Thursday, 26 March 2015

Prebiotic's for emotional wellbeing ?

This post may be a bit out of the norm for me, but I was recently told something that resonated with me so much that I thought I should share.

I shall start with a little bit of background which may make this more relate-able.

I am a very anxious and stressed person, and on top of that I have suffered with depression for many years (and now I have come to appreciate I probably always will, so management techniques rather than cure is what I am searching for).  Socially, I am very awkward and nervous and always preferred to be part of a small group of close friends, rather than being the life and soul of a party.

However, networking is becoming a more and more important part of my job and if I wish to progress (which I truly do), I need to learn to cope with this anxiousness and the stress these situations bring.

My dream is to be able to walk in a room, talk to anyone and everyone and even build up to being able to present on technical matters.  My first step, however, is to get to the door of that room without having been up all night with worry before hand, without having been sick and looking like I have the worst case of flu ever.

I have always known and appreciated the link between my physical health and my mental heath, however until I read the overview of an Oxford Study, I didn't appreciate prebiotics can help with your  neuroendocrine stress response.

More specifically, how I have read the study, is that the participants who had taken B-GOS (Bimuno®-galactooligosaccharides which you can find in bimuno prebiotics* ) rather than a placebo or a different prebiotic (without B-GOS) showed reduced levels of salivary cortisol, suggesting that bimuno can help to lower levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.

As far as my limited medical knowledge goes, excessive Cortisol levels are not good for you for numerous reasons. It can cause you to store fat around your abdomen and can hinder weight loss (as your body thinks your stress must be caused by a hardship like starvation), and also hinders bone formation.  l list these as they are relevant to me personally, but the list is huge if you Google it.

I'm not sure I can give up caffeine to reduce my cortisol levels, but trying to laugh more and take a prebiotic daily is something I can easily do.

What also interested me, after reading a bit more about Bimuno and their product's (as in reading all of their FAQ's) is that their prebiotics work by feeding and energising the bacteria in your gut whilst simultaneously reducing your bad bacteria, which is a contrast to most probiotics which just top up the good bacteria.

I currently take a probiotic daily to help settle my stomach (which becomes my worst enemy at times of stress), but I have some immunaid* (which are chewy pastels !! yay for no more horse pills) on the way which I am really excited to try, and I will make sure I will keep you updated with my thoughts.

Like I said at the start, this is a bit out of the norm for me but if something as simple as taking a prebiotic everyday can have some impact on your emotional wellbeing I think everyone should know.


I just want to point out, I am definitely not a medical professional and have only relayed what I believe the study to say from having read the overview. You can find the study here and more info on Bimuno here

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