Heal the Gut Heal the Mind


I absolutely love looking at case studies and seeing how amazing health transformations can occur in people via the use of natural supplements. Here is a great one from the Metagenics team

Case Presentation

A 59 year old female presented to MetaClinic reporting low energy, poor concentration and feeling as though she was lacking motivation and ‘focus’. A self-described ‘compulsive eater’ with ‘unhealthy eating habits and cravings,’ the patient weighed 112 kg, which made exercising difficult. She had also attempted a low calorie, home-delivery meal program in the past, but reported it left her unsatisfied and fatigued. Further complicating her symptoms, a recent course of antibiotics had caused gastrointestinal tract (GIT) bloating, episodic reflux, loose bowel motions and a vaginal thrush infection. During the initial consult the patient commented “I feel physically, emotionally and mentally stuck…weighed down with yuck”.

Treatment strategy and rationale

The Practitioner initially recommended a six week Specialised Liver Detox Program, to address the patients diverse symptoms, providing a specific emphasis on correcting suspected dysbiosis and intestinal integrity that was thought to be contributing to the patient’s primary concern of mental fatigue and poor focus. It is well established that microbiota imbalance within the GIT combined with increased intestinal permeability creates a systemic burden of endotoxins (such as lipopolysaccharides or LPS). These molecules potently trigger inflammatory processes and can ultimately lead to disturbances in neurobiology,1 with in vivo studies revealing both LPS and inflammatory cytokines adversely affect memory and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation,2as well as cognition.3,4 The Specialised Liver Detox Program offers multifaceted benefits including restoring gut integrity, supporting toxin clearance, and creating an environment within the digestive tract conducive to healthy gut ecology.

Following the detox program, the patient progressed onto the Shake It Practitioner Weight Management Program to assist with her secondary goal of achieving weight loss. In addition to the specific detox and weight loss programs, throughout the entire treatment period the patient was also prescribed the High Purity, Low Reflux Concentrated Fish Oil due to its essential role of Omega-3 fatty acids in cognition and mood,5 and ability to reduce inflammation by inhibiting LPS binding to toll-like receptors which initiate the inflammatory response. To further promote a healthy microbial composition within the intestinal tract she was also prescribed the specific probiotic strains Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), or Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM®) and Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07), at various times.

Clinical Outcomes

By week two, the patient reported a significant improvement in both mood and energy levels along with a resolution of her thrush infection. By week four, she reported her cognitive function had started to improve, her bowel motions has normalised, and her bloating reduced. At six weeks, the patient had begun to see her excess weight begin to shift. At this point she transitioned to the Shake It Practitioner Weight Management Program. By week twelve, she had lost a significant 10 kg of fat mass , her reflux had resolved, and no further episodes of light-headedness were experienced. At the final consultation, the patient felt her cognition had improved considerably since her initial visit as she was more focussed and able to ‘think more clearly’.

Fix the gut to fix the mind

​This case demonstrates the widespread benefits of strategic detoxification and weight loss which extend beyond simply reducing toxic load and excess adiposity. By promoting healthy intestinal microbiota, facilitating optimal digestive function and detoxification via the liver, the Practitioner was able to help reduce the patient’s inflammatory status and help her to reverse the adverse effects her diet and lifestyle habits had imposed upon her mental clarity, mood and motivation.