Good morning friends~
I saw an article this morning, and wanted to share it . Here are a few excerpts from the study referenced:
“Investigators led by Caroline Wallace, PhD candidate, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, found that symptoms of mood, anhedonia, and sleep disturbance were significantly reduced with probiotic therapy after just 4 weeks, with results maintained at 8 weeks.
The findings are of particular interest because probiotics are not associated with any of the adverse effects of current antidepressant therapies and can be safely taken over long periods.
These results, the investigators note, “suggest that probiotics may be effective in alleviating depressive symptoms such as mood, anhedonia, and sleep quality.”
Our gut is just so dang important for our overall body health…. not just physically, but also emotionally. Antidepressants are among the top three medication classes prescribed by doctors. I can verify that as a pharmacist. While antidepressants are not addictive, they do have the ability to completely change the wiring in your brain, making them very difficult to discontinue. I’ve been told by more than one patient that being on an antidepressant is like experiencing your world thru a filtered lens. Everything is muted, and while you may have muted depressed emotions, you will also find you have muted joy and pleasure. And yet, for mild to moderate depression, doctors offer this alternative over suggesting non-prescription remedies first.
As we age or assault our gut with diet, antibiotics and household toxins, the good bacteria in our gut can’t maintain their healthy colony size……and, I’ve read that some of these little beasties (the Bifidobacterium strains specifically) really start to struggle when we’ve reached ‘a certain age’, leading to (among other things) anxiety, depression, and sleepless nights…. all things the elderly (or those with a gut issues) can struggle with.
Sadly, almost no insurance pays for probiotics. Such a simple aid for such a widespread problem!……Just one more aspect of our broken healthcare system here in the USA.
Not all probiotics are created equal, and there are hundreds of brands on the market. Among the many I have researched, there are only a few brands I would recommend. The reasons are diverse: packaging (not protective enough), strains (not diverse enough), quantity (not enough colony forming units to make much of an impact), release mechanism (releasing directly into the stomach is a death sentence for these beasties)….. the list goes on.
While you can be thrifty and bargain shop for many things, probiotics is not one of them. In this case, you truly do get what you pay for. The best ones aren’t cheap; you can expect to pay about 25-30$/month. Even then, purchasing a pricey probiotic does not mean all the criteria above will be met. A close dissection and understanding of the label is very important.
I know…. that sounds like a lot of money, but at 300-400$ per year, it is a darn cheap way to invest in your life, your health, and your emotional balance. I know people who spend that much on designer coffee and fast food each month (to the detriment of their health). We all have choices to make in life.
One of the things I love and respect about Young Living (the company I do business with and endorse) is their ability to simplify my life. I really appreciate that their products do not require ‘label dissection’ (that was a game changer and time saver for me). All of them. Clean. Pure. Unadulterated. Researched & developed with attention to the minutia of detail….. making this pharm/farm girl one happy camper.
Ya’ll take care and have a blessed day!
(Oh, and yes…. this picture has nothing to do with this article…. even tho these thistles are terrible weeds, I still thought it was a pretty thing ;). I love finding beauty in the everyday-ness out here.)
17 Jul 2017 at 4:52 pm
This is such an interesting area of research. I’ve read a couple of books on this such as “The Mind Gut Connection” and have certainly become more aware of what I consume as a result. Great post
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17 Jul 2017 at 6:09 pm
Thanks! It is so very interesting! I have worked closely with a few friends who struggle with both anxiety and depression that got worse after taking a round of antibiotics. They both believed that their anti depressants and anti anxiety meds had quit working and needed something different. I got them to simply try mega doses of probiotics, AND homemade yogurt that was full of natural probiotics. In both cases they were able to stabilize without any additional medication.
I recommend probiotics with every round of antibiotics to prevent this. Most of the time, people look at me like I’ve got three eyeballs when I do so (or that I’m simply trying to get them to spend more money). That couldn’t be further from the truth (I get paid by the hour as a pharmacist…. not by the sale!). I’m trying to prevent a larger crisis from happening… whether that be an emotional downswing, or a health event stemming from gut dysbiosis caused by the antibiotics.
We are all at risk, but especially children and the elderly when it comes to antibiotics. Please, always take probiotics in conjunction with your antibiotics….separating the dosing of each by two hours (so that the antibiotic won’t kill the probiotic and you waste money and achieve nothing).