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Why Kefir Is The Best Mental Health First Aid

Are you experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression? 

Now you can create your own mental health first aid kit! 

The trillions of living organisms inside your gut, known as your microbiome, have been found to impact your mood, through something called the “Gut-Brain Connection.” Scientific evidence is now mounting that the most effective way to treat your brain, is actually through your gut, through a “psychobiotic” or live culture product like kefir. 

The gut-brain connection explained

Often, the gut is referred to as the ‘second brain’. Ninety-five percent of your serotonin, or ‘happy hormone,’ is produced inside your gut by specialised cells called enterochromaffin cells. The vagus nerve runs between the gut and the brain, carrying information in both directions. 

Damage to this delicate system by antibiotics, sugar, stress or environmental toxins can result in improper amounts of serotonin being produced and distributed through the brain, resulting in anxiety and depression. 

How does gut bacteria affect the brain? 

Your microbiome interacts with your central nervous system to regulate your brain chemistry, stress response, anxiety level and memory function. This works through a connection called the gut-brain axis, or ‘GABA’. Gut bacteria within your microbiome also produce other chemicals which act on the brain, according to scientists, who think the finding may help explain why chronic gut conditions in people are often linked to mood disorders.

Interestingly, skin appears to be part of this connection as well. Patients with skin condition acne rosacea have a higher incidence of depression than the general population, and some evidence suggests that swallowing certain types of bacteria may improve both acne and depression.

How kefir can contribute to mental health

As kefir contains significant levels of calcium and vitamin A alongside trillions of good living bacteria, it contributes to normal neurotransmission and the normal functioning of the nervous system. 

The live bacteria in kefir can help as well, according to science. People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic food, according to a review of studies published in the journal General Psychiatry.

Evidence is also mounting that gut bacteria can influence mood and prevent depression. As recently as February 2019, two large studies of Europeans found that several species of gut bacteria are missing in people with depression, showing that gut bacteria could make substances that affect nerve cell function, and possibly mood.

Previously, animal experiments had showed similar results. Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have reversed depression symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures dairy food including kefir. Researchers  observed that “a single strain of Lactobacillus is able to influence mood.”

To create your natural, mental first aid kit, we recommend the following: 

Pro-Prebiotic Package from Chuckling Goat : This is a powerful combination of live kefir, which puts many strains of lactobacillus into your gut, and 18 different strains of prebiotics, which feed those beneficial bacteria. 

Ashwagandha: Clinically proven to help with depression and anxiety, this natural adaptogen works well with kefir to lower cortisol levels in your system and improve mental health. Most powerful when taken in tincture form.

6 thoughts on “Why Kefir Is The Best Mental Health First Aid

    1. Hi Jessica,

      The latest research shows that low FODMAP diets are of concern, as they restrict microbiome diversity. Please read more here: https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2179

      The long-term solution for gut health here is to increase microbiome diversity. The science from Atlas shows the fibres that your gut microbiome requires for full health, which is why we have included them in the prebiotic.

      We suggest that you start with small amounts, and build up your tolerance gradually.

      You can find the ingredients here: https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/product/complete-prebiotic/

      I hope this helps and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any further questions 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Lowri

  1. Thank you Shann for that wonderful information. As you know I am a cancer patient at M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas for over 14 years. My Dr’s just shake their heads not understanding why I am still alive, very active, and have no anxiety. First I give JESUS credit for my peace and joy. I also think Kefir has helped me get through chemo therapy and immunotherapy for the last 3 years. The Dr’s say I left their books 2 to 3 years ago. I do tell them there is one book I will never leave behind, The Bible.
    I also will not go without probiotics and prebiotics. Thank you Shann for caring and sharing this wonderful information.

    1. Hi both,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      We’re glad that the kefir has helped – and it sounds like you’re doing well 🙂

      Keep us posted and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s anything further that we can help you with.

      Best wishes,
      Lowri

  2. i have keenly followed and read your articles but always hesitate to press the ok to go for kefir and related items. i have purchased some other products. My reason is this – i am sure gut health is as important a part of our wellbeing as other factors obviously, but how about a person with a dairy intolerance? the wonderfully vast choice out there now is so overwhelming and i would prefer to purchase from you as a smaller concern, however goat’s milk is dairy. I have a 33 year old son who was on the NHS regime for IBS, he has had the usual life overload of late so has tried to manage diet well, however gluten free and dairy free is a tough shout for anyone. Any advice gratefully received. Also, we have been given acidophillus in the past from a family member who subscribes to Lamberts products, what is the difference between this and your prebiotic i wonder? Many thanks, hope this is straightforward for someone to help, i have thought to phone and chat but never found the right time!

    1. Hi Gina – Most people who have a “dairy intolerance” are actually reacting to the A1 casein in cows milk. It is possible, although extremely rare, to react to goats milk – it is considered a hypoallergenic food, suitable for babies who are allergic even to their own mother’s breast milk. If your son is actually allergic to goats milk, you might start him on a water kefir instead.
      Best, Shann

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