Can your diet change your mood?
And does your gut health have anything to do with it?
Despite all the research that’s come out, I think we’re just scratching the surface of the myriad ways the health of our gut impacts our mood.
Here is a fascinating new study that helps us better understand another aspect of what we are starting to call the microbiota-gut-brain axis.
Researchers analyzed the diets and moods of people in 3 study groups (including people with mild depression). Here’s what they found:
🩸 Higher circulating levels of proline (an amino acid from food) in the blood plasma were linked with more severe depression.
🧬 Circulating levels of proline depended on the gut microbiota. Some people with high dietary consumption of proline did not have high proline in their blood circulation.
💛 People with high levels of proline in their diets but not in their blood circulation had more Bifidobacterium and microbes producing short-chain fatty acids in their gut microbiome (these are the healthy and helpful gut bugs!).
Whenever we see an “association” like this, we need to ask what came first? Does depression disrupt the microbiome, or does a disrupted microbiome cause depression?
The researchers in this study were extremely thorough. They went on to do fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from the humans to mice to explore whether the microbiome could be causal in depression, and…
….the answer they got was YES!
There are so many details I could unpack from this study, but for now, I’ll leave it at this.
🥗 The foods you eat can influence your mood, but what might be even more important is the health of your gut microbiome.
So now the question becomes—what are you doing to nourish your gut?