- The first three years of your life are the most important time to shape the life long dialogue between the gut, its microbes and the brain; and the clock starts even before you are born! From the physical and psychological stress a mother experiences during pregnancy, to what she eats, to the way a newborn comes into this world, the way you are fed and the amount of antibiotics the mother or the growing child receives, all contribute to the development of your brain and the way it interacts with the gut throughout life.
- But keep in mind, none of these factors by itself determines your brain gut health as an adult. The brain gut microbiome axis is a complex ecological system in which many parts are interacting to result in major changes. For example, the long term impact of C-sections on the adult gut microbiome and on human brain disorders remains to be established (Science, 2016); and studies in humans to date have failed to demonstrate a strong association between C-section delivery and an increased occurrence of psychiatric disorders such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorders (International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2016; Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2014). Similarly, while in some countries (including Italy, Brazil and the US) elective C-sections have become extremely popular, there has not been a parallel increase in ADHD, depression, anxiety or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Similarly, if the brain gut microbiome dialogue is compromised early on in life, simple dietary recommendations and the intake of supplements may not do the job of fixing the problem. Lifestyle modifications and retraining your brain may be required to reestablish balance with in the system. You will need to become your own ecosystems engineer!
Learn much more about this topic in my book The Mind Gut Connection. (Click here for purchasing options)