Study: Link between intestinal bacteria, depression found

Posted on July 30, 2015

Photo: flickr

The new study, published in Nature Communications, is the first to explore the role of intestinal microbiota in the altered behavior that is a consequence of early life stress.

It has been known for some time that intestinal bacteria can affect behaviour, but much of the previous research has used healthy, normal mice, said Bercik.

He said that with this new research, "We are starting to explain the complex mechanisms of interaction and dynamics between the gut microbiota and its host. Our data show that relatively minor changes in microbiota profiles or its metabolic activity induced by neonatal stress can have profound effects on host behaviour in adulthood."

Bercik said this is another step in understanding how microbiota can shape host behaviour, and that it may extend the original observations into the field of psychiatric disorders.

"It would be important to determine whether this also applies to humans. For instance, whether we can detect abnormal microbiota profiles or different microbial metabolic activity in patients with primary psychiatric disorders, like anxiety and depression," said Bercik.

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Source material from

Mental Health News

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