Fixing Depression via your guts

Could depression be linked to your guts? Might legions of doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists all be barking up the wrong tree and looking in the wrong place?

Are drug companies and insurances companies likewise looking for cures in the wrong place too.

New research suggests that fixing your guts might go a long way to fixing your depression.

[James] Greenblatt’s provocative idea — that psychiatric woes can be solved by targeting the digestive system — is increasingly reinforced by cutting-edge science. For decades, researchers have known of the connection between the brain and the gut. Anxiety often causes nausea and diarrhea, and depression can change appetite. The connection may have been established, but scientists thought communication was one way: it traveled from the brain to the gut, and not the other way around.

But now, a new understanding of the trillions of microbes living in our guts reveals that this communication process is more like a multi-lane superhighway than a one-way street. By showing that changing bacteria in the gut can change behavior, this new research might one day transform the way we understand — and treat — a variety of mental health disorders. 

And the treatment is really very simple and in no way like the cocktails of poison currently used to treat depression.

More than 20 years of work treating eating disorders emphasized Greenblatt’s hunch: that the connection between body and mind was more important than conventional psychiatry assumed. “Each year, I get more and more impressed at how important the GI tract is for healthy mood and the controlling of behavior,” Greenblatt said. Among eating disorder patients, Greenblatt found that more than half of psychiatric complaints were associated with problems in the gut — and in some patients, he says he has remedied both using solely high-dose probiotics, along with normalizing eating.

Greenblatt’s solution might strike us as simple, but he’s actually targeting a vast, complex, and mysterious realm of the human body: around 90 percent of our cells are actually bacterial, and bacterial genes outnumber human genes by a factor of 99 to 1


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  • blokeintakapuna

    …and that’s another reason why to never hold a fart in – they travel up your spine to the brain… and that’s where all your shitty ideas come from.

  • Whafe

    I tend to agree with these thoughts…. Add in exercise, of which keeps things at bay for me, but it could be related tot he fact that if you exercise loads, you tend to eat better, so quite possibly it is all about the Gut….
    Mmmmmmm, always learning hey (unlike the Liabour Party)

  • Gareth

    I also hear that a simple operation called an ‘Anal-retina severance’ can help too.
    What they do is cut a nerve connecting your arse to your eyes.
    The result is that it gets rid of one’s shitty outlook on life.
    Lots of lefties could be remedied over-night by this simple procedure. Save the world in months. No more unions. No more communists.

  • Polish Pride

    Very interesting. I have recently started eating probiotic yoghurts for the good bacteria in them and was just saying to my partner. I have been feeling back on top of my game with work and I don’t remember feeling this since my pre depression days.