Healthy Gut, Happy Mind

Nurture Your Neurotransmitters with Standard Process and Mediherb.

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 1-100.jpg__PID:696acd90-5d94-4ba6-a353-4d86f12b6e0b

Did you know that the trillions of bacteria residing in your body are not just passive inhabitants but active creators of chemicals that influence your mood, cognition, and even conditions like anxiety and depression?

It’s true! By making some simple lifestyle changes, you can enhance not only your digestion but also your mental health.

This cutting-edge research highlights the symbiotic relationship between our microbiome—a vast array of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genetic material that helps protect against harmful bacteria—and our mental, hormonal, and immune health.

This relationship serves as a crucial first line of defense for our well-being. In this blog post, we'll delve into the gut-brain axis, exploring its significance and how you can nurture a healthy gut. Let's dive in!


The Role of Gut Bacteria in Health

According to fascinating research by Kim et al. (2018), these microorganisms do much more than aid digestion—they're also critical players in shaping your mood, sharpening your cognitive functions, and even influencing your likelihood of experiencing conditions like anxiety and depression.

This groundbreaking study reveals that tweaking your gut bacteria with probiotics can have transformative effects on your brain's health by modulating the gut-brain axis. [1]

Why Should You Care About the Gut-Brain Axis?

Imagine a bustling highway of communication running from your gut to your brain. This is the gut-brain axis, an intricate network of nerves and hormones that acts as a two-way street, constantly sending messages that maintain your body's internal balance and affect everything from how you feel emotionally to how you respond physically.

The balance of this axis is so delicate that when the good bacteria in your gut are outnumbered by the bad, it can throw your whole system off course, potentially leading to a spectrum of health issues, from mood swings to more serious neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Engaging and empowering, isn't it? By nurturing your gut health, you're essentially tuning up your brain health and overall well-being. So, let's dive deeper into how you can support this vital connection and unleash the full potential of your body's own natural defenses! [2]

How Bacteria Create Neurotransmitters and Their Role in Brain Function

It may come as a surprise, but the bacteria in your gut are tiny chemists, capable of producing various neurotransmitters (which are chemicals used by your brain) that play key roles in brain function. These neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that are vital for transmitting signals not only within the brain but also between the brain and the rest of the body. Let’s dig into how this fascinating process works…

Neurotransmitter Production by Gut Bacteria

The trillions of bacteria that inhabit your gut microbiota are involved in synthesizing several important neurotransmitters. For instance:

  • Serotonin, often dubbed the "happiness neurotransmitter," is predominantly produced in the gut—about 90% of it, in fact. Gut bacteria such as certain types of Bifidobacteria and Streptococcus are known for producing serotonin [3].
  • Dopamine, another key neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, is also produced by gut bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria, commonly found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been shown to generate dopamine [4].
  • GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), which helps control feelings of fear and anxiety, is produced by bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium [5].

Impact on Brain Cells

Once produced, these neurotransmitters don’t just stay in the gut. Neurotransmitters can travel via the bloodstream or influence nerve signals, specifically through the vagus nerve, which connects the gut directly to the brain. Once they reach the brain, neurotransmitters bind to specific brain cells. This binding can alter the electrical state of the cells and change how messages are sent between them [6].

Deficiencies in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA can lead to various symptoms that affect both mental and physical health:

  • Serotonin impacts a wide range of brain activities, from mood regulation to cognition and sleep. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and anxiety disorders [7].
  • Dopamine influences motivation, reward, and motor control. Imbalances in dopamine levels are associated with manic and motor neurological conditions [8].
  • GABA acts primarily as an inhibitor in the brain, reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. This makes it essential for controlling stress responses and anxiety levels [9].

