Experts agree that the pandemic has been disastrous for the mental health of young people in the UK.
One in six children now have a mental health problem, according to NHS research, up from one in nine just three years ago. The number of children being hospitalised for mental health issues has increased significantly, and consultants across the country are seeing a worrisome “explosion” of children with disabling tics disorders and Tourette’s syndrome, according to the British Paediatric Neurology Association.1
Until recently, if you took your child to the GP with mood or mental disorder, he or she might have been prescribed an antidepressant “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” or SSRI,2 which are among the world’s most widely prescribed medications.3
According to the National Institute for Health Research, the number of 12-to-17 year olds prescribed antidepressants in England more than doubled between 2005 and 2017.4
However the UK is now advising against the prescription of all antidepressant drugs for children, with the exception of Prozac, because these drugs increase the risk of suicide. The following is the statement by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency):
MHRA Statement: Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) – only fluoxetine (Prozac) shown to have a favourable balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of MDD in the under 18s. On the basis of a review of the safety and efficacy of the SSRI class in the treatment of paediatric major depressive disorder undertaken by the Expert Working Group of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), the CSM has advised that the balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of major depressive disorder in under 18s is judged to be unfavourable for sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro) and unassessable for fluvoxamine (Luvox). Only fluoxetine (Prozac) has been shown in clinical trials to have a favourable balance of risks and benefits for the treatment of MDD in the under 18s.5
What’s the safe alternative to antidepressants for under-18s?
Boosting your child’s gut gut and mental health, using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics (fibres which feed probiotics) has been found to be a safe, natural and effective alternative to dangerous antidepressants.
What’s the most effective probiotic?
Dr. Michael Mosley in NHS trials on his BBC2 television show Trust Me I’m a Doctor found that traditionally-made kefir is the most effective of any probiotic food.8 Kefir is more powerful than yogurt, because it contains non-transient bacteria that have been shown to survive the digestive process. The best kefir for therapeutic purposes is unflavoured, unsweetened, made with real kefir grains and goats milk, which is less allergenic than cow’s milk.
What’s the best way to consume kefir?
It’s simple to nurture your child’s gut and mental health each morning, with a daily
Gut Health Smoothie
Method: Blend and drink.
What does the science say?
Research shows that your gut microbiota can help regulate your brain function through something called the “gut-brain axis.” The gut is often referred to these days as “the second brain.”
Because of the close connection between the brain and the gut, patients who suffer with mood disorder also frequently suffer with intestinal issues like IBS.
Both issues can be resolved together; probiotics may relieve symptoms of depression, as well as help gastrointestinal upset, research from McMaster University has found.9
How does the gut-brain axis work?
Mood disorders including depression and anxiety are associated with a neurotransmitter called serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone.”10
Although serotonin has such a powerful impact on your brain, 90% of your body’s serotonin is actually produced inside your gut, by special cells called enterochromaffin cells.
If you damage the health of your gut microbiome, by taking a course of antibiotics, for example, then you may also damage your enterochromaffin cells, and disrupt your body’s ability to produce serotonin. Results can include anxiety and depression.
Your gut health may also be compromised by stress, sugar, other medications and chemicals like pollution,
Restoring your gut health has been shown to benefit not only your digestive and brain health, but also the proper function of your immune system, heart, skin, blood sugar and weight.11
Chuckling Goat can deliver live kefir and Complete Prebiotic to your door, with free shipping and next day delivery. Questions? Get free personalized advice from our team of Nutritional Therapists, 8 am to 8 pm, on live chat.