Gut microbiota: How does it interact with the brain?


ISLAMABAD, December 30 (online): Through studies in mice, researchers find evidence that having a healthful balance of gut microorganisms is important for good health.
Researchers from the Institut Pasteur, French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and Inserm have found evidence that gut microbiota also plays a role in mood regulation and brain function.
Gut microbiota is the community of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in the digestive tract.
These findings in mice suggest that changes to gut bacterial communities may lead or contribute to depression. If humans have a similar mechanism, doctors might be able to use bacteria strains to treat mood disorders, such as depression.
Studies have found that some people with depression experience dysbiosis, which is an imbalance or change in their intestinal microbiota.
Research conducted on rodents also shows that gut dysbiosis has associations with neurological changes linked with depression, such as:
• reduced adult neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells
• chronic low-grade inflammation
• abnormal hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis (the body’s central stress response system) function