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 5-100.jpg__PID:62bcb25f-c657-41ab-8e04-03bed5b3bd55

Common Symptoms of Neurotransmitter Deficiencies

Here are 15 common symptoms for neurotransmitter deficiencies:

  • Depression - Low levels of serotonin are commonly associated with depression and mood disorders [7].
  • Anxiety - Insufficient GABA can lead to increased anxiety, as it normally acts to calm the nervous system [9].
  • Mood Swings - Fluctuations in serotonin levels can cause rapid changes in mood [7].
  • Fatigue - Dopamine deficiency can result in feelings of chronic fatigue and lack of motivation [8].
  • Insomnia - Low serotonin or GABA levels can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to many sleepless nights [7, 9].
  • Irritability - Low levels of GABA and serotonin can increase irritability and agitation [7, 9].
  • Difficulty Concentrating - Insufficient dopamine often results in a lack of focus and difficulty concentrating [8].
  • Memory Loss - Dopamine is essential for cognitive function, and a deficiency can impair memory [8].
  • Loss of Pleasure in Activities - Dopamine affects the reward center in the brain, so a deficiency can lead to a loss of enjoyment in activities once found pleasurable [8].
  • Panic Attacks - Severely low levels of GABA can result in panic attacks due to its role in regulating nervous system excitability [9].
  • Muscle Pain - Low serotonin levels can increase pain perception, leading to chronic muscle pain [7].
  • Appetite Changes - Serotonin impacts appetite control, so its deficiency can cause either increased or decreased appetite [7].
  • Compulsive Behaviors - Low dopamine levels can lead to compulsive behaviors as one seeks out activities that increase dopamine production [8].
  • Social Withdrawal - A lack of dopamine can reduce motivation for social interaction, leading to social withdrawal [8].
  • Feelings of Hopelessness - Low serotonin levels can contribute to a pervasive sense of hopelessness and despair [7].

*These symptoms can vary widely in their severity and combinations, and having one or more of them doesn't necessarily point directly to a neurotransmitter deficiency.

Diet + Enzymes + Probiotics = Happy Gut/Mind

Understanding the role of gut bacteria in neurotransmitter production opens new avenues for treating mental health disorders. By modifying one’s diet or using specific probiotics, enzymes, and acids, it might be possible to alter gut flora in ways that enhance the production of beneficial neurotransmitters, thus potentially improving mental health outcomes [10]. This connection underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiota as part of an overall strategy for safeguarding mental wellness [11].

This remarkable ability of gut bacteria to impact brain chemistry not only highlights the complexity of the human body but also emphasizes the profound impact of diet and lifestyle on our overall health [12].

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 4-100.jpg__PID:753b2b61-53b1-4ae2-a21d-9226c302bfe2
healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 3-100.jpg__PID:2b6153b1-3ae2-421d-9226-c302bfe2beb3
healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy-100.jpg__PID:53b13ae2-a21d-4226-8302-bfe2beb3226f
healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 2-100.jpg__PID:3ae2a21d-9226-4302-bfe2-beb3226f45a3
healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 12-100.jpg__PID:1d9226c3-02bf-42be-b322-6f45a3095e0e

Harvest Happiness: The Weed, Seed, and Feed Approach

Keeping your gut healthy is crucial for your overall well-being, both mentally and physically. A straightforward way to think about improving your gut health is the "Weed, Seed, and Feed" strategy. Let's break down this approach using specific products, including a new addition called Biofilm ProBalance, to make it easier to understand.

Remove Biofilms: Break Down the Bad Bacteria Defense

The goal is to remove the biofilm that protects the bad bacteria. Biofilm ProBalance is a brand new product that contains a mix of specialized probiotics and enzymes that break down biofilms and help maintain a balanced environment in your gut [13]. Biofilm ProBalance helps manage yeast and other elements that can disrupt your gut's health. It includes special ingredients like organic kale and garlic, which support a healthy gut environment. It’s particularly good at dealing with biofilms, which are like barriers that protect bad bacteria, making it easier for the good bacteria to thrive [13].

Weeding: Clear Out the Bad Stuff

The goal is to rid of foods and bacteria in your gut that can cause problems. This means cutting back on things like sugars and grains which can feed the bad bacteria. A product to use is MediHerb's Gut Flora Complex, which contains herbs like Oregano and Golden Seal, which help reduce the bad bacteria in your gut. The capsules are designed to work in your intestines, not your stomach, which means they're gentle and effective [14].

