Step 2: Heal the Gut

Easier said than done, right? But with the right brain chemicals in place, it CAN be surprisingly easy!

The gut is a highly complex and dynamic human-microbial interface.  Millions of genes are located within the bacteria, fungi, and viruses inside our intestines – this is known as our microbiome.  Microbiome diversity is important because less diversity generally relates to poorer health. And since many neurotransmitters are synthesized in the gut (90% of serotonin for example), it is imperative to heal the gut in order to balance the brain long term.

Some medications, such as antibiotics, poor nutrition, and alcohol have negative effects on the microbiome and decrease microbial diversity.  A poorly diversified microbiome can predispose us to inflammation, atherosclerosis, obesity and cancer. Research shows that when the gut is inflamed and out of sorts (sometimes without any symptoms), neurotransmitter production is negatively affected. This leads to feeling tired all the time, an inability to focus, difficulty sleeping, and ADD/ADHD in kids and adults.

By replenishing the body’s balance of good bacteria and microflora, you can reverse the root cause of many downstream diseases. Probiotics are generally thought of as “good bacteria” and serve to promote bacterial count and diversity in the upper intestinal tract. Certain strains can also be used to support the lower intestinal tract. Different bacteria produce different metabolites, or biological molecules, so a well diversified microbiome in the gut would produce a long list of beneficial metabolites.  Some metabolites, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), are required for healing and repair, and proper immune function of the cells that line our intestine. Certain metabolites will even slow down disease progression and severity.

The goal is to implement pro-microbiome protocols to address dysbiosis, decrease inflammation and leaky gut, and optimize neurometabolite production.