It is the season of love! And we would like to showcase our love for the gut bacteria and the hard work they do to keep us healthy and happy. Love is a key ingredient in Booch’s kombucha and jun. Let us tell you about the benefits of love and positive energy, in addition to probiotics, on your gut and mind.
Psychobiome (psychology+microbiome) includes all the gut bacteria that influence the communication between the gut and the brain and affect mental health - how we feel, think, and act.
Psychobiotics (psychology+probiotics) are the specific subtypes of probiotics and prebiotics with antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties which when ingested result in changes in mood, anxiety, and cognitive function.
At Booch, we love healthy guts; we love talking about them, creating products for them, and sourcing fresh ingredients that promote gut health. There are several factors that contribute to the health of our gut microbiome, including environment, amount of exercise and sleep, and stress. But the number one factor determining what microbes live in our gut (and which ones die off) is our food.
Human microbiome research is gaining support with many studies investigating effects of pre- and pro-biotics on brain functions. The gut, called a second brain, produces many of the same neurotransmitters and neuromodulators as the brain does, like serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which play a key role in regulating our mood. It is estimated that 90% of serotonin is produced in the digestive tract.
Here are some results from recent scientific studies:
- Healthy male and female volunteers who consumed probiotics over 30 days showed substantially reduced reactivity to sad mood (assessed by the Leiden Index of Depression Sensitivity Scale).
- Two bacterial species, C. Difficile and H. Pylori, have been shown to cause the release of inflammatory cytokines, stress hormones, and a systemic stress response.
- A neuroimaging study among healthy females showed that those who consumed a mixture of probiotics for 4 weeks showed decreased neural reactivity to emotional faces, especially fearful and negative faces, (i.e., decreased activity in a functional network associated with emotional, somatosensory, and interoceptive processing to emotional information)
- Adult male mice that were innately stress-sensitive and anxious, when fed Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1, expressed fewer depressive and anxious behaviours. When fed Mycobacterium vaccae, they displayed reduced anxiety, errors, and increased speed in a maze-learning task.
- Germ-free mice raised in sterile environments showed exaggerated physiological reactions to stress; this reaction was reversed through probiotic-induced bacterial recolonization.
At Booch, we also believe in the power of positive words and energy on our body and mind. At our facility, we believe in regular incense burning and smudging, playing soothing music, drumbeating, etc. to drive out bad energy and welcome good. We have an energy reader who communicates with our SCOBYs and shares stories with us. And all our bottles have ‘love’ and 'positive energy' as ingredients because they are present at every stage of the process, from beginning to end, and we want the customer to feel them when they open the bottle and drink our product.
Masaru Emoto’s New York Times’ bestselling book The Hidden Messages in Water spoke about how words/music/images have a profound impact on the molecules of water. He proposed that since the human body is mostly water, the same is true for us, too. He conducted experiments to show that water from different sources, when exposed to positive words like ‘love and gratitude’, ‘you’re beautiful’, ‘let’s do it’, etc. produced beautiful crystals visible under the microscope. But when the water was ignored or negative words were said to it, it either did not form a crystal or formed an asymmetrical, malformed shape.
Studies have shown that reduced attention to negative stimuli may form a neurocognitive channel through which psychobiotics can improve mood. And at the systemic level, probiotics also result in reductions in cortisol and pro-inflammatory cytokines, would support these mental processes.
In addition, practicing gratitude has been shown to alter the neural pathways in our brain, improve sleep, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Learning to appreciate the good, goes a long way in reducing negative emotions.
This Valentine’s day, Booch encourages you to shower some love on your gut by adding more psychobiotics to your diet and practicing positive mental affirmations. The easiest way to improve our gut biome is through a balanced diet rich in fiber and fermented foods/drinks (such as sauerkraut, pickles, miso, certain types of yogurt, kefir, and kombucha). Get in touch with your gut bacteria today, feed it some tasty kombucha and ferments and feel the best you can feel!
Booch offers several fermented products in addition to our signature kombucha and jun drinks to help you strengthen your gut biome, and they are all made with fresh, organic ingredients sourced from local farmers.