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How Gut Bacteria Controls Your Brain

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The bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (gut) is often referred to as your second brain, and for a good reason. Inside your stomach is a very complex, multi-organism microbiome that consists of not only your cells but also various bacteria that help you digest your food. The most prominent bacteria are Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, but there are many more as well. The effects of these bacteria are currently in research, but recent scientific studies have discovered that these bacteria are not only beneficial but a necessity for survival.

The bacteria in your gut can make your basic life functions easier and overall happier in general. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience conducted an experiment where they studied germ-free mice (in the gut) compared to mice containing bacteria. These germ-free mice displayed an exaggerated response to restraint stress and anxiety-related behaviors, which affected the overall well-being of the rat.

https://www.railyardapothecary.com/store/p248/The_Gut_Brain_Connection%3A_Learning_to_Trust_My_Gut.html

What makes it much more interesting is that gene expression of a key protein regulating neuronal plasticity and cognition was observed to have decreased, whereas a control group of normal mice with gut bacteria showed the necessity of such bacteria for survival. When the scientists re-introduced the bacteria in the gut, these effects were somewhat able to be reversed and symptoms, including neuronal cognition, were mediated; however, not all the mice with reintroduced gut bacteria were seen to recover from the symptoms and continued symptoms were especially prominent for mice that were not in early childhood/adolescence.

Scientists then applied this newly found information and analyzed human fecal matter. They began to see the effects of various dietary choices and how it affects your brain. The current focus is on probiotics, which is a $20 billion industry in today’s market, and it is promoted widely as healthy. But why?

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The testing of gastrointestinal tract bacteria and probiotics is relatively early in its studies, but there are specific strains that have been proven to impact your gut microbiome positively. Additional studies of groups given probiotics against groups given a placebo in hospitals measured for mood and cognition. Using the total Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the researchers saw that the probiotics group had a higher percentage decrease versus the placebo group. These tests were based on the mood, something that is not quantifiable. However, suggested evidence tells us that probiotics help with increased mood and further, larger clinical trials are being conducted to find more evidence.

Manipulation of the microbiome in your gut is utilized for many applications, including chronic diseases and illnesses. Hepatic encephalopathy, a symptom of a chronically diseased liver, causes patients to have complications with cognitive function and patients treated by gastrointestinal tract bacteria manipulation. Antibiotics are given to help the patients because their diseased livers cannot process the gut bacteria metabolites. Reducing the bacteria that cause these metabolites to mediate the problem results in the disappearance of these metabolites, thus improving cognitive function. The bacteria microbiome here have a direct effect of the patients’ function, displaying how your gut bacteria controls your brain.

https://www.parentingspecialneeds.org/article/gut-brain-connection-special-needs/

Evidence in mice suggests that gastrointestinal tract microbiome may be not only necessary for yourself right now but also crucial for early brain development. Right after birth, the newborn is introduced to many different microorganisms, and this early microbiome is essential for the development of the early brain. A 2010 study, Normal gut microbiota modulates brain development and behavior, tested mice with different microbiome organisms to see the effects. Germ-free (GF) mice were tested versus normal mice in anxiety and exploratory activity.

Mice were tested to see if the absence of gut bacteria would affect the maturation of the brain of the mice. Key proteins were found missing from the GF mice, and later those mice experienced anxiety behaviors. Interestingly, proteins for the development of synapses were not expressed as much, which seems to lead to a long-term effect on the developing mice in motor control and anxiety. Results such as “elevated Noradrenaline (NA), Dopamine (DA), and 5-HT Turnover in the Striatum” appeared to cause the anxiety-like behaviors. In other words, mice without a bacterial microbiome saw anxiety-like behaviors due to changes in the neuronal chemistry inside the brain. This suggests that in humans early childhood, gut microbiome is important for the development of the synapses of the brain and controls the brain through gene expression leading to protein expression.

Your health, mood, and well-being may be in fact due to the microbiome that lays inside your gastrointestinal tract. Studies observed that mice gut bacteria cause anxiety-like symptoms. Eating probiotics have shown to be beneficial, but further research is still necessary. For now, understand the correlation between what you eat affects how you feel, and that your stomach bacteria plays a significant role in your health.

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Lifestyle

Why Laughter is the Best Form of Medicine

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The negativity in our lives can all then be one of the most significant focuses on depression, anxiety, and more. We can be held back by various experiences in our lives, but there is a way in which we can let go of negativity: laughter. 

Laughter is defined as a response to visual, auditory, or physical stimuli that we deem to be humorous. When we laugh, the physical response is manifested in the form of an electrical current that runs through our nervous system. The right brain is responsible for comprehending the meaning of laughter, while the left brain decodes the analysis or reason for laughter. The visual system of the brain forms an image of the source of laughter, and the limbic system releases chemicals that control our mood. 

You have probably heard that laughter is the best form of medicine, and it is true. With laughter, we feel a sense of freedom and euphoria. Professional psychologists are using the power of laughter to help individuals regularly see improvements in their therapy. You can also experience the health benefits of laughter by working on using a form of therapy known as laughing therapy in your own day-to-day life. Before we get into that, however, here are some benefits of incorporating laughter in your lifestyle:

Decreases Stress:

Apart from high-impact exercise, laughter can reduce the number of stress hormones in the body. When we let out a laugh, it decreases blood pressure and heart rate overall, thus making us feel more relaxed. Moreover, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced through laughter as well as adrenaline levels. Although our body needs a certain level of stress hormones to respond to specific situations, high levels of cortisol are counterproductive because they cause an imbalance in homeostasis that can affect our behavior. Therefore, if you are in a tense situation, and you can make yourself laugh, you would be amazed at the weight that can be lifted off of your shoulders.

