Today I want to share with you a common medical procedure that contributes to the development of mental illness.
In fact, about 1/3 of people have been affected by it.
Many of you are probably well aware of the “gut–brain axis" by now.
It's the well-established connection between the health of your gut and the function of your brain.
If you have poor gut health, you're more likely to have poor brain function too.
But here's something you might not know...
Births by cesarean section (C-section) have been shown to negatively change the gut of newborn babies.
In fact, when C-section surgery is used to deliver a baby, the baby ends up lacking important bacteria in their gut.
They actually have a completely different and less diverse gut microbiome than a baby who is delivered vaginally.
But what's worse is this...
A study published in JAMA found a significant connection between C-sections and the risk of autism and ADHD.
And this is likely due to the negative effects of C-sections on the infant microbiome.
This is a huge problem because the use of C-section is rapidly increasing around the globe.
In fact, the procedure has more than tripled worldwide since 1990.
In the United States alone, 32 percent of babies are now delivered via C-section.
In response to this, some parents have started swabbing their infants with vaginal fluids after a C-section.
By doing this, they are trying to restore any missing microbes.
But this practice is controversial.
It's simply unknown if it's safe and effective.
One thing is for sure though...
If your mother had a C-section when you were born...
Or you have a child who was born by C-section...
You'll definitely want to take steps to improve the diversity of your microbiome, and the diversity of your child's microbiome.
You can do that by eating plenty of fermented foods, and taking a high-quality probiotic.
Research shows that C-section babies who are given probiotics end up developing a much stronger microbiome.
The main probiotic species that you'll want to increase is Lactobacillus reuteri.
Multiple studies show that infants delivered by C-section either do not have Lactobacillus reuteri in their gut. Or they have very low levels of it.
But by giving this probiotic species to C-section babies, their micro biome can shift back to normal.
And it's not just the microbiome that can shift back to normal...
Behavior can shift back to normal too.
Studies have found that animals that don't have Lactobacillus reuteri in their guts display "social deficits". These deficits are very similar to symptoms of autism and social anxiety in humans.
But by adding Lactobacillus reuteri back into the guts of animals, researchers are able to reverse their behavioral problems.
“We found that treatment with this single bacterial strain was able to rescue their social behavior,” said Dr. Shelly Buffington, neuroscience researcher at Baylor College of Medicine.