The Alien within us
Have you ever watched “Alien”, the 1979 movie with Sigourney Weaver? Well these studies sure reminded me of it! It’s both amazing and a little bit scary!
What if I were to tell you that this chocolate craving you are experiencing may not come from you but from your intestinal microbiome really bent on surviving?
This is what these studies have now found:
- Imbalanced gut flora will consciously alter the dopamine-reward system to generate cravings for foods they require for survival, or foods that suppress their competitors.
- They will make you feel absolutely miserable by changing neuropeptide signalling until you eat foods that enhance their fitness.
- They will actively change your taste buds so that you have more receptors for, say, fat or sweets!
- And wait for that one, this is even creepier: if they don’t have enough of the food they need, they will increase production of neurotransmitters such as GABA which reduce inhibitions, alter facial expressions, and make you appear more socially attractive – thereby increasing your chances of finding food…
Ok, I think I scared you enough! 😱
What does that mean for us?
- That gives us an understanding that stopping food craving is not only about will power. This is these bacteria survival which is at stake. They are really invested in you eating a particular food, otherwise they die! And obesity is scientifically linked to an unbalanced gut flora.
- It makes us understand that mood alteration (anxiety, depression) may also be linked to the same issue.
The good news is we can work on establishing a healthy gut flora. Specific practitioner-only strains of probiotics and herbs will both help with resolving this unbalance. So next time you’re thinking about grabbing that yummy chocolate bar, ask yourself, who is really doing the thinking? 👽
Alcock, J., Maley, C. C., & Aktipis, C. A. (2014). Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms. Bioessays, 36(10), 940-949.
Karsas, M., Lamb, G., & Green, R. J. (2018). The immunology of mind control–exploring the relationship between the microbiome and the brain-part 1. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 31(2), 103-109.
Karsas, M., Lamb, G., & Green, R. J. (2019). The immunology of mind control: exploring the relationship between the microbiome and the brain (part II). Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 32(1), 50-57.
Martin, C. R., Osadchiy, V., Kalani, A., & Mayer, E. A. (2018). The Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 6(2), 133–148.