Many health conditions and psychological symptoms originate in your gut.  Your enteric nervous system, or “second brain,” is home to an abundance of neurons and produces an array of neurotransmitters. It is also where trillions of microorganisms (collectively known as your gut microbiome) reside.  You are, in fact, only 10% human as each of these microorganisms has its own DNA and they outnumber the total number of cells in your body by at least 10.  Your microbiome weighs an average of 3-6 pounds.  These tiny microorganisms include bacteria, yeast, fungi, mold and parasites and they play an enormous role  in determining your health.

While capable of functioning independently, your enteric nervous system and central nervous system “speak”(i.e., via the vagus nerve)  to one another all the time.  In fact, about 90% of your body’s serotonin (a feel good neurotransmitter) and 50% of your dopamine is produced in your enteric nervous system by your gut microbiome.

People who experience various digestive disorders and psychological syndromes including food allergies and intolerances, frequent gas and bloating, diarrhea and constipation, symptoms of anxiety or depression, schizophrenia and ADHD or who suffer from auto immune conditions frequently  have an imbalance of gut microorganisms; a condition known as gut dysbiosis.1,2,3

Many lifestyle factors affect how your gut functions and the health of your gut microbiome.  The standard American diet that is full of refined sugars and processed foods, stress, “dirty” electricity (i.e., nEMFs), poor quality and insufficient sleep, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotic medications and birth control pills negatively impact the health of the friendly probiotic bacteria in your gut.4

Animal studies have found that the administration of antibiotics leads to a significant increase in fearful behavior.  Conversely, the addition of probiotic supplements has been found to decrease such anxious behavior.5 Human studies have also found that the administration of beneficial probiotic supplements significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.2

An important principle to adopt to ensure optimal health and prevent many physical and mental health problems is to make sure that you include probiotic rich fermented foods in your diet.  Traditionally fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kim chi, are rich sources of friendly bacteria and yeast and help to support your immune system because they contain many B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and cancer cells.   Aim to eat multiple servings of probiotic rich fermented foods every week to support your overall health and well-being.

To your health and success,

Dr. Sandoval

To learn more about how working with a psychologist and holistic health coach can help you to enhance your health and well-being, call or email Dr. Sandoval to schedule a free consultation.

  1. Messaoudi, M, Lalonde, R, Violle, N,  Javelot, H, Desor, D, Nejdi, A,  et al.  “Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects.”  (2011). British Journal of Nutrition. 105, 755–764.
  2. Neufeld, KA and Foster, JA.   “Effects of gut microbiota on the brain: Implications for psychiatry.”  (2009).   Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. 34(3); 230-1.
  3. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D. (2010).  Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia.
  4. Inhan-Garip A1, Aksu B, Akan Z, Akakin D, Ozaydin AN, San T.  Effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on growth rate and morphology of bacteria.  International Journal of Radiation Biology.
  5. Bravo, JA, Forsythe, P, Chew, MV, Escaravage, E,  Savignac, HM, Dinan, TG, et al.  “Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve.” (2011). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108, 16050–16055.

The information, published and/or made available through the website, is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a physician-patient relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information in this post for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a physician in all matters relating to your health, particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.  Any action on the reader’s part in response to the information provided in this blog is at the reader’s discretion.