Our last blog post dove into the work of William Walsh and how his work with more than 30,000 patients afflicted by psychiatric and mental disorder allowed him to uncover biochemical patterns for the differing diseases. For the 2nd part of the series, we will dive into food strategies for improving gut function that helps improve nutrient absorption and lower brain inflammation for less chances of being affected by mental disorders.

Elimination diet, leaky gut and lowering depression by targeting inflammation: The team of Karakula-Juchnowicz from Poland reviewed the role of food sensitivity and its link to the development of depressive disorders. In their study The role of IG hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis and therapy of depressive disorders they trace the hypothesis that leaky gut triggered by food hypersensitivity leads to increased intestinal immune response. The immune response triggers a chain of biochemical steps that increases the immune system’s activity and fires up inflammation leading to symptoms of depression. In their review, they found that initiating an elimination diet allows for leaky gut repair lowering the immune response and therefore the depressive symptoms.

Simply put, we see here that a healthy gut leads to decreases in inflammation which in turn decreases the chances of depressive disorders. Find a way to go through an elimination diet if you’ve been diagnosed. (We’ve launched our Elimination Diet Program so check that out on our website!)

Other tips to repair the leaky gut: Apart from instituting an elimination diet, the intestinal lining requires nutrients to repair. Fish oil, zinc, vitamin A and glutamine help speed up the healing process. Fiber from plant food can be taken up by gut microbes in order for them to produce butyrate – the energy source of the cells in the gut.

Microbes are important As discussed in the article about gut microbes, gut microbes are extremely important for normal body function. Their four roles of nutrient absorption, neurologic function (gut-brain connection), toxin removal and immune system regulation are only achieved when you have good diversity and number.

The foundation for good microbe diversity is to have consistent intake of different kinds of plant foods rich in fiber. Studies from the University of California San Diego Knight Lab show that it takes a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of consistent dietary intake of diverse high fiber foods to be able to shift microbial communities in a person’s gut.

Knowledge is half the battle here. In my next blog post, I will write about the specific foods that can help the brain with the nutrients it needs to overcome depression.

Your partner in health, Dr. Rayms