APR 10, 2019 03:20 PM PDT

The Healthiest Gut Makes the Healthiest Mind

 

In a study published in February in the journal, Nature researchers report more evidence that microbial diversity in the human digestive system and brain activity are connected.  

 

In this study, scientists screened the microbial diversity of over 1,000 subjects from Belgium. In the subject pool, 173 individuals reported having depression. Microbial composition of the human gut is affected by many factors including age and sex, so the composition of subjects' microbiome was compared based on these parameters. What researchers found was that depressed subjects’ gut contained no Coprococcus or Dialister bacteria, and a reduced population of faecalibacterium. Scientists repeated the experiment with 1,070 Dutch subjects, which resulted in the same correlations.  

 

One of the most striking correlations was that subjects who received antidepressant treatment still lacked the diversity of gut microbes found in subjects who reported a high quality of life.  Scientists are hoping that with more research, depression could be treated by altering an individual’s microbial gut composition instead of medication. Scientists hope this would eliminate the symptoms caused by antidepressants because these microbes naturally inhabit humans, and treatment could be custom. Researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland are beginning to test this theory using fecal transplants.  

 

Previous studies in mice and small studies in humans also showed that individuals with depression were missing two species of bacteria in their gut, Coprococcus, and Dialister. These studies also found the digestive system of healthy individuals contained both of these bacteria.

 

Scientists are now studying whether depression eliminates these bacteria in the digestive system, or if depression is a symptom of lacking these bacteria in the gut.  

 

Sources: The Atlantic, Science, Nature, SciShow  

About the Author
  • Intern research scientist genetically engineering yeast to making a renewable fuel. Interested in food/water security, sustainable fuel, and sustainable farming.
You May Also Like
MAR 10, 2019
Drug Discovery
MAR 10, 2019
Can Green Tea Reverse Memory Impairment?
In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, a diet containing green tea and carrots reversed Alzheimer's-like symptoms in mice that ar...
MAR 11, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 11, 2019
When it Comes to Disease, Women Get Diagnosed Later Than Men
Women got cancer, substance abuse, and metabolic disorder diagnoses later....
MAR 12, 2019
Microbiology
MAR 12, 2019
THOR - Hammering Out a Model for the Microbiome
As our understanding of microbial communities grows, scientists are also finding the gaps in our knowledge, and are looking for ways to fill them....
MAR 27, 2019
Microbiology
MAR 27, 2019
Probiotics Shown to Evolve in the Guts of Mice
Probiotics are easily available and have been promoted to consumers. It seems that they may be able to change once ingested....
MAR 27, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
MAR 27, 2019
"p" is For Problematic
A recent Nature commentary raised a provocative view on the use of p-value, a highly debated subject in science at the moment. It asks the scientific commu...
MAR 28, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 28, 2019
Big Pharma to Take Another Look at Marijuana
Since the FDA approved of the first drug derived from cannabis last year, pharmaceutical companies big and small are taking another look at the plant for t...
Loading Comments...