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The Fascinating Connections Between Gut Bacteria, Weight And Mood

As employer, you ask yourself why it is important to offer good food for your employees. Well, next to many obvious reasons you can think of yourself, there is one more argument for good and healthy food. As described in this Forbes article, "It’s becoming clearer with each passing study that our guts play a big role in our physical and mental health." And you can make it tasty, no need to be hungry!

The simple and light version article of what you can find on this topic, focused on women.

"Another recent study, from UCLA, found that gut bacteria may significantly influence mood and brain function, as others have hinted in the past. In this study, women’s gut composition was correlated with brain function and structure, and their emotional reactions to negative imagery. Women with a prevalence of one type of bacteria were more likely to have greater volume in the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory, and more thickness in areas involved in informational processing. Women whose intestines were rich in a different type of bacteria had more connections in areas involved in emotional, attentional and sensory processing and less volume in the hippocampus. They also reported less anxiety, irritability and distress after they viewed negative images, compared to the other group of women.

So it’s becoming clearer with each passing study that our guts play a big role in our physical and mental health. And how gut bacteria, metabolism and mental/neurological health all interact together is another question again. This is a burgeoning area, and many more studies are needed before we understand all the connections fully. While “My gut bacteria made me do it” may not be a sound defense for snapping at a loved one or for gaining 10 pounds over the holidays, it may not be as outlandish as we once would have thought. While researchers are still figuring this all out, doing what we can to select for the good bacteria in our guts is probably wise—reducing animal products and increasing plant-based foods is a good way to go, both for yourself and for your bacteria."

Source: Forbes, by Alice G. Walton

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