As I wrote in the other blog of this month on intestines and intestinal troubles, I would like to eloborate some more on the intestines in correlation with depression. Many people suffer from depression nowadays. It’s almost like an epidemic in the Western World. Instead of popping a pill, I would like to offer a different point of view and with that hopefully some hope.
Most people are aware that suppressing your emotions and physiology can lead to depression. And which organ is in Chinese Medicine the organ of letting go? Right: the intestines! For the longest time, scientists thought that the intestines had something to do with mental health and now science apparently found proof. Let’s take a closer look.
Your colon is full of bacteria, some 50 trilion. This comes down to 1 a 2 kilo of microbes that never see the light of day. Isn’t that miraculous? It is an entire ecosystem in itself. Besides bacteria, there are also viruses and fungi in our intestines. These bacteria, viruses and fungi together form the microbiome. Some are bad and some are good for you. The microbiome determines our immune system and partly our body weight. The microbiome plays an important part in mental problems such as anxiety and depression. These can arise when certain bacteria are missing from the microbiome.
So, besides the digestion of food, the microbiome also takes care of your mental health. It is therefore not only very important to look at whát and hów you eat, but also to which impressions you expose yourself during the day/in your life, for the digestion of these impressions follows the same route, so to speak, as the digestion of food. The microbiome is also called your second brain.
The intestines communicate continiously with your brain and vice versa. This is called the brain-gut-axis. Communication takes place via substances that are mainly produced in the intestine itself. Think of dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and GABA. Dopamine, for example, is a substance that makes you feel happy.
The microbiome is an interesting phenomenon. Currently, research is also being carried out into whether Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can be linked to the microbiome.
You can work on improving your microbiome/depression by eating a varied diet and using probiotics. You can find healthy recipes under the header ‘food and drinks’. You can also start cooking with herbs. Tips and pointers you can find under the header ‘herbs’.
There is a lot of experimentation with poo transplantation nowadays. This involves introducing poo from healthy donors into people with a compromised microbiome.
I am curious and will continue to follow developments to keep you informed!