Gut Bacteria Affect Mental Health

Sunday 23 July 2023

Our colon contains trillions of bacterial cells which make up a unique ecosystem known as the gut microbiome. When the gut bacteria becomes imbalanced (dysbiosis), your mental health can be affected. 

1. Better diversity in microbiome composition is good for mental health

There's a link between gut bacteria and depression. The more diversity in healthy bacteria, the better it will be for your body and mental health.

2. Low butyrate is bad for the brain

Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is essential to the body and is produced by good gut bacteria. Research shows that butyrate might help you grow new brain cells, prevent inflammation and improves mood. One way to help butyrate production in your body is by eating probiotics.

3. Vagus nerve communicates with brain and aids digestion

The vagus nerve connects your gut and brain and aids digestion by helping food move through the digestive tract, stimulates the release of digestive enzymes and tell the brain when you are full. The connection between gut and brain plays a vital role in mental health and even IBS. When the vagus nerve is impaired by stress, it fights inflammation less effectively and negatively affects the balance of gut bacteria.

4. Healthy gut encourages more happy hormones

Gut microbes transform food into short-chain fatty acids, which then communicate with cells to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter and hormone that regulates your mood, including anxiety and happiness. Eating the right foods with lots of variety helps to feed happy bacteria, which increase mood-lifting chemicals like serotonin and GABA.

5. Gut bacteria influences depression and inflammation

When you are in a state of dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), harmful microbes will seize the chance to proliferate. Your body responds by alerting the immune system, which prevents the opportunistic bacteria from taking over by triggering inflammation. The problem is that inflammation can contribute to depression. So, controlling inflammation can help to improve both mood and anxiety levels.

6. Probiotics can reduce depression

Probiotic food (kimchi, yoghurt and kefir) or supplements (Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Lactococcus) increase diversity in your gut bacteria. Studies show that probiotics can help reduce the symptoms of depression.

7. Eat prebiotics to nourish probiotic bacteria

Prebiotics are nourishment for the gut bacteria, and help them transform into short chain fatty acids and vitamins. Some common prebiotic foods include:

- Prebiotic fiber eg. mushrooms, onions, berries, garlic, barley, rye and corn.

- Resistant starches eg. grains, plantains, legumes, potatoes, green bananas and seeds.

- Polyphenols eg. soybeans, apples, red wine, cocoa, tea and onions.

Consuming prebiotic foods is also linked to a reduction in anxiety and improving mental wellbeing.

Balancing your gut bacteria can make you happier

The connection between the gut and brain is an example of how changes in one part of the body can influence another. An imbalanced gut microbiome is the culprit for mental health issues. Research indicate that changes in gut microbiome and inflammation in the gut can affect the brain and cause symptoms that look like Parkinson's disease, autism, anxiety and depression; and taking probiotics and prebiotics can have positive effects on these symptoms and stress resilience.

(Source: 9 ways that your gut affects mental health, Starhealth, 28/11/2021)

Which Prebiotics and Probiotics to Choose?

Choose Lactoberry probiotics. 

Why? This 1-minute video shares with you 5 benefits:

Lactoberry contains 2 types of Bifidobacterium probiotics and many other ingredients. Click on this link to get details on the unique ingredients, their benefits and functions:

How to Order? 

A box of 30 sachets of Lactoberry probiotics costs RM70 for Malaysian members.

Click on this link to register and then you can proceed with your order.

Email me at if you need help. I am an Authorised Distributor.