Seeding and Feeding: Add the Good Bacteria

Your goal is to introduce healthy bacteria to your gut to help balance your digestive system. We recommend Standard Process' Prosynbiotic, a blend of good bacteria that helps keep your gut in balance. Adding these good bacteria is like planting seeds in a garden—they help everything work better [15].

Feeding: Help the Good Bacteria Grow

The goal is to feed the beneficial bacteria to promote their growth. For this, start incorporating Standard Process' Prebiotic Inulin into your routine. The fiber feeds the good bacteria [16].

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 6-100.jpg__PID:8ebe2789-b51f-4e61-9781-3fec1c33b0ed

How to Use These Products in a 20-Day Cycle

To see the best results, you might consider following this plan in cycles of 20 days, repeating it a few times:

  • Days 1-10 (Biofilm and Weeding Phase): Take Standard Process’ Biofilm ProBalance with MediHerb's Gut Flora Complex twice a day to break down the biofilm and to reduce bad bacteria [13, 14].
  • Days 11-20 (Seeding and Feeding Phase): Switch to taking Standard Process' Prosynbiotic twice a day to add beneficial bacteria [15].
  • Digestive Support: Add Standard Process' Enzycore to your routine. Take during the entire time. This provides carbohydrate and fat enzymes to fully digest your food. Add Zypan if you need protein digestive aid.

This approach, combining weeding out the bad, seeding the good, and feeding your gut's beneficial bacteria, is a comprehensive way to improve your gut health. It’s like taking care of a garden, ensuring it’s not only free from weeds but also has the right seeds and nutrients to flourish.

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 11-100.jpg__PID:eda9fa44-9e26-4772-95af-2a0e81e24c0c

Dietary Strategies for a Healthy Gut

Introduction to Lactofermented Foods

Lactofermented foods are a fantastic way to introduce beneficial bacteria into your diet. These foods are created through a natural fermentation process where lactic acid bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid, preserving the food and enriching it with probiotics. Some popular examples include sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt. These foods not only add a delicious tangy flavor to your meals but also help populate your gut with beneficial bacteria that support digestion and boost your immune system [17].

Foods High in Inulin and Bacteria-Friendly Fiber

Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found in many plants that acts as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Foods high in inulin include chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, and bananas. Including these foods in your diet can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, promoting better digestion and overall gut health [18]. Additionally, foods rich in other types of fiber, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, support the growth of beneficial bacteria by providing them with the nutrients they need to thrive [19].

Low Sugar and Processed Grains

Reducing your intake of sugar and processed grains is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut. High sugar diets can feed harmful bacteria and yeast in the gut, disrupting the balance of your microbiota. Processed grains, which have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients, can contribute to inflammation and poor gut health. Instead, focus on whole grains like oats, quinoa, and brown rice, which are rich in fiber and nutrients that support a healthy gut environment [20].

healthy-gut-happy-mindArtboard 2 copy 8-100.jpg__PID:7c092e8a-33aa-4196-8840-fd0967f24994


The connection between your gut and your brain is powerful and complex, with your gut bacteria playing a pivotal role in influencing your overall health. By focusing on strategies that support a healthy gut microbiome, you can enhance not only your digestive health but also your mental well-being. This holistic approach is essential for maintaining the optimal functioning of the gut-brain axis and fostering a healthier, happier life [25].

To truly support self-care, it's important to understand unique nutritional needs. A personalized nutritional evaluation can play a crucial role in this process. Our assessment will identify any specific nutritional deficiencies and recommend the optimal Standard Process and Mediherb supplements to fill those gaps. This thoughtful, personalized support can help individuals feel their best every day, enabling them to continue nurturing themselves and those around them with renewed energy and vitality.

