In recent years, the study of causes and treatments of depression has uncovered a link to the health of the microbiome within the body’s digestive system. The hypothesis is that the presence or absence of healthy digestive bacteria affects the way the brain functions, and new research by a Florida State University neuroscientist sheds more insight into this.
The findings by research and psychology professor Linda Rinaman point to a very important connection between the gut and the brain, identifying pathways that help to understand why so-called ‘gut feelings’ have a powerful influence on emotions, mood and decision-making.
“We expect these lines of research will help us better understand how gastrointestinal functions contribute to both normal and disordered mental function.” ~Linda Rinaman
“Research indicates that a healthy vagus nerve is vital in experiencing empathy and fostering social bonding, and it is crucial to our ability to observe, perceive, and make complex decisions. Tests have revealed that people with impaired vagal activity have also been diagnosed with depression, panic disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, panic disorders, violent mood swings, fibromyalgia, early Alzheimer’s and obesity. Given the state of society today and the vast array of dis-eases associated with unhealthy Vagus Nerves, it doesn’t take a medical doctor to conclude that by healing our collective Vagus Nerves, we can heal a lot of societies woes.
Scientists have discovered that artificial Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), through electrical impulses via a surgically implanted pacemaker like device, shows promising results in reducing depression, anxieties and even conditions such as epilepsy and obesity. VNS has also shown positive effects in promoting weight-loss as the signals to the brain of ‘fullness’ are more easily transmitted. But what if there were a less intrusive and more natural way to stimulate and heal the Vagus Nerve?” ~Frank Huguenard
The important takeaway here is that supporting healthy gut function along with healthy function of the vagus nerve is being demonstrated to be a potentially very potent way of holistically approaching treatment of depression and anxiety.
“Evidence shows that modifying the diet, perhaps by consuming probiotics, can impact your mood and behavioral state. That’s very clear in animal and human studies.” ~Linda Rinaman
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About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (New Insight into How ‘Gut Feelings’ Affect Mental Health, Depression and Anxiety) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com.