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Fermented Foods: A Healthy Food Natural Antidepressant Solution

Gut microbes may influence your behavior (continued).

Lead researcher of the study, Professor Mark Lyte from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, says that this is quite possibly a new field where “microbiology meets neuroscience”. Lyte speculates that the discovery of neurochemical-producing bacteria could have profound implications in the field of gastrointestinal health and psychology1.

What are neurochemicals anyway?

Neuro implies “brain.” Chemicals are molecules. Neurochemicals are molecules that play a role in brain activity. Neurochemicals can influence how we think and feel.

Oftentimes, pharmaceutical medications that seek to relieve depression are focused on a neurochemical called serotonin. Many of these drugs block serotonin receptors (such as SSRIs), so that more of it circulates throughout the body. The desired effected is a relaxed and positive mood.

Sometimes these pharmaceutical medications do not do what they say they will do. This has left doctors scratching their heads and wondering why. Part of the reason why pharmaceutical drugs do not always work is because we are still discovering different relationships within the body.

Serotonin is one example of a neurochemical. Others are:

  • Dopamine
  • Aceytlcholine
  • GABA
  • Norepinephrine
  • Oxytocin

These are some examples of neurochemicals that may sound familiar to you. The first four neurochemicals are also neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters do exactly what the name implies: they transmit signals between nerve cells.

  • It is important to realize that neurochemicals are not only produced in the brain.
  • For example, 90% of serotonin is made in the gastrointestinal tract.

Gut bacteria produce neurochemicals that circulate through our bloodstream.

Lyte proposes that probiotics affect behavior by producing their own neurochemicals, which we use. The effects are outside the walls of the intestines because these bacteria-specific neurochemicals were found in the bloodstream of patients.

[+] Sources and References

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