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Could a high-fat diet harm your gut-brain axis?

Choosing high-fat foods impacts your physical health, making you more vulnerable to obesity, diabetes and a host of other issues related to metabolic syndrome. The biological connection that links your intestines, brain and emotions as one — better known as the gut-brain axis — may be harmed too.

Although researchers at Louisiana State University didn’t specifically mention the gut-brain axis in their recently published study in Biological Psychiatry, the implication was certainly present in the results. They concluded that eating a high-fat diet may increase your risks for behavioral problems, including depression.

Scientists tested their theory by transplanting gut bacteria of mice, fed either a high-fat diet or a control diet, into non-obese adult mice. The mice were then evaluated for signs of behavioral changes.

The mice exposed to gut bacteria fed by a high-fat diet displayed numerous changes, both mentally and physically.

On the mental health side, the mice experienced impaired memory, greater anxiety and repetitive behaviors. Physically, the mice displayed signs of inflammation and increased intestinal permeability.

According to researchers, the connection between the gut-brain axis, behavioral disruptions, and high-fat diets could also indicate inflammation in the brain.

“This paper suggests that high-fat diets impair brain health, in part, by disrupting the symbiotic relationship between humans and the microorganisms that occupy our gastrointestinal tracts,” Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented in a press release.

Fortunately, probiotics can help prevent the negative effect of a high-fat diet.

How probiotics can help

Unfortunately, high-fat diets are just one variable that disrupts the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Relying too often on antibiotics can be a big problem, leaving you vulnerable to hazardous infections like Clostridium difficile, which can be severe and, on occasion, deadly.

Protecting the diversity of your gut bacteria can be tricky with our hectic lifestyles that encourage us to eat high-fat, high-calorie meals because they are quick and simple.

Spending a little more time every day to eat a healthier diet richer in fiber and cutting out extra calories does your body a world of good.

Taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic that contains 10 different strains of beneficial bacteria plus the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharide) can be the boost your health needs to protect your gut and brain.

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