How Probiotics Impact Depression, Anxiety and Even Beauty

Miso and Fermented GingerWe’ve seen a lot of research and discovery on the area of the importance of probiotic gut health over the past few decades. Before, it seemed everyone knew fermented foods and dairy products like yogurt containing healthy bacteria called probiotics had health benefits, but it wasn’t something we were as acutely aware of as we are today.

And every day, more and more research is pointing to the inescapable conclusion, that much like vitamin D levels have a profound impact on multiple levels of our physical and mental health, so does the health and functionality of our gut.  It’s not just about digestion, it’s about holistic, whole body and mind health!

Probiotics Benefits Mental and Emotional Health

More data is suggesting that those who suffer depression and certain mood disorders tend to not have enough healthy gut flora.  While it may seem counterintuitive that something that occurs in the digestive and elimination system can have an impact on the brain, there is some pretty strong data to suggest that having a healthy flora (probiotic) balance in the intestines translates into a positive and healthy state of mind.

The theory so far is that when the gut is out of balance and unhealthy bacteria is out of control, it releases a material that has an impact on the neurological activity of the brain.  This in turn can have an impact on not only brain activity and function like memory and performance, but also can have a pretty profound impact on mood, stress and anxiety management, general perception and problem solving, and disposition.


Another important role of probiotics is to help increase the body’s immunity.  Studies have shown a relationship between the body’s defense against infection with pathogens and one’s gut health.  When your gut bacteria is out of balance, your body’s immunity tends to break down.

If you start to notice you’re catching every bug that’s going around, it might be time to either try a good, high quality probiotic supplement, or get more fermented foods in your diet (see below for some ideas).


Having a naturally good balance in your gut of the right bacteria simply is the best way to stay on a “regular” schedule”.  It means less bouts with constipation and gas, and it means your body is ridding itself of waste much more efficiently. This all translates to perfect digestive harmony and comfort.

Probiotics and Your Skin

Having a good probiotic balance in your instestines is also linked to having a better complexion believe it or not.  Talk about a multifunctional nutrient!  You can see more about the interesting connection between healthy gut bacteria and your skin here in our previous post on the subject:

And finally, we wouldn’t want to talk about all this friendly probiotic bacteria without providing a list of some of the best natural sources for this important dietary addition.  See bleow for some ideas.

Yogurt with active cultures
Miso soup
Fermented Ginger (pickled)
Some types of pickles – only if fermented

Supplements with Probiotics – Sometimes this is a great option if you don’t care for the foods that tend to contain them, or if you’re concerned that the probiotics you do consume are largely destroyed by your digestive acids (this does happen). Many of the supplements today have an enteric coating that protects them until they release into the intestines, where they are most beneficial.

What does “enteric” mean? Well it means of, relating to or concerned with the intestines. Enteric coating is one that is designed to leave the designated coated substance intact and viable (resisting digestive acid breakdown) until it reaches its desired location where it goes to work – the intestines.


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