JUN 18, 2017 11:04 AM PDT

The gut Microbiome can Influence the Brain

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

You may have heard of the microbiome, the community of microbes that lives in our gastrointestinal tract, as it is getting a lot of research attention since genetic techniques advanced in recent years. That gave researchers the power to assess what species were living in our guts and how they were influencing our health. It turns out that they are having a huge impact, and while that is not surprising, it has been interesting to find that they may also be affect our moods and behaviors.

The phenomenon even has a name - the gut-brain axis. There are nerves that go directly from your gut, which has an extensive nervous system of its own, to your brain. The brain is protected from the rest of the body by the blood-brain barrier, so it had been simply assumed that microbes in the gut had no effect on the brain. But the microbes actually end up producing an effect that does transmit to the brain, through the molecules they release. The video discusses a breakthrough researchers made in that area which showed how microbes in the gut did indeed cause a reaction in the brain, although it's still not known exactly how that happens, and additional research has indicated that the relationship is quite complex.

Scientists have gone on to show that transplanting the microbiome of one mouse into another can induce behavioral changes, which is explained well in the video. Check it out to learn more about this interesting new research, and how it is performed.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
MAR 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 31, 2020
Can Viruses Survive in Outer Space?
Outer space is often depicted as a harsh environment. It’s effectively an airless vacuum, and anything residing th ...
APR 02, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
APR 02, 2020
Diagnosing Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder (APD), a mental disorder, is sometimes referred to as sociopathy. Persons with the disor ...
APR 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 05, 2020
This Bird Can Mimic Almost Any Sound Accurately
Birds of all kinds are renowned for their calls, songs, and relentless chirps. Some birds use their calls to communicate ...
APR 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 14, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About the ESA's Upcoming JUICE Mission
Jupiter is one of the most interesting planets in our solar system, and with that in mind, it may not come off as much o ...
APR 30, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 30, 2020
NASA's Laser Satellites Help Scientists Quantify Sea Ice Loss
Global climate change is melting Earth’s ice, and a recent study from NASA details how the polar ice sheets have c ...
MAY 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 25, 2020
Ever Wonder How Some Fish Produce Electricity?
When you hear the term ‘electric fish,’ the first thing that probably comes to mind is the infamous electric ...
Loading Comments...