A number of research studies have found that gut health and brain are linked. A new study has now found that diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract or gastrointestinal diseases in kids may affect neurological development and lead to mental disorders in the future. The study further states that children who undergo some kind of trauma or adversities like parental separation are more likely to suffer from diseases affecting the gut microbiome that regulate digestion and immune system function. This increases the risk of suffering from mental health issues in later life. While previous studies have established an association of trauma or abuse with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults, no research had been made to study the effects in children.

The study also noted that children who did not experience parental separation and were raised by parents had increased gut microbiome diversity, which is linked to the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain known to help regulate emotions.

The link between gastrointestinal health and brain has long been established. A previous research revealed how the gut bacteria can impact normal brain activity and development, sleep and stress. The article titled ‘The Gut Microbiome and the Brain’ in the Journal of Medicinal Food shows that the microbiome can influence the brain by ‘stimulating and over-stimulating the immune system, producing neurotoxic agents, releasing hormones or neurotransmitters identical to those made by the human body or through direct neuronal stimulation that sends signals to the brain.’ Another study noted how the levels of serotonin or the happiness hormone in the brain is linked to your gut health during early life. It says that a healthy gut can actually increase the levels of serotonin in your brain, thus making you happy.

But while protecting your gut health make sure not to go overboard. A number of people believe that loading up on probiotics, that help promote good bacteria, will help make their gut function efficiently. But did you know that too many probiotics can lead to problems with your brain, like confusion and difficulty in concentrating? Excess of probiotics can lead to an increase in D-lactic acid levels in the intestine which is know to have intoxicating effects on the brain and affect cognitive thinking.