The super doc Emily Deans (Evolutionary Psychiatry and now Psychology Today) recently posted on the affects of leaky gut and depression. It got me thinking about one of my many personal experiments (n=1). Reading through all the literature, I am becoming more convinced that keeping your gut healthy may be one of the single most important things you can do to keep healthy.
What do I mean by keeping your gut healthy? Well I mean keeping a good population of healthy gut flora and not eating foods that may cause gut permeability (leaky gut). For the latter, the single greatest thing you can do is cut grains from your diet, which I have done. For the former, I endeavoured for the past few months to actively add more probiotics into my diet, and I think it has positively affected my health and mood.
What I did.
So how did I do it? Well I upped the fermented food count. I started drinking 1 glass of home made kefir water every day. I started chowing down the sauerkraut. I started lapping up fresh raw milk yogurt every other day. I even took some over the counter pro-biotic supplements. As each type of probiotic source has a different spectrum of good bacteria, I tried to diversify the species of my gut bacteria.
I keep a daily mood tracker. It essentially is a 1-10 reading at various times during the day of how I feel. Looking at the data, I am seeing a slight linear progression of mood over the past 3 months. Now of course there are hundreds of factors that play into this, the placebo effect alone is enough to completely skew the data, but the data is there.
This experiment was n=1. In other words, even calling it a ‘scientific’ experiment is a rape of the definition. However I am seeing benefits, and the amount of real scientific data to support the thesis that a healthy gut will help with your mood amongst other things is growing. I’m really starting to think that everyone should include a gut flora routine in there journey for optimal health, and pumping up the probiotics is a great way to do so.