While there are plenty of things you may attribute your mood to – the weather, your job, life in general – have you thought about how your gut microbiome may be influencing your mood?
Researchers suggest that alongside plenty of other aspects of health, your microbiome has a profound effect on the way your mind works. Low levels of certain species of bacteria in your gut could be associated with depression or anxiety.
For four weeks, at a study at UCLA, twelve people ate a cup of commercially-available probiotic yogurt twice a day, while the remainder were given a non-probiotic dairy product. Before and after the four weeks, all were given MRI brain scans during which they were shown images of human faces expressing emotions such as anger or fear.
The brain scans showed the people in the control group were more affected by these emotional triggers than the probiotic yogurt eaters, who by comparison were calmer and less stressed.
Given the evidence of the gut-brain connection, you may want to boost your probiotic intake during this busy time of year.
For more information on mood and gut bacteria, read our classic blog post.
If you are interested in learning more about mood and your microbiome come check out our clinical microbiome test SmartGut™.