Doctors should stop prescribing pharmaceutical drugs for children and instead “diversify their gut bacteria” and encourage them to spend more time outdoors, according to an Ohio State University study.
The researchers made the astonishing discovery that gut bacteria plays a profound role in influencing the temperament of toddlers. Mood, curiosity, sociability, impulsivity, and — in particularly in young boys — extroversion, are in large part determined by the diversity of gut bacteria in the child’s system.
The research proves that the microorganisms swimming around your pipes not only digests food and fights disease, they also secrete mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA.
When doctors prescribe mood-altering drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, the diversity of a child’s gut bacteria is devastated, leaving the body unable to naturally regulate mood, thus forming a lifelong dependence on Big Pharma.
“There is definitely communication between bacteria in the gut and the brain, but we don’t know which one starts the conversation,” says the OSU study’s co-author Dr. Michael Bailey.
“Maybe kids who are more outgoing have fewer stress hormones impacting their gut than shy kids. Or maybe the bacteria are helping mitigate the production of stress hormones when the child encounters something new. It could be a combination of both.”
Gastrointestinal abnormalities have been linked to “anxiety, depression, and several pediatric disorders, including autism and hyperactivity,” the Times reports. Research like the study from OSU is focused on how the mood-regulating chemicals get from the gut to the brain, and how that process might be involved in chronic disease.
But the implications are clear: toddlers who have been prescribed pharmaceutical drugs to regulate mood and behavior should instead be prescribed healthy diets that will help nourish and diversity their gut flora.
According to Bailey’s co-author, Dr. Lisa Christian, who examined the stool samples of 77 kids aged 18-27 months, “It is certainly possible that the types or quantities of food that children with different temperaments choose to eat affect their microbiome.”
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