The old proverb says “through the stomach to the heart”, however, the up-to-date modern version should read “through the gut to happiness”. Doesn’t sound glamorous and romantic but it is certainly more accurate.
Serotonin – commonly referred as the hormone of happiness, is one of the best-known neurotransmitters affecting our emotions and behavior. As much as 90% of the production of this hormone occurs in the gut – not as previously thought – in the brain!
Serotonin can’t complain about lack of activities, it regulates sleep, appetite, sexual drive, affects body temperature and blood pressure. The whole umbrella of properties is still being discovered but the breakthrough finding was to prove that the huge effect on serotonin production is the effect of colonizing bacteria.
In a recent study published by Cell, Pasadena researchers found also that there are three types of hormone-producing cells: immune cells, nerve cells and primarily enterochromatophilic (EC) cells. After careful observations and experiments, scientists have shown that if there are no typical bacteria in the intestines of the mammal, then EC cells produce 60% less serotonin, which can result in disrupted hormone production, energy loss, and depression. If the digestive system once again resides microbes, the level of happiness hormone returns to the previous state, which immediately reflects on our well-being. Therefore the role of good bacteria for our well being is critical.
Let’s not go into an obsession of using antibacterial cleaning products, wipes. I am not to avoid cleanness but as of everything in life, there has to be balance!
Stay tuned – my next blog post is dedicated to good bacteria and what food to avoid and include to make our gut happy. If you are interested in the subject to join me on Gut Health Symposium on the 16th September 2017.