Boosts Immune System Function:

Regular laughter can be an excellent way to protect your health. Medical studies have suggested that laughter and even the ongoing anticipation of laughter can be surprisingly beneficial for healing properties and preventing sickness, which is supported by the Law of Attraction. Laughter can also produce antibody cells that can fight off infections more effectively, thus keeping us healthy in the long run. 

Pain Reduction:

The hormones and neurotransmitters that are created during laughter can provide surprising results when it comes to reducing  pain. Laughter produces endorphins, which increases a person’s threshold for pain. Interestingly enough, endorphins attach to the same receptors as opiates in our brains. The neurotransmitters, on the other hand, increase synaptic connections. These connections allow our brains to respond to situations faster than usual. 

So what is laughing therapy? 

Laughter therapy is a certain type of therapy that uses humor to help relieve pain, stress, and anxiety. It can also be utilized to aid people in coping with severe diseases such as cancer. Some components of laughter therapy include comedy movies, laughter exercises, and puzzles

Laughing and finding humor in the little things can be a highly contagious practice. If you find yourself regularly laughing, there is a good chance that you can spread some of his happiness throughout other people too. There’s nothing better than sharing a good laugh with a few people, and sharing this positivity can make you an emotionally healthier person. Be sure to use the power of laughter, whether it is in the form of therapy or leisure, to reap all of its health benefits.

Sources: 

  1. http://www.thelawofattraction.com/the-7-powerful-healing-properties-of-laughter/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
  4. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/laughter-therapy

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Lifestyle

The Basics of Body Language

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Throughout this introductory article, we will discover some of the basics of body language, how you can read it, and how to improve your body language as you engage with others. 

What is body language?

Body language is the non-verbal cues is that we send out and receive from one another. For example, we can convey quite a bit of our information with our posture as we stand, our hand movements, and more. Body language can alternately be broken down into several methods that people use to express themselves non-verbally:

Facial body language: There are seven main micro-expressions which the human face produces, which are widely recognized when we are in an intense emotional state. The expressions on the face, in particular, are crucial because they help you to identify various situations and internal emotions that someone may be expressing non-verbally.

Proxemics of the Body: We are regularly watching the way that a person moves and how they interact with the space around them. The gestures that someone makes, the way that they learn, and the way that they are interacting with the space around them can showcase instrumental value on some cues about how they are feeling. 

Ornaments and Accessories: The accessories and fashion that an individual chooses can be an extension of body language. Color can play a significant role in body language and choosing a specific accessory could play a role in the way that we interact with the person. Colors and accessories can all act as a signal or an extension of body language. 

How Can You Read People’s Body Language?

The way that we read body language can be described in two main methods:

Encoding:

This is our ability to send out cues to other individuals. If you are fairly aware of your body movements and the way that you control your personal space, you can make a stronger first impression and help people feel more at ease with your body language.

Decoding:

Being able to read a person and their emotional cues can help you to interpret some of the hidden information that they may not be presenting on the surface. Decoding emotions can give you insight into someone’s personality or help you relate to their situation without words.

These are just a few insights on body language that could help you to learn more about communication. Let us know what you think in the comments!  

Source: 

  1. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/body-language/ 

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Chronic Pain

The Scoop on CBD

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What is CBD? 

CBD or cannabidiol has become a prevalent remedy for several ailments which are considered to be quite common. CBD products come from cannabis or the marijuana plant; however, it is just one of the chemical compounds produced by the plant.

CBD is commonly associated with THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the cannabinoid found in cannabis that often causes the psychoactive effects that are associated with the marijuana plant. It is important to note that CBD is not psychoactive. Again, it assists individuals that are seeking health improvements without the psychoactive effects from marijuana.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is one of the most common ways to administer this product. CBD oil is a product that is made by extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant. Manufacturers extract the components and then mix it with a diluting agent like a carrier oil. Most of the time, the carrier oil that is used for CBD is a coconut or hemp seed oil. These types of oils are utilized in the medical world, and they are gaining international prevalence as they become legal in world territories. 

What are some health benefits of CBD? 

Pain Relief:

Cannabis plants have been used for treating pain for thousands of years and the components of CBD are widely responsible for improving pain-relieving effects. Our body produces endocannabinoids naturally. These are products that bind to the receptors in our nervous system. CBD works by reducing the chronic pain that we associate in our minds by affecting our receptors. For regular chronic pain relief CBD works well in treating pain associated with arthritis, multiple sclerosis and more. 

Reduction in Depression and Anxiety:

Individuals that struggle with anxiety and depression quite often find themselves treated with pharmaceutical drugs. CBD oil can be an excellent natural alternatives that can fight anxiety and depression. CBD is also widely effective for treating insomnia and depression in adults as well as in children. 

Reduction in Cancer Related Symptoms:

CBD can help to reduce the symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment by reducing the nausea, vomitting, and pain induced by treatment.

Improved Heart Health

CBD works to improve the circulatory system which can drastically lower blood pressure. Rather than suffering from a number of high risk conditions such as a stroke, metabolic syndrome, or a heart attack,  CBD can work to reduce these symptoms over time. 

Contains Proper Neuroprotective Properties:

Regular use of CBD oil can be a widely effective treatment for reducing muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients and for those that have conditions like epilepsy. 

How to Incorporate CBD in Your Everyday Life: 

Check out this article to learn recipes for tasty treats: https://blog.bulletproof.com/cbd-oil-recipes-1b2b4c4t/

Source: 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

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