(NaturalNews) Following the lead of conventional medicine, people have become stressed out about bacteria and have waged a war on these tiny microorganisms in hopes that we can wipe them off the planet. The only problem with this desire is the fact that we require bacteria in order to not only lead healthy and happy lives, but also, as it turns out, to help reduce our anxiety.
We are mostly bacteria
Our body consists of approximately 10 trillion cells. However, not to be outdone, the bacterial cells in our body are near 100 trillion. This provides new perspective on who has a 'say' in how well our body functions, and how much influence they have on our overall health.
The connection between the gut and the brain
A few years ago, John Cryan of University College Cork in Ireland conducted an experiment with mice where he divided them into two groups. One group of mice was the control group, and the other group was fed lactobacillus ramnosis, a bacterium often used in yogurt.
After a few weeks, he put these mice into bowls of water to see how they would react to water stress. Mice are naturally good swimmers, but don't have a particular affinity to water, so it tends to stress them out.
The control group swam around for approximately four minutes until they became exhausted and gave up in a fit of 'behavioral despair'. However, the bacteria fed mice were far less frantic, and swam around the bowl up to the six-minute mark, at which they were finally removed from the water.
What Cryan found was the stress hormones of the control group were 100-fold higher. The lactobacillus-fed mice, however, had half as much of this stress hormone coursing through their veins, and showed a marked change in the pattern of their GABA receptors, which now closely resembled the structure of calm animals.
A follow up experiment was conducted on the lactobacillus-fed mice to determine how the bacteria in the gut were having a direct effect on the brain. So, in this experiment, the vagus nerve, which connects the gut to the brain, was severed.
This time, the mice acted exactly the same as the control group - frantic paddling and no calming influence. They gave up at approximately four minutes.
Is a bacterial imbalance responsible for most disease?
It appears that many disease processes are simply an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your body. In fact, due to the gut comprising up to 80 percent of the immune system where our 100 trillion bacteria primarily reside, one has to consider that they may be responsible for many autoimmune diseases, as well as mental disease through the vagus nerve connection.
The challenge and the solution
We have waged a war against bacteria with no discrimination between good and bad. C-section births, antibiotics, heavy metals, GMOs, pesticides and herbicides, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals have destroyed our inner ecosystems, and continue to do so on a daily basis.
We need to fully appreciate that probiotics play a vital role in our body, including destroying rogue pathogens, facilitating digestion, and producing beneficial nutrients like vitamin B (the 'stress' vitamin) and vitamin K.
The good news is we can clean up our internal environment by introducing a massive amount of live probiotics every day, through potent probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, yogurt, and kefir.
Perhaps then can we crowd out the 'bad' bacteria, and start to chill out.
About the author: Derek Henry, B.Kin, is a highly revered holistic health coach and world renowned natural health blogger and educator who created Healing the Body to help people understand the fundamental principles to exceptional health so they can overcome their own health challenges.