Workplace mental health & the gut microbiome

There’s no doubt about it – our lives are getting busier as the line between professional and personal time becomes more blurred.  As working from home becomes more frequent, it can be more difficult to separate the two. Estimates project that we spend around a third[1] of our lives, or 90,000 hours, at work.

Totalling over ten years, it is natural that over such a long period of time, our places of work would impact or influence our mental health. Throughout our adult life, many of us in work will experience changing levels of stress and anxiety, as well as developing our natural response to these challenges. According to government agency Health and Safety Executive (HSE), around 822,000[2] workers reported suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety between 2020 and 2021.

As consumers continue to grow in their understanding of gut health, there is increasing evidence to suggest the gut microbiome’s role in modulating mood, stress and mental health. The gut microbiome is usually stable in composition but is prone to shifts and changes over time as a result of numerous potential influencing factors, including lifestyle.

Because of the gut-brain axis dialogue, the gut can be sensitive to heightened emotions, which can include stress. Conversely, the health of the gut microbiome can have an influence on mental wellbeing. Crucially, the gut-brain axis is not one single pathway; it is a combination.

Through systems such as the vagus nerve and HPA-axis, the gut microbiome can send and receive data and signals from the brain. Although this is still a relatively new field of study, it is understood that as well as neural pathways, the gut-brain axis involves endocrine pathways through gut hormone signalling and cortisol, as well as immune pathways through modulation of cytokines.

Almost 90%[3] of the gut-brain axis originates in the gut microbiome, which indicates the significant potential role of the gut in modulating mood and cognition.

As consumers across the globe become more cognizant of stress and mental health, the gut microbiome could prove to be a key area of focus. Although we are still in the infancy of gut-brain axis research, there is clear evidence that the gut microbiome can support our mental wellbeing.

Consequently, future research may explore gut microbiome modulation as a potential treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression or insomnia. This assertion means that caring for the good bacteria in the gut may be even more beneficial than we currently know it to be.

Clasado is the developer behind patented prebiotic ingredient Bimuno®, which offers nutraceutical brands and product developers a robust and versatile science-backed solution to add value in their new product development.

Designed to support the gut microbiome by nourishing beneficial bifidobacteria, the ability of Bimuno to influence brain health, function and mood has been studied in healthy adults, IBS cohorts, children with ASD and individuals with psychosis. The research uncovers positive modulation of areas involved in learning, cognition and mood.

Bimuno is the most studied prebiotic of its kind, supported by over 100 scientific publications, including more than 20 clinical studies. As global demand for evidence-backed solutions grows, Bimuno offers brands the flexibility to create products that appeal to today’s consumer, supported by Clasado’s comprehensive scientific portfolio, expertise in product development and enviable speed to market.

Click here to find out more about Bimuno and the science that connects with today’s engaged and proactive consumer, or contact us today to learn about the research carried out on Bimuno GOS. 

[1] https://www.freshbooks.com/hub/productivity/how-many-hours-does-the-average-person-work

[2] https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf

[3] https://www.caam.rice.edu/~cox/wrap/vagusnerve.pdf