You've certainly heard of probiotics, but do you know what they are and how they affect your nervous system? They have a lot to offer, it turns out. Probiotics are living microorganisms found in foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. According to research, these helpful microbes can considerably boost the operation of your neurological system. Let's look at how probiotics can help your mental health and overall well-being.
Probiotics' Effects on Your Nervous System
By modifying brain chemistry, probiotics may help to lower stress and anxiety. Probiotic supplementation has been shown in studies to raise serotonin levels in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter involved for mood and emotion regulation. Consuming more probiotic-rich foods or supplements may help you reduce stress and sadness while also enhancing your memory and focus.
Probiotics have been found in studies to boost learning capacity and overall cognitive performance, in addition to lowering stress levels. One study on rats found that individuals who were given probiotic supplements performed better on memory tasks than those who were not given probiotic supplements. Certain helpful bacteria were found to "modulate synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus region"—a region of the brain involved for memory formation—which could explain why these rats scored better on recall and recognition tests.
Another study found that taking a specific strain of Lactobacillus bacteria boosted gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain; GABA is a neurotransmitter that regulates nerve activity and promotes relaxation. Furthermore, this same study discovered that taking this strain of bacteria reduced cortisol levels in the body; cortisol is a stress hormone that can interfere with digestion if left unregulated for too long.
These studies have shown that supplementing with probiotic organisms can provide considerable benefits for your nervous system health by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety while increasing cognitive capacities such as memory creation and recall. If you want to improve your mental health without using prescription medications or making significant lifestyle changes, including more probiotic-rich foods in your diet or taking daily supplements could be an amazing alternative worth investigating further!