We are more bacteria than we are human. Mounting research has suggested that the bacteria living in our digestive tract play a significant role in our overall health. Here are some of the physical and mental health conditions that have been linked to imbalances in gut flora.
Depression: More than a third of depression sufferers have “leaky gut” or permeability of the gut lining that allows bacterium to seep out into the bloodstream.
Anxiety: Probiotics can have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Consuming beneficial bacteria can also positively change the way the brain responds to the environment.
Schizophrenia: Studies in mice have linked a lack of normal gut bacteria with changes in brain development, but the genetics of the disorder are complex and are not gully understood.
Autism: Autism often occurs with gastrointestinal issues like leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome.
Obesity and Diabetes: A number of studies have linked instability in the gut microbiome to obesity and obesity-related health problems.
Parkinson’s Disease: People suffering from this disease have different gut bacteria to healthy people.
Colon Cancer: Sugar loving microbes in the gut, along with the carbs that can feed them, can fuel colon cancer. High carb diets may even be contributing to the rise of colon cancer.
Ulcerative Colitis: Imbalances in gut flora may be a main factor in both the onset and continuing symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Studies have found a link between low levels of certain good gut bacteria, high levels of unhealthy Prevotella copri bacteria, and autoimmune joint disease.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: There is a definitive link between IBS and an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines.