Take Control of Your Health with 30 Days of Step by Step Help & Coaching

The Gut-Brain Connection: How Our Microbes Affect Our Behavior

Have you ever heard the phrase “gut feeling”? It turns out that there may be some truth to it. Research has shown that our gut bacteria, also known as our microbiome, can affect our behavior and even our mental health.

Our microbiome consists of trillions of microorganisms, including

  • bacteria
  • viruses
  • fungi

that live in our digestive system. These microorganisms play a crucial role in our overall health, including our immune system and digestion. But recent studies have shown that they may also impact our behavior and brain function.

One study published in the journal Cell Reports found that mice who were given antibiotics to disrupt their microbiome exhibited changes in their behavior, including:

  • increased anxiety
  • impaired memory

Another study conducted on humans found that those with certain gut bacteria had lower levels of anxiety and depression.

How exactly do our gut bacteria affect our behavior?

One theory is through the gut-brain axis, a communication pathway between the gut and the brain. This pathway involves the vagus nerve, which connects the brainstem to the digestive system, and a variety of chemicals and hormones produced by the gut.

The microbiome can also produce neurotransmitters, such as

  • serotonin
  • dopamine

which play a crucial role in our mood and behavior. In fact, about 90% of our body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. Disruptions to the microbiome can lead to imbalances in these neurotransmitters, which can contribute to mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

What can we do to support a healthy microbiome and, in turn, our mental health?

  • Eating a balanced diet that is high in fiber and plant-based foods can help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Probiotics, which are live bacteria found in certain foods like yogurt and kefir, can also help replenish the microbiome.
  • Reducing stress and getting enough sleep can also support a healthy microbiome. Chronic stress has been shown to disrupt the gut-brain axis and lead to imbalances in the microbiome. Getting enough sleep is also crucial, as disruptions to our sleep cycle can impact our gut bacteria.

Read and learn more from Anthony L. Komaroff MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter.

By supporting a healthy microbiome through diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep, we can help ensure our gut-brain connection is functioning optimally. Florassist GI (probiotic for gut health) and Brain Vitale (improve brain health) from Asher Longevity Institute are supplements that will surely help you too.

From the Blog

No Need to Go on This Journey Alone

30 Day ALI Quick Start Program

30 Days of Step by Step Help & Coaching to Take Control of Your Health Today

Start Your 30-Day Plan

Providing a roadmap for a Much Longer, Higher Quality Life

Listen to the Podcast


All information and recommendations on this site are for information only and are not intended as formal medical advice from your physician or other health care professionals. This information is also not intended as a substitute for information contained on any product label or packaging. Diagnosis and treatment of any health issues, use of any prescription medications, and any forms of medical treatments should not be altered by any information on this site without confirmation by your medical team. Any diet, exercise, or supplement program could have dangerous side effects if you have certain medical conditions; consult with your healthcare providers before making any change to your longevity lifestyle if you suspect you have a health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting with the prescribing doctor.