Free Nutritional Assessment


  • Kim, Y. K., & Shin, C. (2018). The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Pathophysiological Mechanisms and Novel Treatments. Current Neuropharmacology, 16(5), 559-573.
  • Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2012). Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 13(10), 701-712.
  • Yano, J. M., Yu, K., Donaldson, G. P., Shastri, G. G., Ann, P., Ma, L., ... & Hsiao, E. Y. (2015). Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis. Cell, 161(2), 264-276.
  • Matsumoto, M., Kibe, R., Ooga, T., Aiba, Y., Sawaki, E., Koga, Y., & Benno, Y. (2013). Impact of intestinal microbiota on intestinal luminal metabolome. Scientific Reports, 3, 2108.
  • Barrett, E., Ross, R. P., O'Toole, P. W., Fitzgerald, G. F., & Stanton, C. (2012). γ-Aminobutyric acid production by culturable bacteria from the human intestine. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 113(2), 411-417.
  • Bravo, J. A., Forsythe, P., Chew, M. V., Escaravage, E., Savignac, H. M., Dinan, T. G., ... & Cryan, J. F. (2011). Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(38), 16050-16055.
  • Young, S. N. (2007). How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 32(6), 394-399.
  • Swanson, L. W. (2012). Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan. Oxford University Press.
  • Möhler, H. (2012). The GABA system in anxiety and depression and its therapeutic potential. Neuropharmacology, 62(1), 42-53.
  • Foster, J. A., Rinaman, L., & Cryan, J. F. (2017). Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome. Neurobiology of Stress, 7, 124-136.
  • Maes, M., Kubera, M., Leunis, J. C., & Berk, M. (2012). Increased IgA and IgM responses against gut commensals in chronic depression: further evidence for increased bacterial translocation or leaky gut. Journal of Affective Disorders, 141(1), 55-62.
  • Mayer, E. A. (2011). Gut feelings: the emerging biology of gut-brain communication. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(8), 453-466.
  • D'Hoe, K., Conterno, L., Fava, F., Falony, G., Vieira-Silva, S., Vermeiren, J., ... & Raes, J. (2018). Prebiotic wheat bran fractions induce specific microbiota changes. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9, 31.
  • Paineau, D., Carcano, D., Leyer, G., Darquy, S., Alyanakian, M. A., Simoneau, G., ... & Legrand, A. (2008). Effects of seven potential probiotics on metabolic endotoxemia: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial in overweight and obese adults. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 1-10.
  • Salminen, S., & Isolauri, E. (2006). Intestinal colonization, microbiota, and probiotics. The Journal of Pediatrics, 149(3), S115-S120.
  • Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417-1435.
  • Marco, M. L., Heeney, D., Binda, S., Cifelli, C. J., Cotter, P. D., Foligné, B., ... & Hutkins, R. (2017). Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 44, 94-102.
  • Roberfroid, M. (2007). Prebiotics: the concept revisited. The Journal of Nutrition, 137(3), 830S-837S.
  • Sonnenburg, J. L., & Bäckhed, F. (2016). Diet-microbiota interactions as moderators of human metabolism. Nature, 535(7610), 56-64.
  • Blaut, M. (2015). Gut microbiota and energy balance: role in obesity. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 74(3), 227-234.
  • Gaisl, T., Haile, S. R., Thiel, S., Bratton, D. J., Kohler, M., & Bloch, K. E. (2019). Efficacy of pharmacotherapy for OSA in adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 43, 1-21.
  • Lundberg, J. O., Weitzberg, E., & Gladwin, M. T. (2008). The nitrate–nitrite–nitric oxide pathway in physiology and therapeutics. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 7(2), 156-167.
  • Thayer, J. F., & Lane, R. D. (2007). The role of vagal function in the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Biological Psychology, 74(2), 224-242.
  • Zaccaro, A., Piarulli, A., Laurino, M., Menicucci, D., Garbella, E., Manzoni, D., ... & Gemignani, A. (2018). How breath-control can change your life: a systematic review on psychophysiological correlates of slow breathing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 353.
  • Mayer, E. A., Savidge, T., & Shulman, R. J. (2014). Brain–gut microbiome interactions and functional bowel disorders. Gastroenterology, 146(6), 1500-1512.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this email article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The contents of this article should not be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. Before starting any new dietary supplement or making significant changes to your health and wellness routine, please consult with a healthcare professional.The views and nutritional advice expressed in this email are not meant to be a substitute for conventional medical service, and any use of the mentioned supplements should be discussed with your physician or another licensed healthcare provider. All readers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their doctors before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.