They say that the microbes in our bellies and palpitations in our hearts have an influence on our minds. And a new study of probiotic bacteria says that the microorganisms typically found in yogurt and dairy products suggest that higher levels of probiotics in the stomach reduces stress.
This study was conducted with probiotic-rich rats, who released fewer stress hormones when "dropped into a pool of water." When the nerve connecting the gut and brain was severed, "these neural changes disappeared." Scientists have also shown "that the presence of gut bacteria shapes the development of the mouse brain."
In tests on humans treated "with large doses of probiotics for 30 days," the result was also reduced psychological distress. "There's nothing metaphorical about 'gut feelings,' for what happens in the gut really does influence how we feel." Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, meanwhile "has shown that neurological patients who are unable to detect changes in their own bodies, like an increased heart rate or sweaty palms, are also unable to make effective decisions ... Because they can't experience the fleshy symptoms of fear, they never learn from their mistakes."
All of this means to me is that if we eat good things we create a more mellow body and one that is better able to reduce stress. Does that mean I should give up pizza....?