Health Tip of the Day ~ Meditation May Promote Gut Health

new study published in the journal General Psychiatry reports that regular deep meditation may help regulate the gut microbiome and lower the risks of physical and mental illness. The relatively small study says the gut microbes found in a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks were substantially different than those of their secular neighbors and were linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and anxiety.

The study authors said previous research shows the gut microbiome – bacteria, fungi, and viruses that break down food in the human digestive tract – can affect mood and behavior through the gut–brain axis (the two-way biochemical signaling connected through the vagus nerve, which oversees multiple crucial bodily functions).

The gut-brain axis includes the body’s immune response, hormonal signaling, and stress response.The researchers pointed out meditation is increasingly being used to help treat mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, traumatic stress, and eating disorders as well as chronic pain.

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