Eat Well Feel Well - Gut Health And Mood

What is the connection between your mood and what you eat? In this section we want to show you how an imbalanced gut can affect more than just how your body feels. It can be a contributor to many mood imbalances as well! The following recipes, articles, and posts will bring you insight on how your diet and the balance of gut flora shapes the mood your in.

Obesity and Bacteria. What’s the Connection?

Learn About the Unseen Allies That Keep You Healthy and Happy

There is only very recently been an understanding of how good bacteria that occurs naturally in the gut can affect our overall health and mood. But there is certainly a correlation between low levels of good bacteria and a healthy gut.

One health problem that affects many Americans is obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control there are over 78 million adults in the U.S that fall under the category of obese. A whole host of medical complications affect that population. This post is to let you know that obesity has been directly associated with low levels of good bacteria in the gut.

Diet directly influences which kind of bacterias are populating your gut gut. Poor diet means bad bacteria which influence so many health problems including obesity!

Are changes to the gut microbiota a cause rather than a consequence of obesity? We don’t know yet. However, a new study has demonstrated that carbohydrates found in the Mediterranean diet (particularly the non-digestible carbohydrates) can improve microbiota in the gut and help treat obesity.

Another complicating factor is that bacterial diversity in the gut tends to decrease with age, meaning a high quality probiotic supplement could be particularly effective in individuals over age 50.

What can be taken away from what we know for certain today is that diets high in fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grains such as the ones found in the Mediterranean diet can help prevent inflammation and obesity.  Although precise understanding of the mechanisms  has not been determined results have shown a positive affect.

Consult with a registered Dietician to better understand your specific requirements for a healthy happier lifestyle. Stay tuned for more information on a healthy gut and a happy life.

For more information contact Dr. Algert here.

Ref: Lopez-Legarrera P, Fuller NR, Sulet MA et al. The influence of Mediterranean diet, carbohydrate and high protein diets on gut microbiota composition in the treatment of obesity and associated

 

Gut Health and Bacteria

I have a 62 year old friend who was recently referred to a gastroenterologist for upper chest and esophageal pain. The diagnosis was heartburn and she was given an prescription of high dose antacids. Her stress level is very high due to impending move and could be related to the pain—here is what I suggested to her instead of taking a very strong medication:

–Check to make sure that you are getting enough low fat sources of protein in your diet. Most people 60 and up need 1.0 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight—this could equal 80-100 grams per day. Good sources include fish, chicken, yogurt, milk, eggs and cottage cheese. Higher in fat and calories but still a good choice are nuts and soy products.

—Include a good probiotic containing a variety of beneficial gut bacteria as a daily supplement. A recent study showed that VSL #3, a cocktail of eight different probiotics, leads to an increase of good bacteria (lactobacilli and bifdibacteria) and a reduction in the bad gram negative bacteria in the gut. Overall VSL # 3 improves immunity and decreases risk for heart disease and diabetes. The study added 300 mg per day of fish oil which improved immunity and decreased inflammation further in the 60 patients in the study.

Take home message: As you age we wear down good bacteria in the gut and many people begin to experience non-specific GI symptoms. Be sure that you are getting enough high quality protein in your diet and include a wide spectrum probiotic, such as VSL #3, as a supplement to “spiff up” GI health!

Reference: Rajkumar H, MahmoodN, Kumar M, et al. Effect of Probiotic (VSL#3) and Omega 3on lipid profile, insulin sensitivity, inflammatory markers, and gut colonization in overweight adults: a randomized , controlled trial. Mediators of Inflammation volume 2014 article ID 348959; 8 pages.