Just like anything else in this world, a woman’s body also needs a strong foundation to withstand all the metal tensions, pressure and agony along with the environmental assaults that she has to go through in her lifetime.
So what is it that she should be aided with for a strong foundation for her psychological health? A woman’s life is never easy. She has so many roles to play – a daughter, a sister, a mother, a homemaker, a caretaker, an entrepreneur and so forth – the list is just endless.
The Gut-Brain Connection in Women
Do you know that our brain is inextricably attached to our gastrointestinal tract? Have you ever felt stomach ache during periods of stress or butterflies in your stomach before a board presentation? This is because there is a two-way link between the gut and the brain.
Just as the brain has neurons or nerve cells, the gut too has such cells. The gut produces chemicals like serotonin that is solely responsible for controlling our sleep, appetite, and even our mood. The majority of serotonin (around 95%) is produced in the gut and it is then transferred to the brain. So if a woman’s gut health is compromised, her mental health will automatically suffer. Lack of proper serotonin production in a woman’s gut can cause sleep disorders, unwanted food cravings, weight gain, anxiety and depression, and even PMS.
A vast number of psychological disorders in women like ADHD (a complex brain disorder), issues in concentration, brain fog, mood swings, and depression are all imbalances of the neurotransmitter that begins at the gut. Several other physiological and psychological disorders in women like severe digestive problems including bloating, constipation, acid reflux, and even diarrhea along with cold feet and hands and fatigue are all related to the gut-brain imbalance.
Probiotics can be helpful in more ways than just improving gut health in women. They indirectly impact brain health too. The gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’ as it produces the same neurotransmitters that are produced by the brain. These neurotransmitters play a key role in regulating brain functionality and mood.
Listed below are some ways how probiotics are good for women’s mental health:
They help reduce tension, stress, anxiety, and depression
Stress and anxiety are the two most popular and common problems faced by women in their daily life. A majority of these disorders in women are linked to their stress hormone – cortisol. Regular consumption of probiotics can help:
- reduce depression
- reduces levels of anxiety
- control stress caused due to work pressure
They help in enhancing mood
Due to the menstrual cycle, menopause, and other related issues, women often face the problems of mood swings. Continuously having probiotics for a few weeks or so can reduce negative thoughts associated with sadness and mood swings. To a large extent, probiotics help in the betterment of mood.
They help reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Depression and anxiety are very common for sufferers of IBS. Probiotics appear to reduce the symptoms of IBS, which includes bloating and pain as well.
Probiotics by and large have many interesting and astonishing effects on the brain. Several studies show that probiotics in women positively affects the region of the brain that is responsible for controlling emotions and sensation. There have been several other findings of positive effects of probiotics on a woman’s brain, but they are yet to be confirmed. All in all, probiotics are a must-have for improving women’s mental health.
Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt is a passionate research scientist with a doctorate in pharmaceutical biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University. He is the founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences. His expertise lies in developing innovative products and processes by application of biotechnology, nanotechnology and fermentation technology.