We know we are what we eat. Indeed, food – not just fuel for the body. Its quality and quantity shape health, mood and even character. This scientists have found another confirmation.
According to health.mail.ru, researchers from Clarkson University and the University of Texas School of Public Health published an article in the journal Nutrients stating that “we are what we eat”. American scientists have proven the relationship between diet, the composition of the intestinal microbiome and specific emotional characteristics.
What is a microbiome?
The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms in our body. Bacteria have their own composition in the intestines, on the surface of the skin, in the oral cavity and even in the mucous membrane of the eyes. In a healthy person, the microbiome is in balance.
Diseases are accompanied by an imbalance: some microorganisms become more, others less. At the same time, some disappear completely, are replaced by others that are not normally observed in this microbiome. The authors of the study note that in order to be healthy, we need to be more careful with what we eat – mental health and character traits depend on the food and the microorganisms that accompany it.
The experiment involved 39 volunteers, each of whom completed an online survey. The answers made it possible to evaluate their physical and emotional energy and fatigue. In addition, each participant was told what they ate the day before the experiment. In the final stage, participants donated feces, from which the scientists isolated intestinal bacteria and analyzed them.
Bacteria have been shown to affect the human condition much more intensely than we thought. Some intestinal microorganisms – which cause inflammation – increase physical or mental fatigue, others cause an influx of energy – both mental and physical. Thus, a person can be emotionally tired and physically full of energy at the same time – different bacterial communities are responsible for these conditions.
This experiment was part of a large-scale study. Scientists intend to understand exactly what and in what quantities should be eaten in order, for example, to deal with emotional exhaustion, to feel happier and happier.
Anxiety, stress, overeating: how bacteria control us
The results of this study significantly increase the knowledge about the intestinal microbiome and its effects on the body. There is now evidence that a high-fat diet alters the microbiome, causing memory problems and increased stress. This has been demonstrated in laboratory mice. Scientists do not rule out that such an effect may be characteristic of humans.
In addition, bacteria control our sense of satiety. Researchers from the University of Rouen found that 20 minutes after eating, some intestinal bacteria synthesize substances that reduce appetite. Due to the lack of these microorganisms, a person can eat regularly and gain weight. And the efforts of the will will be in vain.
Mental health and microbial composition are closely linked. If some bacteria, such as Protobacteria, grow in the gut while others, Faecalibacterium, decrease, their proportions will affect the severity of the symptoms.
Psychobiotics will save everyone
Many experts urge you to improve your emotional state by adjusting your diet: increasing the amount of fiber, fruits and vegetables and excluding processed foods and canned foods. In general, the Mediterranean diet improves health – it has been repeatedly recognized as one of the healthiest food systems.
However, there are those who suggest acting more radically. For this, new drugs are being developed – psychobiotics. This, in particular, is done by the company Holobiome, its experts study the human microbiome and have already gathered the largest collection of microorganisms in the human microflora.
Psychobiotics contain certain combinations of microorganisms. Taking such medications should improve the state of anxiety, help get rid of depression, chronic fatigue and insomnia. The creation of such drugs is quite real. But until then, a person can only be more careful in his diet.
Earlier, the online publication “Uchitelskaya Gazeta” referred to the recipe for longevity, given by Russian biologists. They recommend eating less while maintaining the caloric content of food.