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Gut bacteria could be used to treat a range of mental disorders, a new study has suggested.
Past studies have confirmed that gut microbiome has the potential to treat serious illnesses, such as stroke. Now, researchers posit that it can also be used to cure several neurological conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety.
With the support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), researchers John Bienenstock and Paul Forsythe from The Brain-Body Institute at McMaster University in Canada are looking at the effects of intestinal bacteria on human brain and regulation of mood.
Gut microbiome plays a major role in human biology from food processing to immune system regulation and even transmission of brain signals that regulate behavior and mood.
Bienenstock and Forsythe, in their study, confirmed that gut bacteria have an effect on behavior and misdemeanor.
To test their hypothesis, they studied mice using a “social defeat” situation, wherein the researchers exposed the smaller mice to larger and more aggressive ones. Some of the smaller mice showed increased stress, loss of appetite, and less social interaction. Fecal sample analysis showed that these stressed mice have an imbalance gut microbiome compared with the calm ones.
“There was less diversity in the types of bacteria present,” said Forsythe. “The less diversity, the greater disruption to the body.”
Read full, original post: More Than A Gut Feeling: Can Gut Microbiome Be Used To Treat Mental Disorders?