In 2019, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine examined the mechanisms of depressive disorder in teenage girls (ages 12-17) and found that gut permeability (leaky gut) produced inflammation, which in turn, leads to depression. The Children’s Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) and a clinical interview were used in the trial. In collecting data on the autonomic nervous system activity, researchers measured pre-ejected period (PEP and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) data, which are indicators for the activity levels of the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system respectively.
They measured the leakiness of the gut using the lactulose-mannitol ratio (LMR) to calculate the permeability of the gut lining. To measure inflammation, researchers measured inflammatory cytokines from blood sample. The results found that depression severity was associated with increased intestinal permeability. The leakier the gut and higher the concentration of cytokine IL1B, the more severe the depression.
Additionally, their evidence suggested that increased intestinal permeability may activate the innate immune system and be the path between sympathetic nervous system activation and depression severity. Not only can the brain affect how the gut feels, but the gut can relay its state (calm or alarm) to the nervous system and send those immune reactions to the brain via the vagus nerve.
SUGAR, SWEETENERS & REFINED CARBS
There is a strong connection between refined sugar, processed foods, depression, and behavior. Recall that the gut is the body’s second brain with more neurons than the brain. Therefore, what ever is fed to the microbiota in the gut will react (good or bad), and is then transmitted to the brain. Thus, food and chemicals have a profound effect on a person’s mood, behavior, and ability to think clearly. Packaged foods, snacks, and drinks that parents think are healthy are in fact loaded with hidden sugar. Sugar also feeds the growth of candida and cancer cells.
The so called ‘low fat’ revolution of the 1970’s did a lot of harm that is only recently being uncovered. Low fat, sugar laden products, along with other junk foods have a debilitating effect on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Children are particularly vulnerable.
Inflammation is the body’s defensive response to stresses. When stressed, be it physically, psychologically, or environmentally, the immune system kicks into high gear to help protect and heal the body. Stress triggers the release of steroid hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, and then inflammation occurs. When inflammation reaches the brain, anxiety-provoking chemicals like quinolinate are produced. Inflammation is the common denominator for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and many other chronic illnesses, including depression. The rapidly rising statistics clearly show that the so called ‘experts’ responsible for regulating our health/medical care systems are either incompetent and uneducated; OR, corrupt facilitators of big pharma and a costly sickness care industry!
A study from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) published in JAMA Psychiatry, underscores the relationship between clinical depression and brain inflammation. People with clinical depression have a 30% increase in brain inflammation, and the highest inflammation had the most severe depression. Neuron inflammation has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.