Psychobiotics: The gut-brain connection - The Tiny Secret

Psychobiotics: The gut-brain connection

It’s my gut feeling or six sense, these are such age-old phrases that we keep hearing of, and we believe these signals are received from your “Second brain”. It is all about your brain – gut relationship. The gut houses between 30 trillion and 400 trillion microorganisms and are all related to healthy working of this second brain. This second brain is found to link digestion, mood, and health all together. So I went on to explore more on how I can really get the most out of my second brain.

So who are these friendly bacteria?

We often associate bacteria as organisms to avoid but these friendly bacteria in the gut play an important role in our well-being. Each person has a unique gut microbiota just like our fingerprints. This uniqueness is based on the environment we are exposed to, lifestyle and the mother’s microbiota. We may think of them as only a tiny part of our body as compared to our organs but did you know that the human microbiome is the largest organ in our bodies. It weighs roughly around three pounds (even more than a human brain) and contains as many organisms as cells in a typical human body!

Role of “The Microbiota”

The 2I’s- Immunity and Inflammation:
You must have heard someone telling you that about 70% of your diseases start from your gut but did you know that about 70% of your immunity also starts from your gut! The gut barrier acts like a first line of defense, just like a gatekeeper. These friendly bacteria help to strengthen our gut barrier, hence protecting us against illnesses.
Dysbiosis is a Greek word, where bios means “living” and the prefix dys- means “bad”. One can say that Dysbiosis is the very meaning of “All disease begins in the gut”. An imbalance of gut microbiota is known as dysbiosis which causes leaky gut, wherein gaps in the gut lining leak toxins, bacteria, and food particles into your bloodstream leading to inflammation. The friendly bacterials in the gut also act like Vaccines, They produce antibody Immunoglobulin A which is known to support mucous production which in turn plugs the leaky gut and reduces Inflammation hence reducing chances for chronic diseases like Cancer, Type 2 diabetes, Obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and autoimmune diseases.

Gut-Brain axis: the bidirectional highway
From Selena Gomez’s psychiatric hospitalization, and Oprah Winfrey’s “near nervous breakdown,” discussions around mental health have only recently received their well deserved due. Did you know that your gut microbes talk to your brain along the vagus nerve. This connection between two organs explains why stress may affect digestion, as well as why digestive disorders can make you unhappy.

It takes “GUTS” to be happy!
Gut bacteria provides around 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin- the happy hormone. These microbes in your gut produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)- butyrate which increases serotonin production. Gut can also convert tryptophan which is a precursor to produce serotonin. Microbes also influence oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) production, also 50% of all your dopamine (feel-good hormone) is produced in the gut.

“The secret to Happy mood = Happy gut”
Gut and digestion:
You can extract and synthesize various byproducts and nutrients from your food thanks to the bacteria that live in your gut. These microorganisms digest your food and then use it to produce health-promoting byproducts such as short chain fatty acids. Produce critical neurotransmitters, Synthesize vitamins, and make necessary minerals digestible. We cannot digest fibers in our stomach. It is these gut bacteria that digest these fibers and use them as prebiotic- food for probiotics and produce SCFA. They help lower pH of the colon for faster stool passage and help in better absorption of protein.

Gut and healthy weight:

We all have that one friend who is blessed with “fast metabolism” and can literally eat all the cheese pizzas in the world and we also have friends who can’t stop losing those inches even with their “slow metabolism”. However, it turns out that a quicker metabolism is not always healthier because it can cause a lot of oxidative stress and inflammation. According to research, a healthy gut flora may be more crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. They maintain a healthy weight as these friendly bacteria help us get most of our food. They break down larger particles so that we get all the bioactives (the best nutrients) from our food.

The gut- skin axis: Your skin mirrors your gut health

Whenever we suffer from stress, gut issues like disrupted digestion our skin is the first place that seems to be affected. Research suggests that there is a link between gut health and autoimmune diseases like eczema, rosacea and acne. Acne is most often associated with teenagers and hormones but it was observed 54% of people with acne had Dysbiosis which leads to acne. Probiotics help in reduction of systemic inflammation and increase absorption of nutrients. They also positively support acne treatments where antibiotics are used. The benefits of probiotics have become so well-known that you can now find them from yogurt to facial creams which target to help reduce acne. Probiotic skincare helps restore skin- barrier as these friendly bacteria produce ceramides.

