Do you feel stressed? Nervous? Overwhelmed? Unhappy? Do you feel like you are overreacting but you don’t understand why? And the worst part is, you have no control over your emotions, your sadness, your anxiety?
My best advice? Look no more, and continue reading.
The harmful E.coli
Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, has a pretty bad reputation, known to cause food poisoning and induce symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. There are few, truly nasty strains of this bacteria that we often can find in contaminated waters and food. Healthy adults usually recover from infection with E.coli within a week, but young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
E.coli within our body
Did you know that most E.coli strains live happily and peacefully in our guts? In fact, they may be responsible for producing essential brain nutrients, that when insufficient may result in diseases like depression and anxiety.
Wait, a minute.
So E.coli actually prevents the offset of depression and anxiety? Your gut bacteria produce brain chemicals. How? Your digestive tract acts as a factory for your brain chemicals and a factory for your entire body. More specifically it produces all of the protein your body needs. These include tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, alanine and many more. Your gut is responsible for the repair of your muscle and all the tissue, production of all your hormones and it can even lower inflammation occurring throughout your body. This is where the products of amino acids, the building blocks of protein becomes useful. But when it comes to E.coli it has a very unique responsibility of making a B vitamin folate in your body.
The importance of folate
Folate is necessary for making DNA, neurotransmitters, cellular detoxification, and the proper formation of the nervous system during development. Now, let’s focus on the neurotransmitters. Essential brain chemicals, known as hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine, control pretty much everything in your body. So, in other words, if you have any problem with your E.coli, the production of your brain chemicals will consequently be compromised, affecting your mental health. And this is where we seek for help with anti-depressants or a supplement that replaces these brain chemicals.
Is this a sustainable solution?
For sure not!
The key is to correct the gut and then you can go off the things you’ve been covering all your symptoms with. Your body will begin to make these chemicals on your own. The best part is that this should be able to be done at any stage of someone’s life. It’s all about getting the gut bacteria balance right.
The good and the bad strains
There’s a range of bacteria that produce D-lactic acid. D-Lactic acid is a nerve toxin. When you eat carbohydrates these bacteria convert the carbons from the carbohydrates into d-lactic acid and this D-lactic acid amplifies every single emotion you have. So, if you have a little bit of anxiety, maybe from a food allergen or stress or you’re just simply nervous because of something, it will feel 1000 times stronger. Because it is a nerve toxin it intensifies all your emotions. Therefore, if you are sad about something that sadness can feel like severe depression.
Avoid the bad strains
You can pick up these bacteria at any time, if you travel to third world countries, we can pick it up from other humans, drinking bad water, diarrhoea, vomiting, cold or flu. Any direct contact and you can potentially pick up a huge dose or even a little dose. Gradually, over the years these bacteria will grow and multiply. The more they grow, the more carbohydrates you eat. As you consume these, you develop a reaction that you automatically link to carbs being the bad guys. But the truth may lie somewhere else. It could be that the bacteria are converting these carbs into acid and immediately amplifying every emotion you’re experiencing, at that specific time.
It’s important to remember that carbohydrates are not the problem. Limiting carbohydrates is great for some things, but if this limitation is based on controlling the bad bacteria strains, you are doing it wrong. The answer is controlling the bacteria. So, you can have the carbs without affecting you, your gut or your overall mental wellbeing.
Depression as a symptom, not an illness
Depression is a symptom of another problem that begins in your gut, not in your brain. Of course, there are exceptions but often, the presence of both depression and anxiety can be explained by the overload of lactic acid or lack of oxygen in the brain, instead of serotonin or dopamine levels (our brain chemicals).
When anti-depressants don’t work
A good indicator for determining where is the problem is when anti-depressants don’t reduce the symptoms of depression. In these cases, I would strongly advise anyone to start looking into your gut. Overload of lactic acid or an insufficient amount of oxygen in the brain can hugely impact how you feel without altering the brain chemicals. Just think the last time you went to the beach or spent some quality time in nature.
Did you feel happier, more content?
How much is too much? When it comes to your d-lactic acid producing bacteria, your body can happily get away with none. On the other hand, the bad reputational E.coli is supposed to vary between 70-90%. Remember, it’s responsible for making all the brain chemicals due to its production of folate! The moment we look at depressed individuals the ratio of present E.coli drastically changes. We often see d-lactic acid producing bacteria as high as 80%. This automatically suppresses our folate- producing E.coli, competing with excessive acid produced by the d-lactic acid, making survival for any other bacteria impossible.
This also affects your Bifidobacterium. The good bacteria that help you digest food and keep your immune system strong are also suppressed in the presence of the acid producing bacteria. When the immune system is not functioning properly, we are at risk to develop infections which can further develop into chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies and even cancer.
How to test for D-lactic acid bacteria?
You can do stool tests, most health practitioners know how to access those. You can also do a stool analysis from the comfort of your home. There are many private companies that send you a stool sample kit through the post. You then package your samples back to them and can receive results within 2 weeks.
Some of the UK companies I recommend are:
Why L-lactic acid is good and D-lactate is bad?
Both, L-lactic acid and D-lactic acid are isomers, metabolized to pyruvate by the action of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Even though these are identical mirror images compounds, they require specific enzyme each. So, the production and metabolism of D-lactic acid require D-LDH and L-lactic acid requires L-LDH.
I know, science but bare with me.
Our cells only contain one of these enzymes, the L-LDH so in humans we exclusively want to produce L-lactate. Yet, carbohydrate-fermenting bacterial species (e.g. lactobacillus spp) have by contrast both enzymes and therefore the capacity to produce both D- lactic acid and L- lactic acid. L- lactic acid helps us with our thoughts, emotions, cognitive functions. And so, when we produce our L-lactic acid we create essential emotions. We can control these emotions because we have an enzyme that can break down this L-lactic acid once it builds up and therefore our emotions don’t become overwhelming.
But, when D-lactic acid producing bacteria are present in your gut, it produces surplus amounts of D-lactic acid which fits into the same receptor site in the brain as L-lactic acid. As we cannot produce a specific enzyme to break down this exact lactic acid our emotions multiply and become out of hand. And this is when a little bit of nervousness, all of a sudden becomes so profound that you can’t breathe and have no control over it. Exactly the same way as your body has no control over the D-lactic acid.
Are you feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Feel free to book a FREE 30-minute session with a nutritionist specialising in digestive health and finally get some answers that Dr.Google can’t answer for you. ?