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Chicken or the egg; Does stress influence your gut or your gut your stress?

In a previous post, So there is a link between stress and nutrition?, I mentioned the impact of stress and nutrition on our health.
Besides the physical processes mentioned in the article, most of us recognise the existence of the connection between the gut and the brain, the so called ‘gut-brain-axis.

We know that, in order to function properly, cognitive as well as emotional, we need a healthy gut-biome. That is, a healthy balance between a wide range of diverse bacteria.

We have known it for a while, and according to our language, we had this ‘knowing’ before the evidence, we used our ‘gut-feeling’ or we ‘felt it in our gut’. That stress is influencing our gut, we knew, or ‘felt’, and research has shown us that our ‘gut – feeling’ about that is right.

However, most recently, it was discovered that this is not a one way street. Yes stress does have an effect on our body, and does affect our gut biome, but an altered gut biome can also influence our neurological thinking and even modulate how we respond to stress.

We are just scratching the surface of this topic and still have difficulty imagining how microbes who reside several organs away from the brain have that much influence on our behaviour and the way we respond to stress. However, it just might offer us a glimpse of what we can expect in the (near) future.

If further research will give us deeper insight into how we respond to stress, our mood and our cognitive abilities based on the compilation of our gut biome, wouldn’t it be interesting as an organisation to know the ‘status of the gut’ before we hire people? Could this knowledge eventually even replace the ‘Meyer – Briggs’ tests?

Would looking after your employees AND their gut bacteria be the key to keeping them performing at the peak and to give your organisation that competitive edge?

Before we reach that point, looking after your personnel and acknowledge the importance of a healthy gut is already in everyone’s interest if we are looking into how you can help your team manage stress.

After all, it is not just what’s eating you but what you are eating!

Interested what I can do for you and your staff? Visit my website: www.susansteinnutritionist.com or send me an e-mail: susan@susansteinnutritionist.com

Bacteria knocked out by stress