The Link Between Stress And Gut Bacteria

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Stress kills the good bacteria and promotes the bad bacteria, according to a new study. We all know that good bacteria play an important role in maintaining good health and bad bacteria spoil health. So, this is why stress can hamper health indirectly.

If you subject your body to enormous amounts of stress, the natural balance of micro-organisms will get disturbed severely. We all carry colonies of bacteria in various parts of our body starting from the mouth to the intestines.

When the ratio of the unhealthy bacteria increases, your body falls ill. A recent study claims that stress hormones may disturb the healthy balance of bacteria. In fact, we consume pro-biotics mainly to get some good bacteria.

So, when researchers found that there is a link between stress and the levels of bacteria in the body, they came to a conclusion that stress has another side effect. At first, the research was done on squirrels and later on, the results were seen as applicable to humans on some grounds.

Now, you must have understood how stress affects your immune system and makes you feel weak and depressed.


Fact #1

Most of the outer surfaces of your body contain bacteria. Even your intestinal walls contain bacteria. And most of them depend upon us for survival and we depend on them too.


Fact #2

These microorganisms can function only in a live intestine and this is why scientists are unable to culture them in labs and study them deeply.


Fact #3

Though most of the healthy bacteria are strong and robust, certain changes in your diet and exposure to stress levels may kill them.


Fact #4

These micro-organisms help in the production of certain vitamins and also help in destroying carcinogens. They also have some role to play in your immunity.


Fact #5

Another interesting observation of a study is: stress affects bacteria and intestinal bacteria can also affect the stress levels. Some species of healthy bacteria can reduce the stress levels.


Fact #6

The type of bacteria that resides in the gut is generally determined during childhood and there is no way to change it. A percentage of the bacteria is transferred from a mother to the child and the rest comes from surroundings.


Fact #7

Another study states that the amount of stress levels we face during childhood may promote certain bacteria which might promote depression when we age.

Read more about: health, wellness
Story first published: Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6:00 [IST]
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