive within your gut for optimal health. The formula also contains 19 powerful digestive herbs that directly support healthy gut function, immunity, and overall wellness.*
To put it simply, your gut-brain connection is the strongest and most direct pathway to support optimal mental health and neurological wellness. Because when your probiotic bacteria are thriving and happy, you will be too.