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The Mind-GI Connection

Mounting evidence over the past 10 years has solidified a link between micro organisms in our gastrointestinal tract and our mental health. The specific links are becoming better understood, with a multitude of specific bacterium. One in particular, M. vaccae (found in everyday soil), Is shown to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and improve cognitive function. Dietert, in his book, The Human Superorgansim, discusses how our move toward eliminating bacteria in our world may have a negative impact on our neurological function, making us more susceptible to mental health issues. I can’t help but to link this to other research exploring the lives of the healthiest populations on earth with the best longevity, such as Okinawa Japan, The population with the greatest number of super centenarians (those living 110 years or more). Their lifestyles consist of eating naturally and spending a lot of time outside in nature doing things like gardening. Could “safety” working in our sterile offices and obsessively using hand sanitizer be ironically linked to other problems? Get outside, breathe fresh air and play in the dirt!  ~Dr. Lori