It’s often said that there is no health without mental health. Yet when we look at the stats, we can see that more and more of us are stressed, anxious and can’t sleep:
- Psychological distress has increased over the last several decades – with around half of adults in the workforce feeling stressed and on-edge and experiencing symptoms of insomnia. And these numbers are on the rise: constant stress is felt by more than twice as many Canadians than before the pandemic started
- One-third of patients visiting physicians have depressive symptoms, anxiety and/or alcohol problems
- Gastrointestinal complaints are becoming more common in young adults and are often associated with depressive symptoms
Plus, distress and mental disorders contribute to an epidemic of co-morbidity—simply put, these symptoms are frequently attached to Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and dementia.
We need mood support more than ever. After looking at the stats and diving into the research, we knew that we had to formulate a product to support anyone who is feeling more stressed and anxious than usual, having trouble sleeping, unable to focus on tasks, feeling more physical fatigue or having digestive symptoms associated with more stress.
Healthy Gut, Healthy Mood: Inside the Gut-Brain Connection
We were inspired to take a look at one of the most exciting areas of research surrounding the relationship between microbial populations in our gut and the functioning of our brain.
The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, all of which play a vital role in promoting and maintaining our everyday wellness. In fact, there are 150 times more unique genes within the average human microbiome then there are in the entirety of the human genome (1)! This diversity is key for our health, while the unfortunate degradation of these microbial populations has been linked to numerous chronic illnesses, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and even some neurological disorders (2-4). The message is clear – when it comes to managing overall health, the gut comes first.
A healthy microbiome is first and foremost characterized as balanced. Our microbiomes are home to thousands of unique species, some families of which (i.e. Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium) exhibit anti-inflammatory characteristics, while others (i.e. Bacteroides) are classified more generally as pro-inflammatory.
It is when our microbiomes are out of balance that we tend to see negative health impacts, largely characterized by an increase in pro-inflammatory microbes, and a relative decrease in the “healthy” anti-inflammatory species. Unfortunately, impacts of a distressed microbiome are not contained within the gut.
“To put it simply, when the gut is stressed, often the brain is too.”
The vagus nerve is one of the primary components of our parasympathetic nervous system and forms a direct line of communication between the gut and brain. A healthy, balanced microbiome has been associated with improved mood and reduced feelings of anxiety, largely due to bi-directional communication along the vagus nerve (7). Here our microbes work hand-in-hand with key signaling networks to regulate our stress response and control neurotransmitter production, among many other important roles. To put it simply, when the gut is stressed, often the brain is too. Working to promote a robust, diverse, and balanced gut ecosystem is key towards regulating oxidative stress and promoting a healthy mental outlook.
First, we wanted to craft advanced gut health probiotic mood with 15 probiotic strains in a balanced formula that supports both digestion and mood. We included species with great research for mood and stress benefits:
- Lactobacillus gasseri has been clinically shown to improve sleep, anxiety and mood (5)
- Lactobacillus salivarius has been clinically studied to help reduce negative thoughts (6)
Oxidative Stress and Its Impact on Mood
Next up was the question of oxidative stress. Put simply, oxidative stress is the result of a systemic imbalance in reactive oxidative species (ROS). Under optimal conditions, our bodies tightly regulate these molecules through a sophisticated antioxidative defense network, making sure that the levels remain at an optimized range. However, under periods of intense stress we often see harmful increases in ROS production, creating a state of excessive inflammation which has been tied to several negative health outcomes including increased risk of metabolic disease, joint pain, and even negative impacts on mood (8).
Enter curcumis melo, a French melon concentrate!
French melons are uniquely rich in a variety of health-promoting compounds, particularly an antioxidant called super oxide dismutase (or SOD for short). SOD is one of our body’s most potent antioxidant defenders and plays a central role in maintaining a balance of oxidative stress. Supplementing with SOD has been clinically researched to help bolster our bodies intrinsic antioxidant defense capacity.
A daily serving of 10 mg of SOD rich Extramel™ French melon concentrate has been clinically proven to reduce fatigue, lower stress, and improve overall quality of life (9) in just 28 days (15). Researchers found that participants who took 10mg of Extramel™ each day scored significantly higher on four psychometric scales, notably the Perceived Stress Scale-14 (PSS-14) and the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), two highly reputable tests for gauging levels of psychological stress and overall health-related quality of life.
We included this research-proven dose of 10 mg Extramel™ in advanced gut health probiotic mood.
To cap things off, we made sure that the probiotics in advanced gut health probiotic mood receives the same care that we give across our probiotic lineup. All strains in advanced gut health probiotic mood are genetically verified, triple cleaned, and delivered in our unique delayed-release vegan capsule for maximum potency. The combination of Extramel™ alongside a high-quality probiotic creates a highly effective daily supplement for targeting the root of physical and psychological stress—in just one capsule per day.
- Qin J, et al. A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing. 2010;464:59–65.
- Scher JU., et al. Decreased bacterial diversity characterizes the altered gut microbiota in patients with psoriatic arthritis, resembling dysbiosis in inflammatory bowel disease. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67:128–139.
- Vieira AT., et al. A Role for Gut Microbiota and the Metabolite-Sensing Receptor GPR43 in a Murine Model of Gout. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015;67:1646–1656.
- Yamashita T., et al. Intestinal Immunity and Gut Microbiota as Therapeutic Targets for Preventing Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Diseases. Circ J. 2015;79:1882–1890.
- Steenbergen, L., et al. (2015). A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. In Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Vol. 48, pp. 258–264). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2015.04.003
- Qin, et al., 2010
- Scher, et al., 2015
- Vieira, et al., 2015
- Yamashita, et al., 2015
- Sawada et al., 2017
- Oxidative stress: role of physical exercise and antioxidant nutraceuticals in adulthood and aging (nih.gov)
- Dietary Supplementation with a Superoxide Dismutase-Melon Concentrate Reduces Stress, Physical and Mental Fatigue in Healthy People: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial (nih.gov)