Which disorders are we talking about and what is their relationship with the gut microbiota?
They include mood disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, etc. but also autism, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.
Stress, anxiety, etc. are emotional disorders that have an adverse impact on our quality of life. Considered to be the scourges of the 21st century, these physiological phenomena are natural reactions but can become chronic and excessive, developing into genuinely pathological conditions.
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are some of the most common neurodegenerative diseases, mainly affecting older people. Parkinson’s disease causes the slow and progressive destruction of neurons, leading, in particular, to problems coordinating movements, while Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by the gradual development of dementia, associated with loss of cognitive performance.
Autism is also a neurological condition, related to pervasive development disorders, also called autistic spectrum disorders. It causes impairment in social interactions, communication difficulties and behavioural problems.
It has been shown that stress and anxiety affect our digestive health but the impact of the ENS on the brain has long been under-estimated, it now having been demonstrated that our gut has a real effect on our emotional health. Anxiety, depression, autism, mood, etc. the gut microbiota regulates neuro-endocrine and emotional responses, suggesting that an imbalance in microbiota – known as dysbiosis – may be a potential trigger for the development of behavioural disorders.
A modification in the gut microbiota – previously known as the gut flora – that may lead to weakening of the intestinal epithelial barrier has been observed in people with stress, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism or Parkinson’s disease.
How are the gut and the brain connected ?
Bidirectional communication !
What impact can probiotics have on emotional health?
Probiotics act to maintain a healthy, balanced gut microbiota, strengthening the barrier effect of the intestinal mucosa or gut lining.
Supplementation with certain probiotics has been shown to have beneficial effects on the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has also been demonstrated that supplements of this type may reduce certain digestive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia or autism.
Probiotics have a significant effect on brain chemistry, modulating the signals that regulate mood and behaviour. Taking high-quality probiotics therefore contributes to the maintenance of our gut health but it also helps support our emotional well-being.