The gut is often called the second brain. It is loaded with nervous tissue and is in direct communication with our big brain, which is why we get butterflies when we get excited, or have loose bowels when upset. Anxiety, depression, stress, and grief all express themselves with emotional pain and, quite often, gastrointestinal (GI) distress.
Your gut is one of the most important organs for the health of your brain. It is estimated that the GI tract is loaded with about 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, and others) – about ten times the total number of cells in the human body!
To be healthy, the relationship of good bugs to bad bugs needs to be positively skewed—around 85 percent good guys to 15 percent bad guys. When it starts heading the other way, all sorts of physical and mental problems can arise. Keeping the good and bad bugs in proper balance is essential to your mental health.
When your gut is not healthy, your brain will not be healthy. Intestinal problems increase inflammation, that low level fire that destroys your organs, and increases your risk for low mood, worry, chronic pain and less-than-ideal cognitive health. Optimizing the “gut-brain axis” is critical to your mental health.
Probiotic supplements help keep your gut flora in a healthy, life-supporting balance. The beneficial bacteria and the harmful bacteria compete for survival in your gut, and as with any battle, the more “good” soldiers you have on your side, the more likely you are to win the battle.
During the filming of my new television special, On the Psychiatrist’s Couch, I took time to answer questions from the audience. Watch this short video to see how I answered the question, “Are some probiotics better than others?”
Here are just a few of the valuable things you will discover:
- My top three recommended probiotics
- Two things that hurt the good bugs in your gut
- The #1 food to avoid in order to improve your gut flora
On the Psychiatrist’s Couch is being featured on public television stations around the nation right now. Don’t miss out on this informative and entertaining program! Check your local listings and tune-in to learn about the most important lessons I have taught my patients over the past 35 years.