How Gut Bacteria and Mental Health are linked

Research is emerging that your gut bacteria and mental health are linked.

You have over 100 trillion bacteria inside your body, the most residing within your intestinal tract (your gut). (1)

What’s interesting, is that before you are born, your intestinal tract is sterile.

And when you are born, you obtain your gut bacteria from your mother.

There is a great maternal influence on your health, passed from your mother's gut health. (5)

Then, as you grow your gut bacteria is affected by your diet, medications, stress, lifestyle and environment.

It has been shown that when gut bacteria is impaired (gut dysbiosis) human health deteriorates.

Current research has linked gut dysbiosis to; bowel disorders, IBS, inflammatory diseases, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, depression, bipolar, autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. (2)

This shows the importance of your gut health on both your physical and mental health.

your gut bacteria and mental health are linked

How does your gut health affect your mental health?

Your gut secretes serotonin and dopamine the hormones that make you feel good.

It has been noted that 90% of your body's serotonin is produced in your gut! (2)

Again, this shows that your gut health is so important for your mental health!

You may currently believe that your mental health issues are due to an imbalance in brain chemicals…

But, this is proving to be false in the emerging scientific research.

There is more and more research proving that mental health is complex and is linked to gut health, diet, lifestyle and subconscious programming.

The link between the gut and the brain is referred to as the gut-brain-axis.

It is the gut-brain-axis that is responsible for the effects of your gut health on your mental health.

A study found that mice who were transplanted with the gut bacteria from depressed humans, showed depressed like behaviours. (2)

It was also shown that different mood disorders in humans had elevated amounts of certain bacteria within their gut. (2)

These studies reveal that certain gut bacteria in elevated amounts or the lack of beneficial bacteria may result in mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar.

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How to improve gut health

Your gut health can be improved by diet, lifestyle, prebiotics, probiotics and fecal transplant.

A diet high in plant based fibre and quality fats has been shown to improve gut microbiota.

Whereas a typical western diet, low fibre/high fat has been shown to reduce the capacity of the gut. (3)

The low quality/ highly processed foods consumed in a western diet have been linked to mental disorders and prove the relationship between diet and mental health. (3)

It’s important to remember that supplementation also helps with improving gut health, especially omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics. (5)


To improve your gut health by diet, you must increase your plant based fibre (prebiotics) which is obtained from a variety of fruits and vegetables in whole form.

Fermented foods are also a great source of gut boosting prebiotics.

You must also decrease your consumption of processed foods such as bread, cakes, sweets, syrups, sugars, corn, fried foods and fast foods.

A study performed on rats found that administration of prebiotics reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms. (1)

The studies confirm that prebiotics can relieve mood disorders by improving gut microbiota.


Probiotic administration has been shown to improve mood, anxiety, stress, depression and sleep. (1)

There are many strains of probiotics and research shows that certain probiotics help in certain mood and physical disorders.

This means that there is not a one size fits all when prescribing a probiotic supplement.

But, there are specific probiotics created with certain strains aimed at specific disorders.

You can consult with your doctor on what probiotic would be best for you.

I have tried many probiotics, and I have had three favourites (below). But, remember, just because these worked for me, it doesn’t mean they will work for you. (the images are linked to Amazon and are affiliate links)

Trial and error is great for finding a good probiotic that works for you personally.

Fecal Transplant

I know this sounds crazy and even a bit stomach churning….

But, fecal transplant is a proven way to improve gut health.

And it is successfully used in hospital cases of c.difficile and GI disorders. (3)

I have included this option purely for your information.

This is not something you can go out and purchase.

You would have to consult with a qualified GI specialist Dr.


Your lifestyle has a great impact on your gut health, especially the amount of stress you endure.

A short period of stress has been shown to negatively impact the gut microbiota. (5)

This can be stress from work, home life, relationships, money, trauma, any type of stress you experience can impact and alter your gut health.

So, it is in your best interest to lower your stress in all areas of your life.

By doing so, your gut health won’t be at risk of damage and your mind and body will become calmer.

You can create a stress free life by incorporating meditation, mindfulness, yoga, self-care and positive thinking into your life.

It’s also important to note that stress exposure in early life has a great effect on gut health, which then shapes the health of the gut for adulthood. (5)

Your diet also comes under your lifestyle choices.

As noted earlier, your diet impact your gut health greatly.

And in turn your gut health has a huge effect on the stress and mood behaviours in the body.

your gut bacteria and mental health are linked

Remove Infections & repair the lining

Your gut health is also dependent on any present gut infections and gut dysbiosis (leaky gut).

If  you have a gut infection (SIBO, h pylori, c.difficile) , it must first be treated before improving gut microbiota.

Treatment of gut infections is too complex for this article, but it is important to be aware of the issues that can arise within the gut.

Additionally, stress, medications, antibiotics, infections, trauma and lifestyle can cause the gut lining to become ‘leaky’.

This means that small gaps can become present in the gut wall, allowing food particles to pass through into the bloodstream.

When this happens the body can create food intolerance's and inflammation in response to the food particles passing the gut wall.

So, it is important to maintain tight junctions within the gut wall for a healthy gut.

My gut story

I became interested in the research of gut health when I was told by my Doctor that there was no cure for my IBS, food intolerances and related issues.

I had experienced gut issues from a young child, which carried with me into adulthood.

The gut issues were debilitating and also lead to other physical and mental illness.

In 2016 I hit a breaking point with my health and had to search for answers to heal.

This is where my journey of learning about gut health, physical health and mental health began.

Then after putting into practice a gut health protocol, I healed all my health issues within 6 months.

I went from a person who had 50 plus food intolerance's, chemical sensitivities, full body poor health and mental disturbances to a person who was fully healthy.

Since that time I have continued to practice healthy gut and mind routines to assure my continued health.

From my own experience and research, I found that mental health is a whole body and lifestyle approach.

There is not one area, but many to address.

But, I found that all areas are linked.

To me, it makes sense that our whole body is interlinked….

Why wouldn’t it be?

The emerging research is also revealing that our human bodies must be treated as a whole.

It comes as no surprise that when a whole body approach is applied, whole body healing is achieved.

your gut bacteria and mental health are linked

A final note

Every illness has a route cause.

Healing is available to everyone.

To find your own healing you must find your route cause.

In my own experience and research, most illness can be healed through improved gut health, diet, supplementation, lifestyle, reprogramming the subconscious mind and self-love.

My own life has transformed exponentially and I don’t recognise the person I once was.

If you would like help in creating a happier life, one where you think and feel positive, then I invite you to join The Positive Thinking Academy.

You can read more about The Academy by clicking this link.

I’d love to see you on the inside to help you transform your life too.

Sending Love,



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