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"Gut Feelings." Why the bacteria in some beer might be making us feel more happy.

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Todd, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member Verified

    This is a must listen for anyone into funky beers. Find out how the bacteria in our guts gets into our brains.

    Yes. Into our brains.


    It starts off with Lactobacillus, used to make yogurt, several other foods, and of course certain beer styles. Lab mice given the bacteria were basically relaxed when placed into a very stressful situation. How? The vagus nerve that runs from the brain to the guts of these mice somehow transmitted a signal to relax; literally as if they were on Valium. Thanks to the gut bugs (bacteria)? Perhaps. When the vagus nerves were cut, the mice panicked as normal.

    Human test subjects were also given a ton of probiotics (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium), and similar results were found. The subjects displayed much less anxiety compared to those who weren't on probiotics. What I was also surprised to hear is that 80% of the Serotonin (the stuff that makes us happy) in human bodies is not in our brain, but in our guts. They suggest that the bacteria somehow interacts with the surplus of Serotonin in our guts and helps push it to the brain, like a happy pump.

    Could this explain why so many of us gravitate towards the funk with glee?

    Thanks to Radiolab for a very interesting and informative episode, and Chris from Notch for pointing it out on Twitter.
    KevSal, MarkIntihar, afrokaze and 2 others like this.
  2. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (610) California Dec 12, 2009 Verified

    Awesome!!! Neuroscience and beer!! This makes my neurons fire with 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)!!!:)
    ediaz likes this.
  3. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,440) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    I do get happy when drinking sours...
    ColForbinBC likes this.
  4. Goodbye prozac, hello cantillon.
    andrewinski1 likes this.
  5. Steeeve

    Steeeve Savant (265) Pennsylvania Nov 16, 2010

    I would certainly feign depression if my doc was going to write me that prescription!
  6. MaxSpang

    MaxSpang Advocate (515) Ohio Jan 28, 2011

    Will this news increase the trade value of my 'loons?
  7. Patient: Doc, its just not working, I just have this hopelessness and despair, I just want to give up on everything.
    Doc: Look, I'm gonna up your daily 375ml of Cantillon to 750ml, and I dunno, sometimes patients have weird reactions to the Cantillon, so I'd like to also couple this with some 3F Hommage on a semi-regular basis to see what happens.
    Patient: I feel better already, he, he, he.
    smutty33 and Blanco like this.