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Gut microbes affect stress and your health

Gut microbes affect stress and your health

To my fascination one of the things I learnt at the recent Methylation Summit is your gut microbes affect stress and your health. Gut microbes linked to SIBO (small intestinal overgrowth) have methylation cycles too! They release bacterial by-products, called endotoxins that impact stress and your mood.

Scientists have found that vitamin mineral deficiencies of many fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, vitamin B12 and iron can increase complications of SIBO including diarrhoea, malabsorption and neuropathies.  Folate levels can be normal however frequently are elevated due to increased synthesis of folate by small bowel bacteria (they are pooping out their own endotoxins). Regulating SIBO becomes the key. It’s our environment that influences our health!Gut microbes

Increased intestinal permeability associated with the upload of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) (called endotoxins) induces depressive symptoms affecting your mood. Our gut microbiota and probiotics (including prebiotics), alter behaviour and neurochemistry. It’s the communication from the gut to the brain that influences our behaviour and impacts stress (not the other way around – from the brain to the gut via the vagus nerve that we now know). The number of cells in our gut far out ways the cells in the body, according to Dr Gundry. In fact, we carry with us over 100 times the amount of genetic material in our gut than we carry in our body! We could effectively consider our gut to by a separate entity (a living organism in its own right) that needs tending and feeding correctly.

If we nourish our gut, we get to heal the brain. Studies are revealing how variations and changes in the composition of the gut microbiota influence normal physiology and contribute to diseases ranging from inflammation to obesity. Accumulating data now indicate that the gut microbiota also communicates with the central nervous system (CNS) possibly through neural, endocrine and immune pathways and influences brain function and behaviour. Studies in germ-free animals and in animals exposed to pathogenic bacterial infections, probiotic bacteria or antibiotic drugs suggest a role for the gut microbiota in the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition and pain.

Good bacteria vs badProbiotics (and for that matter antibiotic drugs), suggest a role for the gut microbiota in the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition and pain. Modulation may be a strategy for developing novel therapeutics for complex CNS disorders. Importantly, L. rhamnosus (JB-1) reduced stress-induced corticosterone and anxiety- and depression-related behaviour. It assists in regulating the neurotransmitter GABA calming the cortisol HPA axis.

The ability of our catecholamines (stress hormones), to stimulate the growth of infectious bacteria is now well established. A major element of the growth induction process has been shown to involve the catecholamines binding to the high-affinity ferric-iron-binding proteins transferrin (Tf) and lactoferrin, which then enables bacterial acquisition of normally inaccessible sequestered host iron. In other words, your gut bacteria have the ability to steal your iron! As part of chronic iron depletion, it is not unreasonable to assume that this process may be occurring. The mechanisms are yet to be fully understood however the bacteria have the ability to grab the iron in the presence of the stress hormone molecule catechol ring.  The greater the stress bacteria are opportunistic and more sensitive toward thus becoming more aggressive.

gut-flora affects

Gut microbes can potentially impact several biochemical pathways of the body, causing a traffic jam, through what they excrete. Learning what is impacting can be a step in a positive direction if you are suffering pain, mood swings, detoxification or digestive problems. The OAT testing measures urinary metabolites of intestinal microbial overgrowth, oxalates, mitochondrial energy markers, neurotransmitter metabolites, fatty acid metabolism, indicators of detoxification (ammonia and glutathione), salicylates, or GI bacteria, vitamin nutritional markers which can provide valuable treatment information for most conditions.

OAT testing can be conducted through Karen Green – Gaining Health Naturally.  Make an enquiry today on 0400836254 or email:

Related articles

Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve.

Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour.

Elucidation of the Mechanism by Which Catecholamine Stress Hormones Liberate Iron from the Innate Immune Defense Proteins Transferrin and Lactoferrin

iron rich foods

Iron-rich foods, including eggs, spinach, peas, beans, red meat, liver, and raisins.


Interpreting Your Genetics Summit

Gaining Health Naturally Naturopathy Brisbane, Sunshine Coast Qld

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