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Dr. Johnson - Red Deer Advocate

Healthy gut, healthy mood?

It is that all-too-familiar gut feeling we have all experienced or the infamous butterflies we get in our stomachs that come when we experience strong emotions or stress.

Although we may not give much thought to these common expressions, there actually may be more to them than you think!

Research is starting to draw the bridge between our emotions and mood, and the health of our gut. Studies are showing two major connections to anxiety, depression and other psychiatric illnesses — the bacterial balance in our intestines and the foods we eat.

The gut is often called our second brain because it contains a dense network of more than 100 million nerves around it, outnumbering those found in the spinal cord. This second brain is equipped with its own senses and reflexes, and can control our digestion outside of communicating with the brain.

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Men, protect your testosterone!

It should come as no surprise that men have statistically been shown to die from the top 10 causes of death at higher rates than women.

These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic liver disease, accidents and suicide.

There is an epidemic being seen in men’s health that may explain part of this stat: low testosterone levels!

A recent research study showed that men in poor health had testosterone levels 10 to 15 per cent lower than those in good health. Additionally, low testosterone levels are being found at higher rates in much younger men than ever before.

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