There is scientific evidence to suggest that prebiotic chicory root fiber may have a positive impact on mood, including anxiety and depression.
In this article we will look at:
- Prebiotic chicory root fibre and good bacteria
- Mood & the gut-brain axis
- Serotonin is located in the gut
- Gut health and food
- An easy way to get prebiotic chicory root fibre
Mood & the gut-brain axis
The gut-brain axis is a well-established through research. It is a two-way biochemical signal between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract, with interplay from the gut microbiome. (The microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in the digestive tract).
Studies have shown that prebiotic chicory root fiber can increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which in turn can lead to improvements in mood.
For example, a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that participants who consumed a prebiotic supplement containing chicory root fiber for four weeks experienced significant reductions in symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to a control group.(1)
Serotonin is in the gut
It is important to know that 90% of serotonin (the 'happy hormone') receptors are located in the gut.
When people are prescribed an antidepressant such as a selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the most common side effects are gut-related - such as diarrhea, nausea and other gastrointestinal issues.
Gut health & food
We all know that eating ultra-processed foods aren't the healthiest option. On top of these foods being deficient in nutrients and high in hydrogenated fats, they also generally contain chemical additives - which affects our gut environment and increases our risk of diseases.
Unfortunately, it doesn't just stop at eating highly processed foods, regarding gut health. Herbicides and pesticides, such as glyphosate, can have a negative impact on gut and overall health and well-being.(2)
Researchers recommend 'fixing the food first' (in other words, what we eat) to help improve how we feel mentally and physically.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are types of dietary fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut, helping them to thrive and maintain a healthy balance.
When the gut microbiome is balanced and diverse, (symbiosis) it can have a positive impact on various aspects of our health, including our mental health.
The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics state that we should be aiming for 3-5g of prebiotic fibre daily.
Find out more by reading 'What is prebiotic fibre?' here.
An easy way to get prebiotic chicory root fibre
Made with soluble prebiotic chicory root fibre, ió fibrewater is completely clear, has no added sugar and is just 17 kcals per bottle.
With a splash of refreshing natural fruit flavour (Lemon & Lime or Strawberry), and no 'nasty' ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, ió fibrewater is a great swap-up from other drinks, and tastes great, too!
The gut-brain axis provides us with a better understanding of the connection between diet and disease, including mood and depression and anxiety.
Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between prebiotic chicory root fiber and mood, the existing evidence suggests that including this dietary fiber in your diet may have a positive impact on mental health.
(1) Prebiotics and probiotics for depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31004628/
(2) Gut microbiota and neurological effects of glyphosate https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31442459/