Published on nutritionstudies.org on March 26, 2020
Have you ever been so stressed out that your stomach hurt? Perhaps you were so worried or anxious that you vomited or had diarrhea. Even that nervous butterfly feeling you sometimes get is a sign that the balance of microbes in your gut is off balance.
You have a staggering 100 trillion microorganisms, or bacteria, living in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Although we tend to associate bacteria with germs, there are good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria kill disease-producing cells, build vitamins and hormones, and help break down food.
Researchers have long known that stress, anxiety, and depression reduce the presence of good bacteria in your gut, leading to gastrointestinal distress. But does it work the other way around?
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