How can I love my gut?

Include foods rich in fiber like oat, barley, rye, wholegrain, apples, onions, carrots. Mushrooms, garlic, legumes and wheat which supplement the probiotic growth. Cheese, yogurt, sourdough and Sauerkraut contain probiotics that are the friendly bacteria. Eat a diverse range of foods. Include anti-inflammatory turmeric and omega3 fatty acids in case of gut inflammation.

Stress management:

Include strategies like yoga and meditation to tackle stress. In a recent study it was found that meditation significantly reduced GI symptoms in those with Irritable bowel syndrome.


It was seen that professional rugby players had more diverse gut microbiomes than non-athlete. Try to include some form of exercise like walking, cycling, jogging in your day to day life


Go easy on painkillers:
NSAIDS and antibiotics alter gut microbiota. They kill the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria and also cause thinning of the gut lining. So when on antibiotics remember to supplement your good bacteria.

Avoid artificial sweeteners:
They are associated with disrupting gut balance so instead go for fresh fruits.

Say no to laxatives:
Chronic constipation is inconvenient, and bad eating habits might cause you to be less regular than you should be. Long-term use of laxatives, on the other hand, might make you reliant on them and deplete your gut flora as they disrupt the gut’s natural rhythm.

The Tiny secret has Gut you covered:
Modern lifestyle has greatly affected our gut health. Skipping meals, binge eating, physical inactivity and increased mental stress are a serious threat to our gut flora. The tiny secret has come up with a simple and tasty solution for this gut wrenching issue.

Wizz of Fizz: Gut Health Jaljeera
This fizz evokes a sense of nostalgia with its Jal Jeera flavour. It has a probiotic blend to replenish your gut with a dose of the friendly bacteria. Cinnamon works towards the inflammation and black pepper extract acts as an antimicrobial agent. Fructose oligosaccharide (FOS) is a prebiotic. This fizzy goodness has the symbiotic synergy of both prebiotics and probiotics making it an ideal gut drink. The effervescent formula makes it more bioavailable and faster absorbing. It is Zero Sugar, Low fat, Low calorie with 10Bn CFU probiotics making it everyone’s choice. It is something that you can travel with, what you need is just water.
Pop, Fizz and Drink.

Fit Mints: Stress Relief, Fruity Mints

Stress is linked to poor sleep and poor gut health, this gut-brain disruptor needs immediate cure. The fit mint range of the tiny secret is not your average fruity mint. It has Jatamansi- the nerve tonic, which helps in combating cognitive performance, learning, memory and other age related neurodegenerative disorders and also helps stimulate the happy hormones. Ashwagandha is a potent anti-stress agent and a powerful adaptogen which enhances the body’s resilience to stress. Valerian for sleep. L-theanine helps in anxiety disorder, mood elevation and creates the feeling of ‘zen’. The very popular calming herb Chamomile to help calm anxiety. With added benefits like vitamin B6, Zero sugar, Low calorie, Zero fat.
P.S They are binge worthy but please don’t (pun intended)

Tea Totaler: Detox Honey Ginger

As Indians we swear by our morning cup of Adrak tea, we love tea and it is also all supermodels way to detox naturally. Teatox is done to flush out all the toxins from our body. The tea is made using all natural and organic ingredients like Milk thistle which is known to support liver health and reduce inflammation, Licorice root aids in digestion, our very loved ginger which is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps ease digestion, nausea and improves appetite. Holy basil is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting properties which may also reduce cholesterol levels. Pleasant aroma of lemon grass helps in rejuvenating the mood, stimulating digestion, blood circulation and reducing acne while dandelion extract helps in hepatic disorders. These teas have zero-sugar and are caffeine free and low calorie.

Sip your way to detox.

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