Depression: What's the gut got do with it?

Written by The Detox Girls

Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are complex conditions that can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, and more. One factor that is often overlooked is the connection between these mental health conditions and poor digestive health, as well as a lack of neurotransmitter production in the body.

The human digestive system is responsible for breaking down the food we eat and extracting nutrients that our body needs. It also plays a crucial role in the immune system, as it is home to trillions of bacteria that help us digest food and fight off harmful pathogens.

When the digestive system is compromised or not functioning properly, it can lead to a number of physical and mental health issues. For example, research has shown that people with gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression.

This is because the gut and brain are connected by the enteric nervous system, which is sometimes referred to as the "second brain." The enteric nervous system is made up of millions of neurons that are responsible for regulating digestion and sending signals to the brain. When there is inflammation or other issues in the gut, it can affect the function of the enteric nervous system and lead to imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, which are important for regulating mood and behavior.

In addition, the gut microbiome, which is the community of bacteria that live in the digestive tract, also plays a role in mental health. Research has shown that imbalances in the gut microbiome can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and cognitive function. For example, a study published in the journal Nature found that mice that were bred to be germ-free (meaning they had no gut microbiome) displayed abnormal behavior and had changes in brain chemistry compared to mice with a normal microbiome. Sadly, the world has been exposed to an overuse of antibiotics and gut microbiome dysregulation is more prevalent than ever. 

Fortunately, there are several things that people can do to improve their digestive health and support their mental well-being. 

Dr Christina Rahm, PhD, PsyD, EdD, MS is the scientific formulator for The Root Brands.  With her extensive background, she has formulated all natural, nutraceuticals that are more effective than simply covering up symptoms.  Dr Rahm's foundation is The Trinity (Clean Slate, Restore and Zero In) which encompasses support for the entire body, including both the brain and the digestive system. 

  • Root’s Relive Greens includes not only probiotics and/or prebiotics, which can help restore and maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut but also digestive enzymes. 
    • Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fiber, whole grains, and fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, which can help promote a healthy gut microbiome. Avoiding processed foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, which can disrupt the gut microbiome and contribute to inflammation.
  • Root’s Zero-in is an all natural alternative to synthetic stimulants.  It helps to support increased attention span and concentration.  It too supports not only a healthy digestive system, but also stimulates the body’s natural production of serotonin and dopamine. 
    • Managing stress through techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, which can help reduce inflammation and improve digestive function.
  • Root’s Clean Slate is a systemic, passive, gentle detoxification plus regeneration. Clean Slate removes toxins that block binding sites for hormones and nutrients. Paired with Zero In, these work together to balance hormones, support healthy, natural melatonin production, and assists in a restful night sleep.  
    • Getting enough sleep  is important for regulating mood and behavior and supporting overall health.

The importance of healthy digestion and the ability to produce neurotransmitters can help to lessen or even relieve depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. By taking these simple steps to improve digestive health, including eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and including The Trinity (Clean Slate, Restore and Zero In)   you can support mental well-being and overall health. It's important to talk to a healthcare provider if you're experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, as there are many effective treatments available.

If you would like to hear more from Dr Christina Rahm about her formulations, please check that out here. But don't forget to come back and use our Referral code to continuing receiving support from The Detox Girls.