Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Good for your brain, your heart, and your lady parts

For a while I was taking a probiotic supplement from ReNew Life called, very bluntly, "Ultimate Flora Vaginal Support." I tend to get a lot of UTIs, and I thought the supplements might stop that from happening.

After many UTI-free months, I stopped taking the supplements. Lately, I've been cranky and sad. I thought it was just work getting to me or the lack of a romantic life. But then I read about an interesting study that examined the impact of a multispecies probiotic on mood:

Compared to participants who received the placebo intervention, participants who received the 4-week multispecies probiotics intervention showed a significantly reduced overall cognitive reactivity to sad mood, which was largely accounted for by reduced rumination and aggressive thoughts.

That's the stuff.

I started looking for a probiotic supplement that contained all of the bacteria included in the study. And lo and behold, I found that all of them are in... the "Vaginal Support" supplement I used to take.

There's no guarantee that taking this supplement will improve my mood and functioning. But it's difficult to see how it will make things worse. There's also evidence that probiotics have a beneficial impact on blood pressure and serum cholesterol. While my blood pressure is low, my cholesterol is high and has been for quite some time, even though my diet is moderately low in cholesterol.

I think it's the stress and unhappiness increasing my cholesterol levels: cortisol thickens your blood in fight-or-flight mode so that you'll bleed less if you're wounded. Of course, my wounds are emotional, so the thicker blood is probably just building up the layers of plaque in my arteries. So if probiotics improve my mood, they might help lower my cholesterol.

So I'm adding probiotics back to my nightly medication cocktail, which also includes fish oil, vitamin D, and folic acid. Actually I'm out of folic acid, I better re-stock.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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