January 6th, 2018| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


All kinds of reasons in life to be anxious about. Jobs. Government. Wars. Disease. Death. Children. And so on. And so forth.

And you can take Valium or Xanax or some other to relieve yourself. And many do. Many. 12 percent of adults are on antidepressants, 8.3 percent on anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics!

But a recent study from the University of Cork, Ireland, is interested in the role of bacteria in your gut on your mental health.

There is this entity called miRNA (micro RNAs) made up of nucleotides—the basic building blocks of DNA and RNA. When miRNAs in the brain don’t function properly, it is thought that they induce stress-related psychiatric disorders, neurogenerative diseases, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. The researchers specifically examined 103 miRNAs in the amygdala (important for the experience of emotions) and 31 in the prefrontal cortex (important for personality development).

The interesting thing was their comparison of these miRNAs in mice raised in a sort of “bubble” and therefore bereft of bacteria in the gut, and in mice raised normally, bugs and all. Not only were these miRNAs changed in the brains of the microbe-free mice, but these rodents also were characterized by abnormal anxiety, deficient socialization, poor cognition, and behaviors that simulated like depression.

Cleaning out the gut bacteria with antibiotics in the conventionally raised adult mice had the same effect. I.e., changes in the gut microbiome (the constellation of microbes in the intestine, unique to each individual) can cause mental issues even in adulthood. Also, adding back gut bacteria seemed to normalize some of these changes.

Said Dr. Gerald Clarke, one of the authors on the study:

It may be possible to modulate miRNAs in the brain for the treatment of psychiatric disorders …. In any case, our study suggests that some of the hurdles that stand in the way of exploiting the therapeutic potential of miRNAs could be cleared by instead targeting the gut microbiome.”

The exact mechanism of all this remains unclear.

Dr. Clarke again:

This is early stage research but the possibility of achieving the desired impact on miRNAs in specific brain regions by targeting the gut microbiota—for example by using psychobiotics—is an appealing prospect.”

All that to say, if you want to be “don’t-worry-be-happy,” get some bugs in your gut! There it is—the solution to your anxiety.

While there are, no doubt, organic reasons for anxiety and mental ill-health, one must also be careful not to neglect the spiritual reasons thereof.

Jesus said:

“Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink;
nor for your body, as to what you will put on. …
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not worth much more than they?
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
And why are you worried about clothing?
Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. …
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ …
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25–29, 31, 33–34

Have an anxiety-free 2018!

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