What is the relationship between gut and mental health, behavior and weight? – 06/05/2022

If there is one topic that is always on the “top list” of nutrition, health professionals and the general population who seek health and quality of life, it is the intestinal microbiota.

As in other articles I wrote here in my column regarding Live well, I would like to remind you that microbiota is found not only in the gut but also on the skin, tongue and other areas of our body. Microbiota is the term used to describe a certain colonization of microorganisms that live in this area and that play basic roles.

In the case of the intestinal microbiota, we already know that its maintenance and balance affect our entire health, whether it is in the allergic reaction and immune response or in mood, in the absorption of nutrients, in our body’s defenses, in the metabolism. of essential nutrients for our organism, and also in weight (increase, loss and recovery of lost weight in obese or overweight patients). The relationship between the intestinal microbiota and the rest of our organism is already a fact confirmed by the scientific class, and we have new discoveries daily.

In the month of May, there was a major event that brought together researchers, professors, health professionals who involved the topic of my approach today, the gut-brain axis: Gutbrain, an international congress specializing in the relationship between brain and gut, at the Centro de Exposições Frei Mug, at a hybrid event.

Some extremely important topics were part of the event, such as the behavioral problems in our society, which face a quest for obesity control, while facing difficulties in succeeding in weight loss, as some practices – not healthy – are part of the routine of those on this journey: use of anorexic drugs without a prescription or in an uncontrolled manner, unbalanced diet, excessive restrictions, diets performed without follow-up and other conditions that further affect the patient’s clinical condition, instead of helping with weight loss , specifically.

I then spoke with one of the event’s organizers, Lais Murta, a nutritionist, and with Daniela Seixas, also a nutritionist, who discussed crown nutrition and masterful prescribing in clinical practice.

To put this into context, dysbiosis and irritable bowel syndrome are the two biggest battles in the clinical nutrition arena. A large number of patients with various complaints and clinical symptoms are affected by dysregulation of the intestinal microbiota, causing adverse effects on their entire health, which also accumulate for years, with other pathologies being mistakenly suspected. Dysbiosis is a condition that will affect patients over the years.

According to Lais (CRN329040), the most important mistakes that are made in masterful supplementation in people with dysbiosis, or who are looking for a professional to improve their intestinal health:

Excessive consumption of proteins, including protein supplements: excess protein can generate dysbiosis, increasing the nature of proteolytic bacteria associated with chronic low-grade inflammation;

2. Low carbohydrate intake: complex carbohydrates (found in whole grains, vegetables) are essential for the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are essential for intestinal health, immunity and mental health;

3. Probiotic supplements without guidance: many of the probiotic supplements have not been proven to be effective and may be associated with intestinal dysbiosis, especially SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Supergrowth).

In addition, the strains most commonly used in these supplements are high producers of D-lactate, a drug associated with neurological problems, chronic pain and depression.

Another point to be discussed is about the use of drugs to lose weight, which come and go are fashionable within famous clinics and also in secret. Medications should only be prescribed by doctors as supplements of other active substances can be easily found even on the internet, leading to an easy purchase for those looking for. Both affect our gut health, and not just that, but our entire body. With the indicated and controlled use, in a professional way, the benefits are in a wide range.

“When we generally think of dietary supplements, we must be very careful. The ideal is always to seek individualization. Any supplement used unnecessarily or incorrectly can cause health damage. In the case of dietary supplements associated with aesthetics, the most important damages are usually associated with increased oxidative damage (increased production of free radicals), overload of the detox system (which includes the gastrointestinal tract), not necessarily with dysbiosis. But it is worth remembering that dietary supplements are important in many cases, they just need to be used in the right way for individual needs, ”says Lais Murta, nutritionist.

In the daily routine that we ourselves see on social media, the search for aesthetic result accelerators is a reality (anabolic hormones, anorexic hormones, appetite suppressants, etc.), both for tenacious performers of physical activities inspired by fitness models and athletes, as in sedentary people and persons who fit the profile “have tried everything”, either through medical indication or via the Internet, indication and irregular purchases.

This is due to the social profile we experience, people who are stressed, accelerated, suffering from chronic stress, changes in mood, sleep and appetite, which end up having consequences for the whole health, so we observe common behavior: low performance, many complaints of insomnia, fatigue, high appetite, the search for increasingly industrialized and easy-to-eat foods, high consumption of sleeping and anxiety medications and also high consumption of medications for chronic pain.

According to Lais and Daniela, “the Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common clinical disorder and the development of its symptoms is strongly related to stress, anxiety and depression. Chronic stress causes a change in the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system, which contributes to the change in the composition of the intestinal microbiota, decreased production of digestive enzymes and bile acids and changes in intestinal permeability .. With this we may have digestive damage, malabsorption of nutrients, leading to deficiencies, emotional changes and changes in gastrointestinal function as a whole.

And we already know that, but it’s never too much to remember: Leading a balanced lifestyle is paramount, and we’m not just talking about natural food and physical activity, but about prioritizing quality sleep, rest, leisure, and stress management activities.

Given this accelerated and stressed reality in our society, and that when there is a quest to improve habits and health, thereby improving body composition, individuals may resort to unhealthy remedies, such as extremely restrictive diets in nutrients, food substitutes for products, inappropriate use of medicines, herbal medicines and dietary supplements.

I asked Lais if she thinks the sum of these habits can affect individuals’ mental health, or is it the mental health that affects the habits.

“Sure! We live in an era of productivity, so we need to multitask, we want to do more things at the same time. We are bombarded by a lot of information at the same time, and social networks are designed to create desire and comparisons that fix our attention and makes us want more and more things – which will make us work / train more and more, eat less and less, seek miracle medicine, “he said.

She continued: “High performance does not mean efficiency, and most of the time we put more on our body than we were physiologically prepared to deal with. We have seen an increased incidence of burnout syndrome, anxiety disorder, IBS and depression. We need to slow down and understand that our body is not a machine, that it needs a break and care to handle the routine effectively. Therefore, it is necessary to seek serious professionals to help in this process. “

Lais Murta: clinical nutrition expert, graduate student in health sciences at IEP Sírio Libanês, postgraduate in exercise physiology at EPM / Unifesp (Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo) and in functional clinical nutrition at VP Consultoria; member of the ISNPR (International Society of Nutritional Psychiatry Research).

Daniela Seixas: nutrition expert trained from UFPR (Federal University of Paraná), master’s and doctorate in biochemistry science from UFPR, post-doctoral degree from EEFE-USP (School of Physical Education and Sport at the University of São Paulo), post-doc from FCF-USP (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of São Paulo), postdoc at the Scripps Research Institute – SD – California (USA), author of the book “Bioactive Food Compounds”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.