photo courtesy of cuteimage at

photo courtesy of cuteimage at

“Bacteria have been discovered in our guts that depend on one of our brain chemicals for survival. These bacteria consume GABA, a molecule crucial for calming the brain, and the fact that they gobble it up could help explain why the gut microbiome seems to affect mood,” says New Scientist.

They go on to say, “An experiment in 2011 showed that a different type of gut bacteria, called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, can dramatically alter GABA activity in the brains of mice, as well as influencing how they respond to stress. In this study, the researchers found that this effect vanished when they surgically removed the vagus nerve – which links the gut to the brain – suggesting it somehow plays a role in the influence gut bacteria can have on the brain.”

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There is a balance in the microbiome where everything function and feeds off each other, each for a purpose. The balance happens as the microbiome declines as well as when the microbiome rebuilds. The pathogens, yeasts and bacteria, as well as beneficial flora work together, symbiotically. 

Different aspects help our systems to decline causing an imbalance. 

Science Daily says“Studies have reported a particular microbiome signature, with low abundance of the Bacteriodes genus, in cesarean-section-delivered children during the first 6 months of life.” Sadly the same is now being found in increasing numbers in vaginally born children. These findings are new. Previously, vaginally born children did not show the imbalance while cesarean-section did show the imbalance. Some say this is due to the flora of the vaginal canal populating the baby. 

They go on to say, “Children who had been exposed to antibiotic treatment had a reduction in the diversity of their microbial population, a difference that was even greater in those who also had the low-Bacteriodes signature. Whole-gene sequencing also found that, in antibiotic-exposed children, bacterial species tended to be fewer and dominated by a single strain,

photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at

photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at

instead of the several species and strains seen in those not treated with antibiotics.”

The Harvard Gazette reported a study showing, “Changes in diet and gut flora may influence astrocytes in the brain, and, consequently, neurodegeneration, pointing to potential therapeutic targets.”

In the study they tested the response of astrocytes cells which occupy space in the spinal cord and brain. They followed these cells calculating the molecular pathway of inflammation. 

Francisco Quintana, an investigator in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the gazette after the study, “Deficits in the gut flora, deficits in the diet or deficits in the ability to uptake these products from the gut flora or transport them from the gut — any of these may lead to deficits that contribute to disease progression.”

The good flora and bad flora, good bacteria and bad bacteria, all live together in balance creating an ecosystem that declines together or is rebuilt together. 

In another article New Scientist says, “We have all experienced the influence of gut bacteria on our emotions. Just think how you felt the last time you had a stomach bug. Now it is becoming clear that certain gut bacteria can positively influence our mood and behaviour.”

They further added, “Bacteria produce some of the same molecules as those used in brain signalling, such as dopamine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Furthermore, the brain is predominantly made of fats, and many of these fats are also produced by the metabolic activity of bacteria.”

Many researchers are finding the same connection.

“You coevolve with bacteria. They actually do things that keep you healthy. These bacteria can defend against invading pathogens such as viruses or nasty bacteria, can aid in digestion of food and synthesise vitamins. This allows us to potentially start looking into other therapeutic avenues to treat chronic conditions,”  says Philip Strandwitz, from Northeastern University’s Biology Department (0:45).

He goes on to say, “I identified one particular isolate,  Flavonifractor sp., which is seemingly dependant on GABA for growth. This microbe metabolize(s) GABA. In addition to that I identified a number of gut bacteria which produce large amounts of GABA.” (3:30) 

This means there is one group of bacteria within the gut which consume GABA and another group of bacteria which make GABA.

GABA levels are directly connected to depression and anxiety even to the point it debilitates the person. 

Bacteria produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in nerve impulses. 

photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at

photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at

Medical Xpress wrote another finding saying, “Cornell researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.”

Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics was one of the scientist who performed the study. She said, “Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome inmyalgic encephalomyeletis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients isn’t normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms in victims of the disease.”

Some medical professionals have said patients who present with chronic fatigue and other illnesses like this are faking it, that they are just lazy.

The findings from the Cornell researchers plainly said, “Our detection of a biological abnormality provides further evidence against the ridiculous concept that the disease is psychological in origin.”

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. becky.nourishingplot[email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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